South Sudan army, holdout rebel forces clash in Central Equatoria
October 30th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan army and holdout opposition group, National Salvation Front (NAS), clashed on Sunday and Monday in the country’s Central Equatoria region, the rebel group said in a statement extended to Nyamilepedia.
NAS led by General Thomas Cirilo Swaka is not a signatory to the revitalized peace agreement signed by the government and opposition groups in September last year to end the ongoing civil war.
Shortly before the signing of the agreement, Cirilo pulled out of talks accusing the government of President Salva Kiir Mayardit of monopoly to the talks conducted at the time in the Sudanese capital Khartoum.
“The National salvation Front (NAS) would like to inform the people of South Sudan and the International community that NAS forces in Morobo County, Central Equatoria came under unprovoked attack by the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) and its allied militia on 27th and 28th October 2019,” the statement dated October 29th partly reads.
“The gallant NAS freedom fighters fought back in self-defense, repulsed, pursued and dislodged the enemy from Panyana military base,” the statement adds.
The statement further disclosed that the armed opposition group killed 17 soldiers of the South Sudan army including 3 officers while encountering two deaths and five wounds.
“The government forces suffered heavy losses in men and material. The enemy lost 17 men including 3 officers. NAS forces also captured (3) PKM machine guns, (15) AKM riffles and (4) RPG launchers in addition to a number of ammunition. Our gallant forces lost 2 men and 5 sustained injuries,” the statement.
The statement further warned that the government forces in the area were preparing for an attack against the rebel group reiterating its commitment to the Cessation of Hostility Agreement (COHA) signed in December 2017.
“The NAS intelligence has confirmed that, the SSPDF forces are preparing for more attacks on our forces around Maridi as part of the Government on-going offensive against NAS. 1 NAS would like to reiterate its commitment to the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (CoHA) signed in December 2017 in Addis Ababa Ethiopia,” the statement said.
The statement however added that the group “however reserves the right to self-defense.”