January 5, 2007 (Sudan Tribune)
Sudan’s joint defence body today agreed on the need to redeploy southern Sudan army south to 1956 border in order to put an end to the current tension between the southern Sudan army and the Misseriya tribesmen.
In a meeting chaired by General Oyay Deng Ajak, the Joint Defence Board (JDB) agreed today to redeploy the Sudan People’s Liberation Army and the Arab Misseriya militia loyal to the SPLA south to Kiir River (Bahr al Arab), the official SUNA reported today.
General Ajak has ordered a fact-finding committee to travel to the area and probe the reasons behind the recent clashes, said JDB spokesperson, Maj-Gen Abdelrahman Mohamed Zayn.
He further said that Pagan Amum, cabinet affairs minister briefed the meeting on the situation in the areas where clashes occurred in Guerniti, al-Garafe and Um Shaira in western South Kordufan state.
A delegation from the national unity government headed by the minister of Defence, Abdelrahim Hussein and Pagan Amum visited South Kordufan this week and met with the SPLA and Misseriya tribal leaders.
The JDB meeting also adopted a plan to protect oil production areas. According to the spokesperson the joint integrated units will be charged with the outer circle security, while state police and security guarding machinery and wells.
Under the peace deal, the joint units are to patrol the area’s that produce Sudan’s vital 500,000 barrels of crude oil a day.
Gen. Zayn reaffirmed that northern Sudan troops would pull out of oil areas by January 9, and the joint units would take their place.
However he acknowledged that there are some financial shortages facing redeployment of troops from Western Equatoria and Bahr el-Gazal. He added the JDB wwill submit a request to the concerned authorities to obtain the necessary funds. Anso he urged the UN to contribute to the deployment of troops.
Elias Waya, SPLA Maj Gen. and JDB member told Reuters on Thursday that northern army officials had earlier said transport problems caused the missed deadline but were now citing the lack of special integrated units of northern and southern soldiers in the oil areas.
Zayn said that the joint north south military body decided to begin the training of the JIUs, it was decided to prepare a plan for joint training next March.
The next JDB meeting will be held in oil production areas or in Juba.
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