YEI – The offensive launched by the forces of National Salvation Front (NAS) on the densely populated SPLM/A (IO) liberated areas at Bori, Sokare and Kirwa in Kajo-Keji County was marked by their indiscriminate attacks on civilians.
The attack which was directly commanded by Lt. Gen. John Kenyi Lo-Buron started on the afternoon of Tuesday, 17-10-2017 when SPLA-IO forces under Brig. Gen. Moses Lokujo, Commander of Brigade 3, Division 2B of Sector 8 were on a self-defense mission repulsing Juba regime forces who attempted to infiltrate our positions at Kansuk. The offensive showed shocking disregard for civilian lives and their property as they indiscriminately attacked areas where thousands of civilians including Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) had settled and were busy carrying out farming and other livelihoods recovery activities.
They also rampaged through the residence of the SPLM/A (IO) Commissioner of Kajo-Keji County where they killed three civil servants and abducted several others alongside some SPLA-IO soldiers on ground that they were linked with the people’s movement in the area.
In the process, they massively displaced civilians mostly women and children; looted and destroyed their property including medical facilities.
This unjustified aggression on areas settled by civilians has sparked a dire humanitarian situation; resulting into mass exodus of IDPs either to the nearby SPLM/A (IO) corridors or the refugee camps in the neighboring Uganda.
To that effect, the SPLM (IO) government in Yei River State humbly appeals to the humanitarian agencies and individuals of goodwill to urgently deliver humanitarian relief to the victims of this useless aggression.
The simultaneous attacks on our positions by both SPLA-IG and NAS forces has clearly portrayed the latter as a counterinsurgency force of the regime in Juba. They coordinate their activities against SPLA-IO to supposedly weaken and neutralize the liberation struggle not only in Yei River State, but also the whole of Equatoria region.
We Therefore, reiterate our call to NAS leadership to recall that Lt. Gen. John Kenyi Lo-Buron together with his forces were once with us and we treated one another in the spirit of comradeship until when he and some few forces declared defection to NAS which we respected as their right of choice.
With regards to this renewed attack, we relentlessly urge the leadership of NAS to halt its attacks that fail to differentiate between an enemy force, ally or civilians. If the reason for the birth of NAS was to be an opposing force against Juba regime as part of resistance to salvage South Sudan, then it is unwarranted to launch attacks against a movement that is actively resisting the failed regime of the Jieng Council of Elders since 2013.
Lt. Col. Wayi Godwill Edward
Spokesperson, Office of the Governor
Yei River State.