19 December 2013

Sudan: Khartoum Is Affected By Events in South Sudan - Karti

Khartoum — The Sudanese Foreign minister Ali Karti said that the security and stability in South Sudan is directly correlated to that of his country and that any negative or positive events affect Sudan because of links and joint borders.

In an interview with Russia Today TV, Karti stressed that the Sudanese government is keen to see South Sudan a stable nation.

Sudan's top diplomat underscored that Khartoum is ready to provide all the expertise to help strengthen its southern neighbor.

Karti will join other foreign ministers from Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in a mission to Juba in a bid to reverse the deteriorating situation amid growing concern that the ongoing clashes will push the country towards civil war.

Sudanese ambassador to Ethiopia Abdul-Rahman Sir al-Khatim told Sudan official news agency (SUNA) that the delegation would meet South Sudan President Salva Kiir on Friday.

The spokesman of Sudan's foreign ministry spokesperson Abu-Bakr al-Sideeg said that the delegation's visit to Juba seeks to get assurances about the security and stability situation in South Sudan.

He urged all parties to stick to peaceful means and dialogue to solve differences and put efforts into calming down the situation.

What began as clashes between different units of South Sudan's presidential guard in Juba last Sunday, spread to other key places including the states of Jonglei and Unity.

Kiir appeared on Monday to accuse his former deputy Riek Machar and other leading ex-officials of staging a failed coup attempt.

The government arrested ten former ministers and issued an arrest warrant for Machar, former ruling party Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) Secretary General Pagan Amum and ex-governor of Unity state Taban Deng among others.

Machar denied plotting a coup and accused Kiir of using the clashes to get rid of his political opponents. He also rejected Kiir's offer to sit down for talks unless the latter agrees to step down first.

Observers say that the clashes are becoming increasingly tribal in nature with Nuer SPLA units defecting in show of support to Machar and attacking Dinka troops that are generally supportive of Kiir.

On Wednesday, the SPLA announced that it lost control of Jonglei state capital of Bor after forces loyal to General Peter Gatdet Yak overran military bases the day before.

Heavy fighting broke out also in Unity state capital of Bentiu but it is unclear who is in control amid conflicting accounts.

The United Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said yesterday that tens of thousands of civilians have sought refuge at their bases in Juba, Bor and Bentiu.

Juba put the death toll at 500 but it is likely that it will be revised higher. The Indian ambassador at the UN said that three of its peacekeepers were killed in Jonglei.

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