JUBA – South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) has threatened, in a statement this morning, to use extreme and deadly force against rebel forces allied to General Thomas Cirilo Swaka after an ambush resulted in the killing of six members of a vice-president’s guards.
Last week, a convoy belonging to vice-president James Wani Igga came under fierce attack that resulted in the killing of around six bodyguards of the Vice President.
The National Salvation Front (NAS) led by General Thomas Cirilo later on claimed responsibility for the deadly attack which also led to the wounding of two other officers and the kidnapping of one.
In a statement this morning, SSPDF Spokesman Major General Lul Ruai Koang dismissed claims by NAS that it provoked the ambush saying vice-president’s guards were on a regular visit to Lononok, the home-village of Igga.
“SSPDF GHQS would like to inform own Gallant Forces, people of South Sudan, IGAD and the Community of Sant Egildio of NAS’s continuous attacks on SSPDF’s positions in different parts of Central Equatoria State,” the statement extended to Sudans Post partly reads.
It said the “NAS gave unjustifiable, illogical and inconsistent reasons for launching such unprovaked attacks.Toyota Land Cruiser Pick Up had never been use in reconnaissance mission/collection of intelligence as alleged by NAS but rather for normal and regular mobility of VIP Protection Force.”
“HE Vice President Dr. James Wani Igga, as a renown farmer and senior politician travels regularly to his rural home to engage in farming activities not combat operations. SSPDF neither deliberately attacks nor displaces civilians.
“NAS do not have permanent presence in Lonobok but rather engages in hit and run operations as well as illegal mining activities at Pay Hills Gold Mines SSPDF’s Position NAS’s continuous and unprovoked attacks constitute unwarranted violation of Rome Declaration.
“SSPDF reaffirms its commitment to Rome Declaration but reserves right to respond with a deadly force in self-defense and that of civilians and their properties.
“SSPDF calls upon CTSAMM-VM to investigate violations and urges the Community of Sant’Egildio to bear pressure on Thomas Cirilo to cease compat operations.”