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Activist condemns armed clashes in Yei

Author: Garang Abraham | Published: Wednesday, May 6, 2020

File: Some displaced people from Mukaya, Yei River County | Credit | facebook/John Bida

A civil society activist has condemned the ongoing military confrontations between the government and some armed opposition groups in Yei County, Central Equatoria State.

On Tuesday, a community leader in Kupera area accused the SPLA-IO of forceful displacement of people who had just returned from refugee camps in Uganda.

Batali Oliver told Eye Radio that hundreds of people who voluntarily returned from Uganda were told to leave their homes by the main armed opposition group, SPLA-IO.

The claim was rejected by SPLA-IO military spokesperson, saying they don’t have forces in the area.

Other reports showed that the National Salvation Front, an armed opposition group under Gen. Thomas Cirilo, is said to be active in those areas.

In an exclusive interview with Eye Radio on Wednesday, the executive director for Community Empowerment for Progress Organization said the military confrontations amongst suspected SPLA-IO, SSPDF, and NAS forces are a violation of the Rome Declaration.

Edmund Yakani called on the parties to stop the hostilities and reconsider implementing the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement.

“We strongly condemn the ongoing military confrontations between the forces of SPLA-IO, SSPDF, and NAS around areas of Yei, Lainya, or Morobo,” said Edmund Yakani.

“This is really contradictory to the Rome Declaration where the parties signed the declaration that compelled the peace parties to adhere to the provision of cessation of hostilities agreement that means from day one when they signed the declaration, they are supposed not to confront each other because they have declared ceasefire among themselves.”

In January this year, the South Sudan Opposition Movement Alliance or SSOMA leaders signed the Rome Declaration with the government of South Sudan.

But armed clashes have occurred in Mukaya Payam of Yei County late last month, displacing hundreds of civilians to Yei town.

Observers say government soldiers targeted forces of the National Salvation front – a member of the SSOMA.

But the SSPDF has denied engaging in clashes in the area, saying civilians fled due to the presence of the army.

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