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South Sudan army, SPLA-IO attack rebel bases in Central Equatoria state – spokesman

Photo: Government tank in an unidentified location in South Sudan

May 6, 2020 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan army and the SPLA-IO forces attacked, on Tuesday, military bases belonging to the country’s holdout opposition groups in part of South Sudan’s Central Equatoria state, a spokesman for the rebels said in a statement this afternoon.

Sube Samuel Lasu, the spokesman of the National Salvation Front (NAS), an opposition group led by former South Sudan deputy chief of staff General Thomas Cirilo Swaka, said the attack took place at Katigiri in Wonduruba Payam in Central Equatoria state.

Samuel said their forces fought hard to defeat the “enemy” and killed four soldiers adding that another attack took place as well today outside Loka village saying their forces destroyed one pickup land-cruiser mounted with 12.7mm machine gun.

“The Leadership of National Salvation Front (NAS) informs its members, supporters, the people of South Sudan and members of International Community about the start of new military attacks on NAS positions by South Sudan People’s Defense Force (SSPDF) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO) in Central Equatoria State,” Samuel said.

“On 5th May 2020, the SSPDF force at Katigiri, Wonduruba Payam, attacked a NAS position at around 8:00 am in the morning. NAS forces fought back in self-defense and dispersed the attacking enemy force which lost four (4) soldiers. This morning 6th May 2020, at 5:00 am, the SSPDF and SPLA 10 forces supported by Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCS) and heavily mounted attack vehicles attacked a NAS advance base in the out-skirt of Loka,” he said.

“NAS forces responded to the aggression and destroyed one (1) Toyota Land crusher mounted with a 12.7mm machine gun. This force is still fighting with the intention to reach other NAS bases in the area. This SSPDF and SPLA-IO military campaign is part of President Kiir’s Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGONU) strategy to exploit the global lock-down due to the COVID-19 pandemic to attack the forces of NAS and to punish the civil population whom they accused of supporting and harboring NAS,” he added.

He said the government objective is to “capture NAS positions and displace the civil population in the area.”

While reiterating their commitment to the ceasefire agreement signed in December 2017, Samuel said the opposition group “reserves the right to self-defense.”

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