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South Sudan rebels deny receiving military support from Sudan

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October 1, 2014 (JUBA) – South Sudanese rebels allied to former vice-president Riek Machar have dismissed reports that it received military and technical support from the government of neighbouring Sudan – from which the new nation seceded in 2011 – as “misleading propaganda”.

South Sudanese rebel fighters hold up their rifles as they walk in front of a bushfire in rebel-controlled territory in Upper Nile state on 13 February 2014 (Photo: Reuters)

Akol Madhan Akol, a senior member of the armed opposition faction under the overall command of General Dau Aturjong who allied himself and his group to Machar, said the allegations were a desperate attempt by the government to deflect attention from alleged secret deals made by both countries on post-secession issues and South Sudan’s support to Sudanese rebels.

“There is no truth in all this misleading propaganda. It is just [a] desperate attempt by the government to deflect attention from the support that it provides the Sudanese rebels,” Akol told Sudan Tribune on Wednesday.

He said it was common knowledge that Sudanese rebels were fighting alongside regular troops from the South Sudanese army (SPLA) and that Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) fighters were present in Western Bahr el Ghazal’s Raja county and Paloich in Upper Nile state.

“It is a known fact that the Justice and Equality Movement and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-North (SPLM/A-N) are still part of the government troops and this was why they fought us (rebels) in Unity state and Upper Nile,” he added.

Akol was reacting to reports quoting Sudan’s first vice-president, Bakri Hassan Saleh, in which he said that his regime “recognises the opposition liaison office in Sudan and asked [that] all organs be required to provide protection and security to them”.

“I met Riek Machar, Dhieu Mathok and Taban Deng Gai (lead rebel negotiator) and they are regretting the decision to separate the South and we decided to return his house to him. He (Riek Machar) requested us to assist him and that he has [a] shortage in military intelligence personnel, operations command and tank technicians. We must use the many cards we have against the South in order to give them [an] unforgettable lesson,” Saleh reportedly told a meeting of predominantly senior members of the Sudanese armed forces (SAF) in late August.

REBELS REQUESTED WEAPONS

SAF’s chief of joint general staff, first Lt. Gen. Hashim Abdalla Mohammed, who also attended the meeting, said that they would provide the support on the condition that SAF can agree on common objectives with pro-Machar rebels.

In the alleged minutes from the meeting Mohammed confirms that a request had been received from rebel forces for military training, equipment and advanced weaponry.

“We must change the balance of forces in South Sudan. Riek, Taban and Dhieu Mathok came and requested support in the areas of training in military intelligence, and especially in tanks and artillery,” Mohammad is quoted as reportedly saying.

“Our reply was that we have no objection, provided that we agree on a common objective. Then we [will] train and supply [rebels] with the required weapons.”

However, Akol refutes the authenticity of the alleged minutes of the meeting, in which senior members of the opposition movement are purportedly quoted as asking for military support from the Sudanese government.

“I would first and foremost like to say that the conflict is becoming a lucrative business and as such it becomes a source of living for some people who can just coin anything and come up with it so long as it reflects the interest of the government of [president] Salva Kiir,” he said.

“We know there are foreign firms and individuals who have signed up agreements with the government in Juba to provide [an] advocacy campaign against the [opposition] movement and the cause of our people, so I am not surprised to hear about such imaginary reports,” he added.

PEACE MISSION

According to Akol, the rebel leaders’ visit to Khartoum was part of a peace mission initiative by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which is mediating negotiations between the two warring parties.

“It is within this framework that our chairman (Machar) and some comrades started with Ethiopian authorities and went to Kenya, South Africa and Djibouti before he came to Khartoum. The same mission took our comrades to Uganda. And actually our comrades stayed in Uganda for longer period than the chairman had in Sudan. Does that mean Uganda provides support to us [too]?” he said.

“I think this is just an imaginary report to create confusion and it should be considered part of the misleading propaganda of the government through its international lobbying groups,” he added.

When asked to comment on the matter, a senior government official told Sudan Tribune on Wednesday that it was difficult to deny that Machar and his group had met with Sudanese officials in Khartoum.

He suggested it was possible the Sudanese government had deliberately leaked discussions that occurred at the meeting.

