The National Salvation Front (NAS) has issued a press statement regarding recent and ongoing fighting with the South Sudan People’s Defence Force (SSPDF) in parts of Central Equatoria States. The Press Release which was extended to The Nile Chronicle, details the occurrence of attacks by the SSPDF against NAS positions in Liria and Lob’onok counties.

“On the 16th of July 2020, the SSPDF shelled and later attack NAS positions at Lowe in Liria area on the Juba-Torit road. NAS forces fought back in self-defence countering the enemy in two successful ambushes. In these ambushes five ((5) SSPDF soldiers were killed in action and many sustained injuries,” partly says the statement.

The Press Release further reports an attack by the SSPDF on NAS positions in Lob’onok County from 2 axis. One attack used the assembled forces at Mangat area at Arun junction through Muli to Nyarbanga. The other forces were from the direction of Lob’onok to Karpeto. NAS forces repulsed the attackers who were forced to retreat.

According to the statement, the SSPDF offensive is continuing and had already caused civilian displacement and humanitarian disaster in the affected areas. The statement further says the current offensive by the SSPDF was planned to displace civilians and dislodge NAS from the area.

Both parties had signed the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (CoHA) on 21/12/2017 in Addis Ababa, and the Rome Declaration that was signed on 20/01/2020, but the CoHA has since been repeatedly violated.