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NAS denies attacks on civilians in South Sudan’s Yei State

SSPDF and SPLA-IO commanders pose for a picture after a meeting in Yei town on 15 nov 2018 (Photo Lam Paul Gabriel)
December 28, 2018 (JUBA) - The rebel National Salvation Front (NAS) dismissed accusations that they carried out attacks on travellers in the roads of Yei Rivers state and abducted several civilians.

The holdout group this week issued a statement on claims that its fighters have abducted nine people from two private vehicles heading from Kaya to Yei in Mugwo county, on 20 December. Also, they were accused of ambushing a third private vehicle in Yari Mugwo County on 23 December.

In a statement released on Wednesday, NAS Spokesperson Suba Samuel Manase condemned the attacks and described the accusations as baseless and unfounded.

"National Salvation Front’s mission is to contribute towards the emancipation of the suffering people of South Sudan from the oppression and subjugation imposed by the Salva Kiir regime In Juba," he said.

He further appointed an accusing finger to the signatories of the revitalized peace agreement, the government and its South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF) and the SPLM In Opposition (SPLM-IO).

"Yei-Kaya road is controlled by SSPDF and SPLM-IO respectively. SSPDF are based in Mugwo County and SPLM IO Headquarter is in Panuyume Payam, Morobo County," he said.

"All these positions are found along Yei Morobo road. On the other hand, NAS does not have a single base along this mentioned corridor," he added.

Manase further reiterated his group commitment to the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement signed on 21 December 2017.

NAS is a non-signatory of the revitalized peace agreement signed on 12 September.

The holdout group which is led by Thomas Cirilo calls for a genuine federal system in South Sudan to prevent the central government from monopolizing resources and land grabbing.

(ST)