“You know, I am in the government and know how the system of government works. In the government there are things which are never disclosed to the public by the government officials. And if you want to test the general reaction of some of the issues discussed behind the door, one of the ways is leaking [information publicly],” he said.

“I am not saying this is what the government of Sudan has done in the case of this allegation. What I am saying is that it can be possible,” he added.

The cabinet minister also conceded that the report reflects the general feeling of most government officials based on the legacy of past wars with Sudan.

“If you go out to the street and ask the general views, I believe most people would agree with this allegation because of the legacy of the past civil wars with Sudan. You can actually see the question asked about the common objective as the condition for providing support as one of the evidences,” he said.

“What people ask now, what is that common objective that the government of Sudan wants to agree with [the] rebels of Riek Machar? A lot of interpretations have been made and some people have interpreted it to mean this common objective to unity of the country with Sudan or [to] make concessions of the disputed areas to the Sudanese government,” he added.

FIGHT FOR OIL

Anthony Sebit, a Juba-based political commentator, said it was difficult to deny or confirm the authenticity of the minutes as Sudan has not made any public comment on the matter.

“Regardless of the credibility of this allegation, none of us can be surprised considering the desperate situation in which the warring parties are. Each one of them tries to gain the edge over the other,” he said.

“It beats common sense to figure out what the opposition would do when they feel that the government receives external [assistance] in the conflict. They would certainly do the same regardless of the consequences provided that the end justifies the means,” he added.

Sebit also explained that objective of Sudan may not necessarily be intended to reunite the two countries, but could mean it is seeking to use South Sudanese rebels to take up positions in contested areas along the border.

He notes that the rebel faction is desperate to gain foreign support for its efforts to seize control of oil facilities given the South Sudanese government’s dependence on oil revenues to run state institutions and fund external military support.

(ST)

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  • 2 October 2014 08:36, by Lotodo Awino Odug

    Where do you get your munitions and jim three Sudan!? why your wounded militias receive treatments in Kosti? is that free love, or is it an agreement for later mutual benefits after dethrowning the Jaang in the South.

    • 2 October 2014 08:52, by Sobat Boy

      Stupid Jang, forget about border areas include Abya are gone case

    • 2 October 2014 11:17, by chuol

      Lotodo
      where do you want us to treat our wounded heroes that you considered as militias? Juba right?
      shame on you idiots for crying always in fear.

      Major General Simon Yien Deng Chuol and Major General Cdr James Koang Chuol Ranleel are currently in the out skirt of Paloich and Renk to make you cry more very soon.

      • 2 October 2014 15:56, by Rommel

        chuol:

        This isn’t the first time that you have had your ’war heroes’ treated in Khartoum... you’ve done that for decades. Khartoum is your ally [master] and so I don’t think that anyone is at all surprised that you’re going back to them like stray dogs.

      • 2 October 2014 18:01, by Lotodo Awino Odug

        YOUR HOPELESS MILITIAS NEVER CAME BACK FROM THE BUSHES WHEN THEY WERE FLUSHED OUT FROM MAJAK INTO A THICK JUNGLE INFESTED WITH KALAZAR VIRUSES.THOSE FROM DUNDUK AND GANGBAAR ALSO RAN AWAY FOR FEAR OF SPLA ADVANCEMENT.SO YOU MIGHT BE AT THE OUTSKIRT OF YOUR DRINKING TUNNELS SOME WHERE IN BOR.

  • 2 October 2014 08:43, by Nguntap

    Stupid KIIR,

    Why supporting rebel by Khartoum is a problem, when you are being supported by UPDF, SPLM -N, Dafurain Rebel, Egypt, Rwanda, Congo and many others are fighting alongside government!?

    Do you wants rebels to fight you with stick or spear!? Recently, China has consign weapons worth million $ for the government to fight rebel....why not rebel get the support from elsewhere..

    • 2 October 2014 08:57, by Lotodo Awino Odug

      Nungtap, Iam not Kiir, Only Ateny Weng the beer tester and Majok Atem water boy could write full sentences, Kiir himself can’t write a full sentence just to let you know.

    • 2 October 2014 16:18, by Rommel

      Nguntap:

      You people seem to have a penchant for exaggeration. There is no evidence that SPLM-N, Egypt, Rwanda or Congo have involved themselves in this war. You people were defeated during the war despite the inordinate support that you received from the SAF, PDF and the Murahaleen.

