30 August 2012

Sudan Says Foiled Rebels' Attempt to Smuggle Arms Into Capital

Khartoum — Local security authorities in Sudan's central state of White Nile announced on Thursday that they have captured a truck full of arms belonging to the rebel Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) as it crossed from the neighboring of South Kordofan en route to the capital Khartoum.

The director of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) in White Nile, Colonel Khalid Al-Aqeed, said in a press conference that the attempt to smuggle arms into Khartoum is part of a plan to undermine the security and stability of the country. He said that the truck was monitored by security authorities since it began moving from a "neighboring country", in a veiled reference to South Sudan which Khartoum accuses of backing the rebels.

White Nile State is bordered by Khartoum to the north and South Kordofan to the south, where SRF rebels are mostly active. The state also shares borders with South Sudan's northern state of Upper Nile.

The NISS official gave a count of the caught arms saying that 70 Kalashnikov rifles were found in the fuel tanker of the truck. He added that the driver was offered a price of 400 Sudanese pounds per piece to transport the arms.

In March Sudan closed its borders with South Sudan and banned cross-border trade over Juba's alleged support to the rebels. The closure was followed by the outbreak of worst fighting between the two countries since South Sudan split to form an independent state last year.

SRF is a rebel coalition comprising the Sudan People's Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) which fought as part of South Sudan's army during the civil war, and three rebel groups from the western region of Darfur. The rebels say their aim is to topple the government of President Omer Al-Bashir in Khartoum.

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