Hundreds of civilians were displaced in Central Equatoria at the end of last week. Many fled to to seek refuge in Uganda as SSPDF and National Salvation Front (NAS) continue to engage each other militarily. The SSPDF have been accused of destroying and committing crimes again civilians by the NAS in the Central Equatoria. Last month, NAS mobilized forces and they were seen in a video footage which circulated online. They were singing in high motivation.
Below is a press release by NAS as an evidence of the dogfights that are happening behind the news headlines.
HEAVY FIGHTING ERUPTED BETWEEN NAS AND SSPDF IN LO’BONOK CENTRAL EQUATORIA STATE, SOUTH SUDAN.
Date: 19th July, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE PRESS RELEASE
The Leadership of National Salvation Front (NAS) informs its members, supporters, the people of South Sudan and members of International Community about the latest South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) military offensive against NAS positions in some parts of Liria and Lobonok Counties of Central Equatoria State.
On 16th July 2002, the SSPDF shelled and later attacked NAS position at Lowe in Liria area on the Juba-Torit road. NAS forces fought back in self-defense countering the enemy in two successful ambushes. In these ambushes five (5) SSPDF soldiers were killed in action and many sustained injuries.
While on 18th July 2020, in Lobonok County, the SSPDF launched an attack on NAS position from two (2) axes. One attack was using the assembled forces at Mangat area at Aru junction through Muli to Nyarbanga while the other force was closing in from Lobonok to Karpeto. The NAS forces fought back heroically and forced the enemy attackers to retreat.
The aggression by the SSPDF is still continuing and is already causing civilian displacement and humanitarian disaster. NAS forces are committed to protect the innocent civilians and their property.
The current offensive was planned to displace civilians and dislodge NAS forces from the area.
NAS reiterates its commitment to the Cessions of Hostilities Agreement (CoHA) signed on 21st December 2017 in Addis Ababa Ethiopia, and to the Rome Declaration signed on 20th January 2020 in Rome Italy. NAS however, reserves the right to self-defense.
Suba Samuel Manase
(File photo: NAS forces)