July 22, 2007
The Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) has denied Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) statements that didn’t withdraw from the Blue Nile and South Kordofan, saying all its troops had pulled out from these regions with the approval of the UN.
Spokesperson of the SAF, Gen. Brigadier Osman M. al-Aghbash angrily criticized statements by UNMIS spokesperson Radia Achouri saying SAF continues to maintain approximately 3,600 troops in Upper Nile State, in violation of the CPA. He further said UN turned a blind eye to the fact that SPLA has only completed of 7.9% of their redeployment per the CPA.
The SPLA’s Deputy Chief Commander, and member of the Joint Defense Council (JDC), Major General Bior Ajang Duot, told Akbar Alyoum newspaper that all of their troops have left the tBlue Nile and the Nuba Mountains and the Sudan Armed Forces’ claim that fifty seven thousand of SPLA’s troops still remain in these regions is simply untrue.
"The SPLA troops have withdrawn from Nuba Mountains on July 8, and from Blue Nile on July 9;" Gen. Bior said.
He added that the UN has verified the SPLA withdrawal. He also invited observers to visit areas where SPLA were stationed and the current barracks of these troops in southern Sudan.
Gen. Bior further requested the SAF to pull out its 3,600 troops from oil fields, indicating these fields have to be protected by the Joint Integrated Units and if there is a need for more troops this can be decided by the Joint Defense Council. He also said that there is SPLA troops in this area.
He further disclosed that the Joint Defense Council will meet within few days to discuss the withdrawal of the SAF from the oil fields. He added that the conclusion of this meeting will be submitted to Sudanese presidency to take the necessary measures.
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