South Sudanese holdout rebels, the National Salvation Front (NAS) say they have killed government soldiers and injured several others in fresh attacks in the restive Central Equatoria State.
The rebels led by renegade general Thomas Cirillo Swaka have accused the government of President Kiir of serial attacks amid talks spearheaded by the lay Catholic social service organization, the Community of Sant’Egidio in Rome.
The Rome talks are meant to push government of South Sudan and the holdout opposition umbrella group South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance (SSOMA), which NAS is a party. SSOMA refused to sign the 2018 peace agreement between president Kiir and his main rival Riek Machar, which birthed a Unity Government being run by both men.
NAS said in a statement that: “On 10th November 2020, forces of SSPDF from Karpeto in Lobonok County attacked NAS tactical base and briefly managed to push NAS forces to make a tactical withdrawal,”
The group said it captured two RPG7 launchers, two PKM machine guns and six AK47 rifles.
“Several rounds of ammunition and shells were also captured in good condition. Two (2) NAS combatants were martyred and two (2) others sustained injuries.” it added.
The attack occurred at a time IGAD-mandated ceasefire monitors (CTSAMMV), government and South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOMA) met as a workshop in Rome, Italy.
“NAS condemns this uncalled for the attack which shows the intransigent of the regime of Salva Kiir and holds the government responsible for breach of the COHA [Cessation of Hostilities Agreement] and the Rome Declaration and any consequences of this cowardly attack,” it further stated.