      • 2 October 2014 16:19, by Rommel

        There are no Egyptian military forces operating in South Sudan. That’s another one of your many lies. Even Riek has denied that Egyptian military units are at all present in South Sudan. Is Riek lying? Here’s a source: http://www.turkishpress.com/news/403952/

      • 3 October 2014 09:06, by Nguntap

        Rommel,

        Rwanda & Congo wore UPDF uniform during 1 - 2nd weeks of fighting around Bor when rebels were matching to Juba and were very close to Juba (in Mangala), that time when imbecile Kiir run up and down looking foreign troops to rescue him for Machar. Had he failed to bring UPDF (Uganda, Rwanda and Congo), he couldn’t have been a president now in Juba. But my question to you is, where are Dink

        • 3 October 2014 10:02, by Rommel

          Nguntap:

          The above is an example of ad nauseam fallacy. Ad nauseam fallacy -> repeating claims as if repetition were proof. You are simply attempting to foster a lie by repetition. The reason why this is a flaw in reasoning is that the validity or truth of an idea has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with how often the idea is repeated...

          • 3 October 2014 10:13, by Rommel

            ... You can repeat something dozens of times and it will still be false, while a truth remains a truth even if it is stated only once. There is no evidence that Rwanda and Congo [which one?] are at all involved. Salva Kiir is your greatest ally. You really should be thanking him. He integrated tens of thousands of Khartoum compliant Nuer militiamen...

            • 3 October 2014 10:20, by Rommel

              .. To the obscene extent that you became the majority [a purported 70%] of the army that you fought against for decades. The fact that you were the majority in the army explains why you were successful in the initial stages of the conflict.

              • 3 October 2014 10:21, by Rommel

                The people who actually fought the war against Khartoum largely went home in 2006, and on the one (1) year anniversary of this evanescent peace, they graciously permitted the return of Khartoum’s wretched weasels, snakes and dogs... Snakes and dogs that quite unfortunately became the majority in our armed forces in 2006, even though they were Khartoum’s witless lackeys during the war...

                • 3 October 2014 10:27, by Rommel

                  When Khartoum’s artillery guns and aircraft bombarded the Dinka for thirteen [13] years following your defection, operating in tandem with your militias on the ground... Was that fair!? Well, was it!? Or do you suppose that you are entitled to an exemption from the demands of a moral code that you don’t actually prescribe to!?

                  • 3 October 2014 10:28, by Rommel

                    Throughout the fighting, not one war casualty was admitted to the Nasir hospital. Riek’s troops sat idle as Khartoum pushed back the Dinka. The results of Riek’’s sell-out to Khartoum could not have been more glaring. The Dinka suffered mightily. (Me Against My Brother: At War in Somalia, Sudan and Rwanda, Scott Peterson)

                    • 3 October 2014 10:46, by Rommel

                      .. That’s a drop in the ocean in comparison with what Khartoum did for you. The Dinka had to contend with an enemy [your erstwhile ally], that was well furnished with a palette of destructive weaponry and over 100, 000 men, accompanied by bombers, jets, and helicopter gunships...

                      • 3 October 2014 10:46, by Rommel

                        I can’t believe that you people wish to complain about only three [3] to four [4] thousand Ugandan soldiers when Khartoum deployed its entire army against us during the civil war. You are in no position to talk, because for well over a decade we suffered tremendously as a consequence of your alliance with Khartoum. We lost hundreds of thousands of people...

  • 2 October 2014 15:34, by Kim Deng

    Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon’s army has right to get help and/or make alliance with anyone including the Devil himself. Additionally, it’s up to Mighty Nuer Warrriors to take greater Upper Nile wherever they want.

    • 2 October 2014 15:50, by Rommel

      Kim Deng:

      You’re not ’mighty’, and Greater Upper Nile isn’t yours to give to Khartoum. We weren’t all stooges of Khartoum during the war and so Greater Upper Nile will not be going ’wherever’ you want.

  • 2 October 2014 19:43, by Northern Sudanese

    If it is true that kiir is supporting sudanese rebels then I wouldn’t mind NCP supportng machar in the south.

    out of topic I got a question, what level has Ebola reached in South Sudan? I think this virus is much more dangerous than this war. west africa is expecting 1.4 million infections by january, what about south sudan?

