Briefing a meeting of the Joint Defense Board in Juba, General Gabriel Jok Riak the Chief of Defense Forces (CDF) of the army said the emerging rebel group is being led by a woman.

“Another group is emerging under certain lady not yet confirmed…and now the lady is claiming leadership and they have divided forces between themselves,” Gen Riak said. The situation in Yei is alarming, the population is crying,” he added.

He also revealed that there was a report of clashes in Yei River State early Saturday morning but the army was yet to get more details from the ground.

There have been reports of insecurity in Yei for the last one week with the army blaming Thomas Cirillo’s National Salvation Front (NAS) for the insurgencies. Nas has a very strong presence in Yei River State. Last week, about 18 people were allegedly abducted by NAS forces in Yei River State on December 22 along the Kaya Road.

The NAS leader Thomas Cirillo did not sign the Revitalized Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) on 12 September 2018.

The CDF urged the international community to put pressure on Thomas Cirillo to abandon his activities and join the peace process.

The spokesperson of the SSPDF, Maj General Lul Ruai Koang told journalist in a press conference on Saturday that the military intelligence will work to get more information about the emerging rebel group in Yei River State.

“We do not yet have enough information on the new rebel group as well as its leader. We understand that she is a female leader, we don’t have a complete profile in terms of who she is, educational background, where she comes from,” Maj. Lul said.

He added that the CDF has admitted that there is an emerging rebel group in Yei, but the military intelligence will find out who is heading the group.

The army spokesperson said the security situation in Yei was getting complicated. “Initially it was NAS but now there is a new rebel movement emerging being led by a lady. We do not know where this female person is getting encouragement from, political and material support but something subversive is in progress in terms of security situation,” he added.

Maj. Lul however said the general security situation in the country is normal and that progress was being made for the peace partners to work together in all the committees and bodies of the agreement.

“Security situation has been stable in 29 out of 32 plus Abyei States,” he said.