African team to verify the harbouring of Sudanese rebels in South Sudan

July 12, 2013 (Sudan Tribune)

An African Union delegation will arrive in the South Sudanese capital, Juba, in the next few days to verify the alleged harbouring of Sudanese rebels that are fighting the Khartoum government in the two areas of South Kordofan and Blue Nile and Darfur region.

In a meeting on Friday chaired by the country's vice-president, Riek Machar, leaders of various concerned ministries and security agencies were directed to make the necessary preparations for the reception of the delegation of the African Union High Implementation Panel (AUHIP) as well as cooperate with them.

Key ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defence, Interior, Justice, Petroleum and Mining and the Office of the President as well as the military Chief of General Staff and the General Inspector of Police; senior officials of the military intelligence and national security, all participated in the preparatory meeting.

South Sudanese minister of information and the official spokesperson of the government, Barnaba Marial Benjamin, told reporters that the meeting was a follow-up on the full implementation of the Cooperation Agreements signed in September last year by the two countries.

He said the AU delegation will come to verify Sudan's accusations that South Sudan was harbouring the Sudanese rebels.

Marial further added that they will also discuss issues on the border centrelines, adding that South Sudan had already accepted the over 150 coordinates as identified on the map by the African Union team.

He further explained that the meeting also discussed a new letter written on 7th July by the Sudanese President Omer Al-Bashir which continues to put pressure on South Sudan on the 60 days ultimatum of oil shutdown plan as Khartoum insists that Juba was harbouring and supporting the rebels.

Leading members of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) living abroad in east African countries took part in recent meetings held from 27 to 5 July in South Kordofan. Khartoum accused Juba of facilitating the gathering.

Ali Osman Taha was expected to participate in the celebration of the second anniversary but Khartoum at the last moment sent agriculture minister.

Taha and Machar after a series of joint meetings in Khartoum on 30 and 1 July issued a joint statement reiterating the two parties' commitment to the security arrangements agreement and to not support rebel groups from both sides.

Juba has been rejecting the allegations of supporting SPLM-N and SRF rebels generals, and instead counter-accused Khartoum of supporting its rebels including David Yau Yau in the troubled Pibor county of Jonglei state.


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