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NAS attacks decline- CTSAMVM report

By William Madouk


Attack incidents in South Sudan by the National Salvation Front (NAS) allied to Gen. Thomas Cirilo has decreased, a report revealed.

Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (CTSAMVM) disclosed this during opening of technical committee (CTC) meeting on Thursday.

Chairperson of the committee, Maj-Gen Hailu Gonfa Edossa said the decline in NAS attacks could be due to the recent shifting of allegiance by its top commander.

“In recent months, CTSAMVM has recorded a decrease in the number of incidents attributed to NAS,” said Edossa during the 38th CTC Board Meeting in Juba.

“Last July, a senior NAS commander changed allegiance to the government, which might explain this,” he added.

However, Gen. Edossa added that NAS remains in the field and the provisions of the Rome agreement have yet to be realized.

On June 26, 2023, the Thomas Cirilo outfit suffered a severe blow when one of its top commanders, Brig-Gen. Kennedy Kenyi Abdo, better known as ‘Kenyi Warrior, joined government under President Salva Kiir.

Kenyi called for an end to bloodshed across the country, adding that he made the decision for the sake of civilians who are suffering violence.

He also allured other renegades to abandon the rebellion and join the government.

Moreover, the ceasefire monitoring body expressed concern about movement and access throughout the country.

“It appears there has been a proliferation of checkpoints on both the Nile and on some roads. There is evidence that access to revenue from these checkpoints, particularly on the Nile, has been the cause of friction.

The chair of the CTSAMVM also waved a red flag over the reports of increased criminality on some roads.

“Inter-communal violence continues to disrupt the lives of many, particularly in Jonglei State. There have also been issues in Jur River County in Western Bahr el Ghazal State.”

“Inter-communal violence does not fall within the mandate of CTSAMVM, but we continue to monitor it in case of any overlap with the R-ARCSS,” he explained.

Recently, President William Ruto of Kenya extended letters to the leaders of the Non-Signatory South Sudan Opposition Group (NSSOG) about his government’s readiness to mediate peace talks.

On December 20, 2023, President Salva Kiir asked Ruto to mediate the talks between holdout groups and the government, as Minister of Presidential Affairs Joseph Bakasoro confirmed to the media earlier.

On the other hand, the South Sudan United Front/Army (SSUF/A), under Gen. Paul Malong Awan, backed up the decision, but the National Salvation Front (NAS), under Gen. Thomas Cirilo, and Pagan Amum rejected the initiative, citing that Nairobi is not safe.

The holdout groups include Real SPLM, led by Pagan Amum; the National Salvation Front (NAS) of Thomas Cirilo; the South Sudan United Front (SSUF/A), led by Paul Malong; and the National Democratic Movement-Patriotic Front (NDM-PF) of Emmanuel Ajawin.

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