South Sudan denies support to Sudanese armed groups

April 6, 2018 (Sudan Tribune)

South Sudanese presidential spokesperson Friday denied accusations by Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir that Juba continues to harbour and support armed groups that seek to overthrow his regime.

"That is a nightmare. South Sudan has no reason completely to harbour rebels. We are looking forward to returning security to our country," said Ateny Wek Ateny President Salva Kiir’s spokesperson.

The South Sudanese official further explained that the insecurity along the 2000 kilometre border between the two countries enables the Sudanese rebels to cross illegally into the troubled country.

"Insecurity has given insurgents chance to cross into South Sudan at their own will. We are gaining momentum as our forces are moving to address the issue," he added.

Al-Bashir made his accusations on Thursday when he was speaking in Kosti of the White Nile State, not far from the border. However, he stressed that his government would continue to support the regional efforts to end the civil war in South Sudan.

UN reports say armed groups from Darfur region have generally moved to Libya where they joined the eastern Libya based forces of Gen Khalifa Haftar but the SPLM-N rebels continue to use the South Sudanese territory for logistical supplies.

The presence of Sudanese armed groups in South Sudan was one the reasons that led to the deterioration of bilateral relations between Juba and Washington which was the major supporter of the young nation.

Khartoum and Juba are working to operationalize the border demilitarized zone agreed in September 2012 with the support of UN and African Union, but some South Sudanese local authorities are still resisting the process saying Sudan would take advantage and capture the disputed border areas.


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