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JUBA - 26 Aug 2019

NAS accuses government of fresh attacks, government denies

File photo: General Thomas Cirillo
File photo: General Thomas Cirillo

The opposition group National Salvation Front (NAS) has accused government forces of launching attacks on its positions in Central Equatoria region last week, a claim the government denies.

NAS led by Thomas Cirilo Swaka last week in a statement seen by Radio Tamazuj said government forces attacked its defensive positions on 17th,18th, and 21st August in  Loka West, Lainya and Lobonok.

Suba Samuel Manase, the groups’ spokesman said NAS forces were forced to respond in self-defense further claiming that more than 30 government soldiers lost their lives in the confrontations.

He added that despite the clashes, NAS, which is a non-signatory to the revitalized peace deal signed in September 2018 remains committed to the 2017 cessation of hostilities agreement and reserves the right to self-defense when attacked.

However, the army spokesman Lul Ruai Koang denied the accusations.

Koang told Radio Tamazuj on Sunday that government forces acted in self-defense when ambushed by NAS forces on 17th near Lainya and Jambo areas, resulting into 3 injuries.

"They are the ones who attacked our troops. We are only defending ourselves because we are implementing the peace agreement," he said.

He also accused NAS forces of ambushing a commercial vehicle on its way from Yei to Bahr el Ghazal region last Wednesday, killing two people.