Monitoring and Early Warning Report on Violence in South Sudan #6.
On September 8, clashes were reported between the National Salvation Front (NAS) and the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF) in Loka West, Yei River State. According to a statement given by NAS to Sudan Tribune, “In both operations the enemy suffered losses in men and material. Twenty Five (25) SSPDF soldiers were killed in action and several others wounded.” It is not the first time that these two have engaged in an active conflict resulting in deaths. On Aug 22, 2019, Sudan Tribune reported a conflict between NAS and SSPDF that resulted in the death of 20 soldiers. According to the article, “The SSPDF left behind twenty (20) soldiers killed in action and large deposits of ammunition in good condition.” NAS, which is only active in areas of Greater Equatoria, is one of the many rebel movements that has refused to sign the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS.)
On September 7, 2019, a cattle raiding incident in Tonj State ended in the death of four people and 76 cows were stolen. According to Radio Tamazuj, “35 armed youths attacked eight traders and they killed four of them, while the others managed to escape and they are now fine.” On September 8, 2019, a communal dispute in Tonj State resulted in the death of 49 people. Although these attacks have not been confirmed as related, Tonj State has experienced an increase in insecurity. According to the UNMISS news site “The latest and a particularly vicious wave of attacks has reportedly claimed at least 49 lives, with another 44 persons being wounded and more than 3,000 people having been displaced.” Tensions are still high because of these continued attacks. In August 2019 UNMISS facilitated a tri-state peace and reconciliation conference with the objective “to address the root causes of conflict between cattle keepers in both Tonj and Gogrial and the farming community in Wau, and find a lasting solution to the problem.” UNMISS acknowledges that one of the challenges facing this agreement is “inter-communal misunderstandings that have sometimes led to deaths and injuries among the parties, mostly in Tonj.”