26 Jun 2019


South Sudan Army Threatens Response Against Cirillo’s Rebels

South Sudan’s army has threatened to launch military offensive against a rebel group which did not sign the South Sudan peace Agreement three months ago.

South Sudan Army Threatens Response Against Cirillo’s Rebels
The Spokesperson of the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF), Major General Lul Ruai Koang [File photo]

By Ojwe Lumara

JUBA, 19 DECEMBER 2018 [Gurtong]-T
he army accused the National Salvation Front (NAS) of former deputy chief of staff of the army, Thomas Cirillo Swaka of intensifying attacks on government forces in the past days.

The Spokesperson of the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF), Major General Lul Ruai Koang told journalists at the Bilpham army headquarters in Juba that government soldiers had suffered two separate attacks in the southern parts of the country this week.

The attacks have resulted to death of four government soldiers in the two places, the army said. The first attack took place in Yei River State.

“On 16 December, SSPDF’s Special Operations established a military outpost at strategic Goli Bridge that connects Yei with Tore in the north. En route to Goli Bridge, SSPDF forces fell in to NAS’s ambush thrice but fought their way through without casualties. However after we deployed at Goli Bridge, a small force that was returning to Yei fell in to NAS ambush resulting in two government soldiers getting killed while five others sustained gunshot wounds,” Maj. Lul said.

He further revealed that another attack by NAS in Lobonok County, South of Juba on December 16, also resulted to the killing of two government soldiers.

“On 16 December, NAS forces ambushed SSPDF forces between Lobonok and Karpeto south of Juba resulting in two government soldiers getting killed and ten others were wounded,” the army Spokesperson said.

“We are ready to fight Thomas Cirillo wherever he is with his forces,” he said.

He also accused the rebel group of destroying a bridge in Yei River State.

However, a spokesman of the NAS, Soba Samuel in a press statement Monday said the government forces had instead launched attacks against their positions in Lobonok area and along Yei-Maridi road on December 16.

Suba claimed that the rebel faction killed seven government soldiers in the Lobonok fighting and captured three land cruiser pickup vehicles.

He said while they remained committed to the cessation of hostilities agreement they had signed early this year, the group would fight back if their defensive positions were attacked.

Last week in the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (R-JMEC) second plenary meeting in Juba, the members called upon all parties and stakeholders to observe the permanent ceasefire provisions and ensure its observation in all parts of the country; and in this regard further appealed to the IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan to persuade all groups who are non-signatory to the R-ARCSS to join in its implementation.


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