Sudanese army deploys troops in South Kordofan, SPLM says
December 5, 2008 (ST)
The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) condemned today the Sudanese army for deploying troops in southern Kordofan saying the move constitutes a breach of a peace deal signed in 2005.
The Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) had deployed more than six battalions in the past three weeks in the province of South Kordofan, said Yein Matthew a SPLM spokesperson told the reporters today in Juba.
The spokesperson of the southern Sudan ruling party further added that the Sudanese army informed Juba that the purpose of the troop build-up is to repel an eventual attack by the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) in the area.
But Matthew underscored that such military operation could be carried by the Joint Integrated Units, which are supposed to be the nucleus of the future Sudanese national army if the result of the 2011 referendum is for the unity f the country.
Salva Kiir Maydrit had instructed last May the SPLA units in Khartoum to defend the capital against an attack carried by the rebel JEM last May.
Since the restoration of relations between Sudan and Chad there were rumours and speculations about a possible attack by JEM rebels aiming to control a big town in Darfur or southern Kordofan in order to consolidate the position of the rebel movement before the peace talks.
Matthew said this troops build-up was a clear violation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended more than tow decades of war in southern Sudan.
In accordance with the CPA, SAF forces were to be reduced to pre-war levels in South Kordofan, one of three "transitional areas" bordering the south where large sections of the population supported the former rebel SPLA during the war.
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