Holdout opposition accuses South Sudan army of preparing new attacks

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February 8, 2019 (JUBA) — South Sudan’s opposition alliance said concerned by the repeated violations of the cessation of hostilities by the government forces and accused Juba of preparing new attacks in the upcoming days.

During the past weeks, the National Salvation Front (NAS) of Thomas Cirilo issued several statements about clashes with the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF) and accused the government army of violating the ceasefire.

On Sunday, NAS allied groups issued a separate statement, also, blaming the SSPDF of attacking their position in Central and Western Equatoria, the second since a first statement dated 30th January 2019.

“The South Sudan National Democratic Alliance (SSNDA) is perturbed by the Juba regime and the SPLM/A-IO intentional violation of December 2017 Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (CoHA) by their aggression and attacks on multiple positions of SSNDA in Yei River State on the 31st of January and still continues to date,” said the alliance spokesperson Kwaje Lasu.

The SSNDA forces, according to Lasu, have repulsed a “coordinated heavy attack” by the by the government forces in the areas of Morobo, Lojulo, and KajoKeji on 31 January.

He added that the SSPDF are randomly shelling villages in and around Yei area.

Further, he accused the assailants of attacking civilians and raping young girls and women.

The alliance which is formed by a number of groups that reject the revitalized peace agreement includes the National Salvation Front (NAS) of Gen. Thomas C. Swaka, People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) chaired by Hakim Dario, National Democratic Movement (NDM) led by Emanuel Aban and the United Democratic Republic Alliance (UDRA) of Gatwech K. Thich and South Sudan National Movement for Change (SSNMC) of Vakindi L. Unvu,

The opposition official said they received intelligence that the government troops and their peace partner the SPLA-IO are now preparing for new attacks on their positions.

He went further to add they expect these attacks on their positions in ” in Rokon, Wonduruba, Lo’bonok, Katigeri, and Mongala”.

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir, several times, expressed keenness to bring the non-signatory groups to the peace agreement.

Also, the IGAD Council of Ministers which brokered the peace pact directed the Special Envoy Ismail Wais to meet the holdout rebel groups and persuade them to join peace.

In December 2018, Wais met the non-signatories who later on provided him with their claims. However, they are still awaiting the resumption of meeting as they said ready to negotiate with the government.

(ST)

Source: sudantribune