Home | News    Thursday 25 November 2010

South Sudan army denies supporting Darfur rebels

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By Ngor Arol Garang

November 24, 2010 (ABYEI) - The leadership of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) on Wednesday denied giving help to armed groups from Darfur who are fighting the Khartoum-based central government.

SPLA chief of staff James Hoth speaks in Juba (file/AFP)

Colonel Philip Aguer Panyang, official spokesman of the SPLA, in an interview with Sudan Tribune from the regional capital of Juba on Wednesday, said the southern army does not support any armed groups against the Sudanese government.

The former rebels, who became one of the official armies of Sudan under a 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, fought various northern government in Khartoum during over two decades of civil war.

For the last five years the two parties have shared power in a Government of National Unity and split the south’s oil revenue 50-50. But the implementation of the deal has been slow and acrimonious with most provisions running behind schedule including preparations for a referendum on southern independence due to take place in January 2011.

As the referendum in approaches tensions are rising between the signatories of the peace deal the SPLM – the political wing of the SPLA – and Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP).

On Wednesday Mandour Al-Mahdi, a senior NCP official accused the regional government of south Sudan to be sponsoring rebel groups from Darfur, who took up arms in 2003.

He said his party considers harboring Darfur rebels in southern Sudan "a declaration of war".He demanded the SPLM to remove urgently the rebel groups outside southern Sudan and to stop all the political and logistical support it provides to these movements.

But the SPLA’s spokesmen dismissed the allegations, claiming they were fabricated.

"We are not supporting any armed group. We have said this time and again yet reports with unfounded allegations continue to pop up here and there that we are supporting rebel group. Where are they? I repeat we are not supporting any armed group. These are just allegations fabricated by enemies of peace and stability of south Sudan," said Colonel Aguer.

The senior military officer in the regional army said they are fully committed to a continued cessation of hostilities between the south and the Sudan Armed Forces, controlled by the NCP.

"We are fully aware and honestly committed to the cessation of hostilities. So, the allegations that we are supporting rebels against the central government are false. Those giving these reports are liars. We are not supporting any rebel group," explained spokesman of the southern army.

Bol Makueng, the SPLM secretary for information, culture and communications in the south, also dismissed reports alleging that Darfuri rebels were using the south as a base to fight the central government.

"To the best of my knowledge, the government of south Sudan is not hosting let alone supporting any armed groups fighting the national government. Those giving you these reports that we are supporting rebels are lying else they wanted you to be part of their propaganda," said Makueng.

Mahdi said the Darfur rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) had moved its forces to the south to receive training.

On November 13 the northern air force injured eight people in southern territory, in a bombing attack that both the SPLA and NCP said was aimed at JEM soldiers who had crossed from Darfur into the southern state of Northern Bahr el Ghazal.

The SPLA official spokesman said they received apology from government for bombing across the border.

(ST)

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  • 25 November 2010 04:22, by Ajok Garang

    The SPLA is not supporting any rebel group in south Sudan but the only reason is that ,its an allegation with propaganda as explained by the spoke man ,if the South sudan was supporting any rebel group ,why don’t they support the LRA rebel of Uganda ? and this time it is our time for peace in South Sudan where we don’t need anyone to distablise South Sudan ,always if one has nothing to say in any competition ,he just put forward the lame excuse becuase he knows that he is going to loose the game as the NCP is doing .
    Every day the NCP has negative plan toward south Sudan but nothing will be hard to make the South Sudan an Independence country with all those baseless explanation .

    Ajok Garang ajok .

    • 25 November 2010 08:33, by Ezekiel Dau Nyoch

      If the SPLA was supporting Darfur rebels, the JEM wuold have been in Khartuom.Thanks to the spoke man for your good explaination.

  • 25 November 2010 12:03, by Sammy

    Come on National Careless Party, the world is no longer turning a blind eye on you, so just stop some senseless tricks that can be solved by kids. It sound funny to accuse innocence SPLM(the party of people), however, due to your narrow minded leaders,I am not surprised that you had forgotten that the Darfur people were with you when you claimed 2.5 million of mostly civilians in south. Is time to let the people of south go without any damage to your beautiful infrastructure that just reveals how nice you treats people of south.



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