Kiir’s SSPDF and Machar’s SPLA-IO start joint military attacks on NAS positions
In total disregard to international pressure and to the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (CoHA), forces of Kiir’s South Sudan People’s Defence Force (SSPDF) and Machar’s Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO) have started new military attacks on NAS positions in several fronts in Central Equatoria – a press release by the NAS spokesman has revealed.
These fresh coordinated attacks and aggressions appear to be part of a long term military campaign that exploits the global lock-down to attack NAS positions and to punish the civil population believed to be supporting and harbouring NAS.
“This SSPDF and SPLA IO military campaign is part of President Kiir’s Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU) strategy to exploit the global lock-down due to the COVID-19 pandemic to attack the forces of NAS and to punish the civil population whom they accused of supporting and harbouring NAS. The objective of this campaign is to capture NAS positions and displace the civil population in the area,” read the press statement.
“On 5th May 2020, the SSPDF force at Katigiri; Wonduruba Payam, attacked a NAS position at around 8:00 am in the morning. NAS forces fought back in self-defense and dispersed the attacking enemy force which lost four (4) soldiers.
“This morning 6th May 2020, at 5:00 am, the SSPDF and SPLA IO forces supported by Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) and heavily mounted attack vehicles attacked a NAS advance base in the out-skirt of Loka. NAS forces responded to the aggression and destroyed one (1) Toyota Land crusher mounted with a 12.7mm machine gun.
“This force is still fighting with the intention to reach other NAS bases in the area.”
While reiterating its commitment to the CoHA signed on 21st December 2017 in Addis Ababa Ethiopia and to the Rome Declaration of recommitment to the CoHA signed on 20th January 2020 in Rome, the leadership of NAS states that it reserves the right to self-defense.
The leadership also reassures its members and supported that the gallant freedom fighters of the National Salvation Front (NAS) “shall defend their positions, the lives and property of the innocent civilians and shall prevail over these SSPDF and SPLA IO attacks.”