Sixty-one (61) government soldiers killed. Three (3) vehicles and one (1) armored Personnel Carrier (APC) destroyed. Forty-three (43) AK 47 rifles, two (2) 12.7 machine-guns, nine (9) RPG-7 and different assorted ammunition captured.
The National Salvation Front (NAS) has announced that it has effectively defeated and neutralized the first phase of the joint SSPDF and SPLA IO military offensive,” and hope that Kiir and his allies learn that “the futile offensive and the subsequent defeat sends a clear message that military [superiority] will never defeat human desire for freedom and justice.”
The announcement, that was issued in a press release on May 15, went on to detail series of defeats the enemy and their proxies suffered in their futile, unnecessary and ill-advised military offensive.
“The Leadership of National Salvation Front (NAS) would like to inform its members, supporters, the people of South Sudan and members of International Community on the latest development in the joint South Sudan Defense Forces (SSPDF) and Sudan people’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO) in Central, Western Equatoria and Pibor area,” reads the statement.
“On 14th May 2020, the joint SSPDF and SPLA IO offensive force advancing towards NAS mobile bases in Loka West and Conkart, was defeated and repulsed. The SPLA-IO components of this joint operation comprising of two hundred (200) men deserted their locations after extreme siege and attacks. This force killed four (4) civilians while fleeing in disarray back to Panyume,” declares the press statement.
“The SSPDF force under the command of Maj. Gen. Valentino withdrew back to Loka and Lainya at night under the cover of darkness. The remaining force under the command of Brig. Gen. Mach got scattered in the forest, lost command and are being pursued and hunted down by NAS Arrow Rangers,” reported NAS Spokesperson Suba Samuel.
Suba has extended condolence messages to the families, friends and relatives of five (5) revolutionary martyrs and has praised the sacrifice of nine (9) wounded liberators who are receiving medical attention.
“In Mukaya Payam the SSPDF also suffered defeat and were repulsed; and in Jambo (Western Equatoria), the enemy was also defeated and repulsed on the May 04,2020. On 13th May 2020, in Greater Pibor Area, the SSPDF attacked a small mobile contingent of NAS in Boma County. NAS force fought back and repulsed the attackers,” Suba explained.
“…the first phase offensive of the joint SSPDF and SPLA IO military being neutralized..”
This is the first phase of many planned offensives by the regime in Juba and Suba says “the joint SSPDF and SPLA IO military first phase offensive is being neutralized and the forces are retreating to their bases though they are still attacking our forces around Loka.”
NAS says the message to the regime is loud and clear— “military might will never defeat human desire for freedom and justice. NAS urges the Juba regime to seek the path of genuine dialogue to deliver a just and sustainable peace through addressing the root causes of the conflict in the country.”
The Leadership of NAS has congratulated its Commanders: Gen. John Kenyi Loburon, NAS Deputy Chief of Staff for Training and overall Commander of Equatoria Command; Gen. Khalid Ono, Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics; Maj. Gen. Zachariah Abdalla, Commander of Central Equatoria Area Command; Maj. Gen. Ramadan, Commander of Yei Area Command; Maj. Gen. Nyambi Nichanora, Commander of Jambo Area Command (Western Equatoria), all officers and other ranks.
Suba however, added that “all NAS forces are ordered to remain vigilant and continue defending the innocent civilians.”
NAS reiterates its commitment to the Cession of Hostilities Agreement (CoHA) signed on 21st December 2017 in Addis Ababa Ethiopia, and to the Rome Declaration signed on 20th January 2020 signed in Rome, Italy. NAS, however, reserves the right to self-defense.