South Sudan holdout group rejects CTSAMVM claims of violating ceasefire

(JUBA) - The National Salvation Front (NAS) rejected Saturday statements by the head of the ceasefire monitoring body (CTSAMVM) who accused the group of violating the cessation of hostilities agreement and cast doubts about the neutrality of the mechanism.

In a speech delivered before the CTSAMVM board members on 26 March, Gen Desta Abiche Ageno accused NAS fighters of committing a number of attacks stressing they clearly violated the Agreement on Cessation and Hostilities (ACOH) of 21 December 2017.

"The SSPDF in reaction also violated the ACOH by failing to give CTSAMVM prior notification of its movement. It is becoming increasingly important to resolve the issue of the NAS forces of Thomas Cirillo and other armed groups operating in Greater Equatoria," he emphasized.

Reacting to these statements, NAS Spokesperson Suba Samuel Manase said the statements of the CTSAMVM head were "false, misleading, and should be rejected in the strongest terms".

Manase pointed an accusing finger to the South Sudanese government forces saying NAS fighters resisted only attacks against their positions and reported the matter to the IGAD and the CTSAMVM.

He went further to wonder about the basis of these claims, underscoring that IGAD monitors had been denied access to the areas of clashes by the government as the acknowledged that.

"NAS would like to know the verification procedure of CTSAMVM, and if at all there is a third party on whom CTSAMVM is relying on for information," he further stressed after saying that no monitors have come to their positions since the beginning of the implementation of the peace agreement.

He concluded his statement by inviting the IGAD-led monitoring mechanism to meet them to discuss modalities of working together on monitoring of violations.

Source: Sudan Tribune

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