    • 3 October 2014 05:20, by Paul

      You are right, Ebola is much scarier than any wars, but don’t worry if it happens here, you will received your fair share as mighty river Nile will carry the fearsome virus north.

      • 3 October 2014 08:35, by Northern Sudanese

        i don’t think water travels the disease, i heard that its through bush animals or humans. liberia and sierra leone citizens are currently literally banned from all travel.if it reaches that stage in south sudan then you might see a similar thing.

        btw , do south sudanese consume bush meat like meat of forest animals?

        • 3 October 2014 11:19, by Rommel

          Northern Sudanese:

          South Sudanese are agro-pastoralists and are thus mostly reliant upon their herds. Some communities [mostly in Equatoria] eat ’bush meat’. I’ve heard that the meat of certain apes is consumed. The Dinka, Nuer and the Shilluk > people with a common origin, rarely eat bush meat, and when we do, it’s usually a gazelle.

    • 3 October 2014 06:13, by Rommel

      Northern Sudanese:

      Please, both sides have been supporting each others rebels for quite some time now. Former rebels like the now defunct South Sudan Democratic Movement/Army (SSDM/A), the SSDM/A-Cobra faction and the South Sudan Liberation Army (SSLA) admitted that they received military assistance from Khartoum before they were integrated into the SPLA. There is no evidence of Ebola.

      • 3 October 2014 08:39, by Northern Sudanese

        ok i accept your view on rebels.

        but about ebola, i have been hearing that in south sudan since before the crisis in west africa even though not at that scale. i never took it serious because i thought it was the same just as any other disease.

        • 3 October 2014 09:54, by Rommel

          Northern Sudanese:

          There was talk [rumour] of a possible Ebola outbreak in Western Bahr el Ghazal but nothing has been substantiated so far. South Sudan is ’governed’ [if one were to be kind] by people who aren’t even qualified to run a small soup kitchen let alone a ’country’, and so it would be nothing short of catastrophic if Ebola did make its way to South Sudan.

  • 3 October 2014 17:30, by Kim Deng

    "I can’t believe that you people wish to complain about only three [3] to four [4] thousand Ugandan soldiers when Khartoum deployed its entire army against us during the civil war. You are in no position to talk, because for well over a decade we suffered tremendously as a consequence of your alliance with Khartoum."

  • 3 October 2014 17:37, by Kim Deng

    According to Rommel’s statements, the Dinka were defeated in 1990s because the Nuer were ally to Khartoum. But at this time, the Nuer are defeated because the Uganda army forces are Dinka ally. When there be a war between pure Jaang vs Nuer?

  • 3 October 2014 17:43, by Kim Deng

    Even in 1800s, the British waged war against Might Nuer Warriors on behalf of defending Dinkaland occupation.

    • 3 October 2014 17:53, by Rommel

      Kim Deng:

      Pretend for a moment that you’re not retarded, because I’m going to try to educate you. Where have I said that the Dinka were defeated in the 90s? Where did you get that from, you illiterate ape? I said that we suffered as a consequence of your alliance with Khartoum. We fought you and your masters. I said nothing of defeat.

      • 3 October 2014 17:59, by Rommel

        After clearing you from our lands, we made it to Uror, Akobo, Nyirol, Yuai and Ayod. I don’t know what more you wanted us to do to you after defeating you in your own lands. I don’t see how my admission that my people suffered fighting on multiple fronts against an array of enemies amounts to an admission of defeat. It’s a badge of honor, but you wouldn’t know anything about that, o Arab slave.

        • 3 October 2014 18:00, by Rommel

          The Dinka as a whole didn’t consort with the British so as to establish an alliance. Only one Dinka section [Duk] worked with the British after they came under attack from the combined force (s) of multiple Nuer sections. By contrast, how many Nuer sections joined Khartoum? Virtually all of you joined with the Arabs.

          • 3 October 2014 19:16, by Rommel

            The fact of the matter is that the Dinka did resist both the Turks and the British. A wealth of information attesting to this can be sourced from the archives and in particular a great book aptly titled, ’Dinka resistance to condominium rule’. The Aliap Dinka fought the British quite extensively under Kon Anok.



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