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NAS forces accuse army of attacks in Central Equatoria state

June 3, 2021 (LAINYA) - Fighters from the National Salvation Front (NAS) led by Gen. Thomas Cirillo have accused the government army (SSPDF) of attacking their bases in South Sudan’s Central Equatoria State.

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"On Monday 01st June 2021, the SSPDF [South Sudan People‚Äôs Defense Forces] who are now operating under the orders of "shoot at sight", in Gumberi village of Lainya Payam, Lainya county killed four (4), innocent civilians, in cold blood," the rebel group’s spokesman, Suba Samuel Manase, said on Thursday.

Among those killed, NAS said, was the Gumberi parish priest.

The hold-out group also accused government troops of committing similar atrocities in Kajo-Keji county.

"NAS leadership condemns in the strongest terms these barbaric ethnic targeted killings and especially this latest violence against church leaders of South Sudan by the regime of Salva Kiir," stressed Manase.

Also blamed on the South Sudanese army are allegations of ethnic killings, rape of women, looting of properties, and massive displacement of people, which Sudan Tribune could not independently verify.

"These atrocities amount to genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity being committed in the full knowledge of everybody, including the international community," noted Manase.

In January 2020, the government signed a peace declaration with NAS and other holdout opposition groups.