At least three army instructors in the South Sudan People’s Defense Force (SSPDF) and 26 civilians were abducted by the rebel group National Salvation Front (NAS).
Lul Ruai Koang, SSPDF spokesman told Xinhua that the soldiers who are part of the unified army instructors that passed out in October last year were abducted by NAS on Jan. 17 at Kulipapa area 45 km west of Juba.
“I would like to inform you that on Jan. 17 at a place called Kulipapa, three soldiers from SSPDF went out of their military post to go and burn charcoal for fuel, and they were abducted. They are actually part of the unified forces of instructors trained last October,” Koang said on Tuesday in Juba.
He revealed that the abducted soldiers include two sergeants and one corporal.
These soldiers were supposed to travel to Malakal in the Upper Nile region to undertake the training of unified forces who are expected to form part of the 83,000 unified force according to the signed 2018 revitalized peace deal.
Koang also disclosed that NAS on Jan. 23 also abducted 26 civilians in the Rasolo area between Yei River state and Maridi state where the rebel group which refused to sign the 2018 peace deal is active.
“There is nothing we could do regarding these abductions. We would rather appeal to the international community to secure the release of the abducted soldiers along with the civilians,” said Koang.
NAS refused to sign the revitalized peace deal to end the more than five years of conflict since the outbreak in December 2013, as it called for a renegotiation of the peace pact to include a federal system of governance. Enditem