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JUBA - 9 Sep 2019

Government and rebel NAS forces clash in Equatoria areas

The rebel National Salvation Front NAS led by General Thomas Cirilo has accused government forces and SPLA-IO forces led by former Vice President Riek Machar of attacking their positions in different parts of Equatoria region last Friday.

NAS spokesman Suba Samuel Manase told Radio Tamazuj on Sunday that government forces attacked their defensive positions in Lainya and Mukaya areas wounding two soldiers.

He claimed that his forces killed about 20 government forces and seized several weapons as well as military ammunition.

Samuel further claimed that SPLA-IO forces attacked their position in Mangala but no casualties were reported.

Responding to the accusations, the army spokesman Lul Ruai Koang confirmed the clashes in Lofugo and Mukaya County of Yei River State.

He claimed they launched attacks on NAS forces that were mining gold in the areas saying the gold is a national property.

"We went there and kicked them out because they were digging gold and selling it to buy weapons. We, as government soldiers, our mission is to preserve the lives and property of the country. The gold there is not the property of Thomas Cirilo, it belongs to the people of South Sudan," he added.

Ruai denied there were any casualties from government side during the attacks.