SAF Denies Bombarding South Sudan Territory
Khartoum – The Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) denied that Sudanese warplanes have bombed areas at the border with South Sudan as claimed by the South Sudan delegation to negotiations in Bahr Dar in Ethiopia.
Sudanese Defence Minister and Chairman of the Joint Political and Security Committee Lt. Gen. Abdul Rahim Mohamed Hussein informed the African mediation headed by Thabo Mbeki that SAF did not carry out any bombardment, saying what happened was that a buildup of the Darfur rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) was targeted north 1.1.1956 in Bahr el Arab.
SAF spokesperson Col. Al-Sawarmi Khalid Saad considered the presence of SPLA north of 1.1.1956 borderline as flagrant violation of the UNSC resolution 2046 and also a violation of what was agreed upon in Addis Ababa recently between Sudan and South Sudan particularly cessation of hostilities.
The claim of the South Sudan delegation that SAF bombarded their territory is unfounded, Col. Al-Sawarmi said, pointing out that the presence of SPLA north of 1.1.1956 borderline is clear violation of agreements.
South Sudan delegation to talks in Addis Ababa announced suspension of direct negotiations with Sudan, alleging Sudanese warplanes have bombed their territory.
In statement, the Sudanese delegation refuted South Sudan's claims. "The bombing carried out day before yesterday occurred in Um Ajajah area and it targeted JEM rebels moving from South Sudanese territory into Sudanese territory" the statement said.
The statement indicated that the Sudanese delegation had already alerted AU chief mediator Thabo Mbeki and South Sudan chief negotiator Pagan Amum about the fact that JEM rebels were moving from South Sudan towards Sudan and that if they enter Sudan territory Khartoum would deal with them in a decisive manner and that what has actually taken place.
The Sudanese delegation affirmed it was determined to lodge an official complaint to the mediation over the JEM military buildup, saying part of JEM forces crossed the border into the South while some are still on Sudanese territory.
In a related development, AUHIP issued a press statement on the issue clarifying the event and affirming that the two parties confirmed their determination to honour their commitments, hence agree to continue their negotiations without interruption, bearing in mind that, as confirmed by the AU PSC Roadmap and UNSC Resolution 2046, they meet under the auspices of the AUHIP.
By Zuleikha Abdul Raziq, 21/07/2012