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South Sudanese troops killed civilians to revenge their defeat: NAS says

January 5, 2018 (JUBA) - The National Salvation Front (NAS) has rejected a statement by the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF) that they killed 19 people in Yei River State, saying directed their guns against civilians after their defeat by the rebel fighters.

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South Sudanese SPLA soldiers in Pageri in Eastern Equatoria state on August 20, 2015 (Photo AFP/Samir Bol)

The South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF) Spokesperson Maj. Gen. "PSC" Lul Ruai Koang on Thursday accused the National Salvation Front of Thomas Cirilo (NSA-TC) of killing 19 people between Gorom and Wundoraba of Yei River State.

"They were killed by NAS fighters under the direct command of Kenyi Loboron," said Koang who called to "hold to account Gen. Thomas Cirilo and his murderous field commanders".

However, NAS Spokesperson Suba Samuel Manase rejected what he called the "habitual propaganda of the regime" saying that their fighters clashed with a SSPDF search unit that was looking for missing soldiers in Katigiri and Wounduruba on 3 January 2019 at 7:00 am.

"It was during the process of searching for their lost men, the government reconnaissance unit managed to locate the NAS advanced protection unit and clashed with it," said Maanase in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune.

He added that NAS forces managed to defeat the government forces and destroyed their position in area Goroum, pointing out they killed 15 troops and lost one fighter.

"After the regime’s humiliating defeat, the Kiir’s Militia starting pursuing NAS forces, out of anger the regime forces revenged by shooting indiscriminately on Civilians who are carrying out local gold mining in Goroum area," he stated.

The recent weeks witnessed an increase in the violation of the cessation of hostilities agreement in the Equatoria region, despite the repeated declarations of commitment to the ceasefire by the different parties.

Last Monday, two factions of the South Sudan National Movement for Change (SSNMC) traded accusation over ut attacks on Kaya Yei road and abducted civilians including UN staff.