JUBA – South Sudan’s National Salvation Front (NAS) led by General Thomas Cirilo Swaka has said that South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) is making reinforcements in Central Equatoria state’s Yei River County as a part of a plan to escalate fighting with holdout opposition groups.
This comes after the SSPDF said in a statement yesterday that soldiers belonging to the Cirilo-led group attacked a three-vehicle convoy belonging to the World Food Programme (WFP) resulting in the killing of a driver, wounding of one person, and then kidnapping of two other aid workers.
In a statement, the National Salvation Front said the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces has been reinforcing its forces in Central Equatoria state’s Yei to conduct military operations against the opposition-NAS forces which is active in the area saying the army early this week attack several positions of the National Salvation Front in the area.
“NAS would like to inform the people of South Sudan and members of International Community that for the last one month the SSPDF has been reinforcing their bases in and around Yei to conduct military operations,” the statement said.
“On 15th September, 2021, the regime launched military operations against NAS positions south west of Yei County, these operations are ongoing up to now. In addition, the government forces in Morobo are in advance stage to launch attacks on NAS positions,” the statement added.
It added that the South Sudan army in Juba “consider Yei-Morobo road as an important supply line in aiding their impending operations” and has such the regime made deployments in order to secure the road.
It said the army command in Yei River County “should stand accountable to answer what went wrong with the humanitarian convoy travelling on this well protected road.”
It further reiterated the group’s “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.”