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Fighting breaks out in South Sudan’s Central Equatoria state

South Sudan soldiers in an unidentified location in the country (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

April 26, 2020 (Nyamilepedia) — Fierce fighting has broke out between SPLA-IO forces and holdout opposition soldiers of the National Salvation Front (NAS) in the country’s Central Equatoria state on Saturday, a SPLA-IO spokesman said on Sunday.

Col. Lam Paul Gabriel, the SPLA-IO deputy spokesman, said the fighting occurred at Kiju village in Central Equatoria’s Kajo-keji after NAS forces led by General Thomas Cirilo attacked their position.

Lam said one SPLA-IO soldiers was killed and three others were wounded in the fighting which he said continued today at dawn adding that the NAS forces were then repulsed and twelve of them were the NAS casualties.

“Yesterday the 25/04/2020 at about 6:00AM, NAS remnants under the command of Lt. Gen. KENYI LOBURON, attacked the SPLA IO defensive position of Kiju in Kajo Keji. They killed two SPLA-IO soldiers and wounded one (1) other,” Lam said.

“The aggression continued today the 26/04/2020 as NAS forces attacked the SPLA-IO position of Kala 2 in Kajo Keji county at about 6:00AM and killed one SPLA-IO soldier while three (3) others sustained minor injuries,” he added.

“The SPLA-IO in a warning-shot, repulsed and pursued the attackers to their base in Lainya county with 12 enemy casualties and seven AK47 recovered in good working condition.”

Lam further said the continued attacks by NAS forces would jeopardize the ongoing training of the Necessary Unified Forces (NUFs) of the parties to the revitalized peace agreement signed in September 2018.

“These attacks by NAS forces are meant to disrupt the training of the Unified Forces in Morota, and that is a clear declaration of war against the SPLA IO by NAS command, which will not be tolerated any longer,” Lam said

The opposition spokesman further urged the country’s peace monitors to investigate and hold the culprits to account reiterating the commitment of the main armed opposition group to the peaceful end of the conflict.

“The SPLA-IO leadership calls upon the CTSAMM and UNMISS to investigate these attacks as soon as possible. The SPLA-IO remains committed to the implementation of the peace agreement, while defending itself against these unnecesaary aggressions by NAS forces,” he said.

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