South Sudan army, SPLA-IO cancels join military offensive against NAS in Central Equatoria

South Sudan rival forces meeting in conflict zones to discuss peace for the first time in 5 years(Photo: file)

South Sudan rival forces meeting in conflict zones to discuss peace for the first time in 5 years(Photo: file)

November 16th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – The South Sudan army, the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) and the main armed opposition group, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO) has decided to cancel a planned join military offensive against hold out groups in Central Equatoria’s Yei region.

South Sudan government, and opposition group led by Machar, the SPLM-IO, signed the long awaited revitalized peace deal in September in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

The agreement came as part of IGAD effort to end the ongoing civil war which begun in December 2013 following of a flare-up during a national convention for the ruling SPLM party igniting a civil war mostly fought along ethnic lines.

The National Salvation Front (NAS) led by Gen. Thomas Cirilo is not a part of the ongoing peace process and did not sign the agreement signed in September.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the SPLA-IO deputy spokesman Col. Lam Paul Gabriel said the two parties has cancelled the operation against the hold out groups in Central Equatoria.

“The SSPDF and SPLA-IO overruled the resolution of the meeting held in Kajo Keji on 12/11/2018 in regards to the joint operations against negative forces that may come in the area,” Lam said on Thursday.

He said the two parties has agreed to give time to the peace monitors to try to convince the rebel groups who were not signatories to the agreement to stop attacks against civilians and government and SPLA-IO positions.

“The teams agreed to let CTSAMM talk to any other force in Yei River State and any other places in South Sudan to embrace peace so that civilians move and live freely in peace and harmony,” he further added.