Fighting reported between army and Cirilo’s forces in Equatoria

Government troops moving alongside Juba/Bor Road January 2014 (File photo)

August 23rd 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – Fierce fighting has erupted between South Sudan army and rebel soldiers loyal to General Thomas Cirilo Swaka, a statement by a rebel spokesman said.

The National Salvation Front (NAS) said on a statement extended to Nyamilepedia that it’s position in Central Equatoria has been attacked by South Sudan army.

“The leadership of National Salvation Front (NAS) would to inform its members, the people of South Sudan and international community of the recent unprovoked military attacks by the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) and its militia on NAS positions,” a statement extended to Nyamilepedia.

The NAS claimed that it’s forces managed to fight off in self-defense and killed 2 government soldiers on the spot.

“On Sunday, August 18, 2019, the SSPDF forces attacked NAS position in Loka West. NAS forces responded in self-defense and repulsed the attack, resulting to the death of two (2) SSPDF soldiers,” the group said in a statement.

The NAS statement said their forces came under heavy attack on Wednesday and managed to defeat SSPDF forces killed 20 soldiers.

“On Wednesday, August 21, 2019, the SSPDF mobilized and reinforced its force with heavy machine guns and artilleries and launched a second attack. NAS forces heroically fought back in self-defese in a battle that lasted the whole day in which the SSPDF finally were defeated and pursued back to Lainya and Loka West fleeing in disarray. The SSPDF left behind twenty (20) soldiers killed in action and large deposits of ammunition in good condition,” the statement said.

“On separate development, on Saturday August 17, 2019, at Lo’bonok, the SSPDF carried out heavy bombardment at positions they suspected to be NAS locations for several hours. On their way back, the SSPDF artillery unit fell into deliberate NAS ambush in which thirteen (13) SSPDF soldiers were killed,” it added.

The group however reiterated its commitment to cessation of hostility (CoH) agreement signed in 2017 and expressed its readiness to join the peace process if it addresses the root causes of the conflict.

“NAS is committed to Cessation of Hostilities (CoHA), signed in December 2017, in Addis- Ababa Ethiopia and has always been willing to participate in genuine negotiations that aims at addressing the root causes of the conflict in South Sudan.NAS reserves the right to self-defense when attack,” the statement said.

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