6 July 2013

Sudan: SAF Denies Juba Accusations of Fresh Attacks On Border Areas

Khartoum — Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) spokesperson dismissed accusation by the South Sudanese army (SPLA) of air and ground attacks on Unity and Upper Nile states stressing that "these accusations are unfounded and unjustified".

"There is no any air attack carried by a Sudanese aircraft because there is no war between the two countries", said Al-Swarmi Khalid reaffirmed on Saturday. He further added that SAF forces have withdrawn 10 km north inside the Sudanese territory in line with the security arrangements deal signed last September.

Last Thursday , the South Sudanese army accused SAF of attacking Gong bar area north east of Renk County, in Upper Nile state and SPLA position on Jau, Unity state. The two areas are close to the border with the Sudanese Blue Nile state and South Kordofan where the Sudanese army fight SPLM-N rebels.

SPLA spokesperson Philip Aguer said the attacks breach the security arrangements which include a pact of non aggression and the establishment of a demilitarized zone on the common border.

From his side, Al-Swami further said "this accusation is unacceptable because the Agreement provides existence of a monitoring committee tasked to deal with such charges and it has to clarify whether there is a breach or not."

The Sudanese army in the past, before the cooperation agreements, denied similar attacks stressing they occurred inside the national territory.

The alleged attacks coincided with a series of meetings held recently in the rebel controlled areas in South Kordofan and attended by leading rebel officials who reside in East African countries.

Khartoum and Juba agreed recently during a series of meetings between the vice-presidents of the two countries that South Sudanese leadership can facilitate a peaceful settlement for the conflict with the SPLM-N.

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