April 11, 2015 (JUBA) – South Sudan has issued an official statement directly accusing neighbouring Sudan of hosting, training, arming and providing logistical support to the country’s armed opposition under the leadership of former vice-president Riek Machar.
Last Wednesday the South Sudanese officials have accused the Sudanese army of bombarding civilians in Western and Northern Bahr el Ghazal states. They further said four civilians were killed in the raids.
Khartoum which used to accuse Juba supporting rebel groups recently issued several warning to the South Sudanese government saying they would not compromise on security issues. But, The Sudanese army remained silent and didn’t react to the recent accusations.
In its regular cabinet meeting chaired by president Salva Kiir on Friday, the government resolved to issue a statement condemning an attack by the Sudanese air force in the border states of Western and Northern Bahr el Gazal, describing the incident as a violation of international law.
Speaking after the cabinet meeting, information minister Michael Makuei Lueth said Sudan’s actions were clearly aimed at sabotaging international efforts for peaceful coexistence between the two neighbouring states.
“Sudan wants to transfer its internal problems by trying to make unfounded allegations to justify the cause for these attacks and the killing of innocent people,” Lueth told reporters.
“This belligerent act is a clear indication that Sudan wants to take advantage of the current war of Riek Machar, which is unacceptable. It is an activity aimed at undermining the independence and sovereignty of the Republic of South Sudan and the stability between the two nations,” he added.
Lueth also claimed that the South Sudanese government has evidence which proves the involvement of Sudan in supporting and harbouring rebels allied to Machar.
“We have been patient for so long while Sudan continues to train, host and provide arms and logistical support to the rebels of Riek Machar,” he said.
“This is a clear act of sabotage and interference in the internal affairs of another country, which is unacceptable under the international law,” he added.
He also said Sudan’s actions were a slap in the face of the United Nations, the African Union and member countries of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
While South Sudan has warned Sudan over further provocations, it stopped short of threatening retaliatory action.
In a separate briefing, South Sudanese army (SPLA) spokesperson Colonel Philip Aguer told reporters that military forces deployed in border areas with Sudan are on maximum alert.