October 21, 2018 (JUBA) – South Sudan main armed opposition group, SPLM-IO, denied accusations by the National Salvation Front of Thomas Cirilo (NAS-TC) that they plan to attack three positions in Yei River State saying it aims to create a negative atmosphere to disturb peace enforcement.
Also, it dismissed claims by the FDP-SSAF that the SPLA-IO forces took their positions outside Nasir County in the Upper Nile region.
According to a statement released in the first hours of Sunday NAS-TC spokesperson, the holdout group said that the SPLA-IO fighters are heading to its positions in KajoKeji, Lainya and Loka of Yei River State.
“This is absolutely baseless and unfounded accusation made as a cover-up for their next systematic aggression against civilians in Yei River State,” said Lam Paul Gabriel SPLM-IO Deputy Spokesperson in a statement released on Sunday evening.
Gabriel added that NAS-TC has no presence in Kajo-Keji since October 20017, adding the remaining NAS-TC forces are now based in Mukaya from where they launched a recent attack on civilians in Minyori area where they killed about 17 civilians.
“It should be noted that NAS-TC is against the R-ARCSS that’s why they are always negative to a peaceful environment and want to instigate violence to disrupt the implementation of the R-ARCSS,” he stressed.
NAS-TC says they are committed to the cessation of hostilities of 21 December 2017 despite their rejection of the revitalized peace agreement.
SPLM-IO ACCUSED OF ATTACKS IN UPPER NILE
In a separate development, the Federal Democratic Party-South Sudan Armed Forces (FDP-SSAF), led by Gabriel Changson who is also the chairperson of the SSOA accused the SPLA-IO of attacking their position in at Kotkea near Nasir town of latjoor State in Upper Nile region.
In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune, the SFP-SSAF which is a signatory of the revitalized peace agreement said the assailants took the control of Kotkea and captured two of its commanders Major General Riek Gach Gatluak and Brigadier Ochan Nyuot.
“This unprovoked attack is part of a plan by the SPLM/A-IO to dislodge the Opposition forces from their locations so that they can claim to be the only Opposition force to deal with,” said the statement.
The opposition group condemned the attack pointing they had informed the SPLM-IO leadership of the preparations on the ground for the attack urging to stop it. Also, the called on the IGAD, Troika and the international community to press for the immediate release of the captured commanders and the withdrawal of the SPLA-IO forces from the area.
“The SPLA-IO calls upon the CTSAMM and UNMISS to immediately investigate this propaganda and bring those responsible to books,” said the FDP-SSAF.
However, SPLM-IO Deputy Spokesperson brushed aside the accusations saying the SSOA has no troops in the area.
“SSOA never had forces in Sobat area that we know of. The SPLA IO is only aware of the regime’s forces in Weiyardiw in Nasir. SSOA should stop negative propaganda against a peace partner and its leadership,” said Gabriel.