South Sudanese army accused of displacing civilians in Equatoria region

(JUBA) – The South Sudanese army continues to massively displace civilians in Central and Western Equatoria States, said the National Salvation Front (NAS) in a statement released on Saturday.

The holdout group recently accused the government forces of attacks on its positions in Central Equatoria and joint military operation with the SPLA-IO in Western Equatoria. It also said that civilians have been targeted because they are accused of supporting NAS fighters.

“NAS urges members of International Community and international humanitarian organizations to closely monitor this worrying development and hold the government responsible for the suffering they are inflicting on civilians,” reads the statement.

The group further said the army has closed all the roads and denied access to the UNMISS peacekeepers who are mandated with the protection of civilians.

“The cancellation of movement of UNMISS and NGOs is to provide cover for this planned offensive and to deny UNMISS as well as NGOs access to areas and evidence of the humanitarian catastrophe in the making and the atrocities of the SSPDF- SPLA IO on civilians,” said the group.

Earlier this year, NAS and its allied groups of the SSOMA, an alliance of the non-signatory groups of the revitalized peace agreement, have signed the Rome Declaration committing them and the government to negotiate a political settlement to the conflict.

They also recommitted themselves to the cessation of hostilities agreement of 21 December 2017.

 

Source: Sudan Tribune