30 December 2013

Sudan: JEM Denies Involvement in South Sudan Conflict

Khartoum — The Sudanese rebel group, Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) has denied any involvement in South Sudan's recent conflict or any of its internal affairs.

Fighters with Sudan's Justice and Equality (JEM) Movement in al-Fasher, northern Darfur, on July 25, 2011 (Ashraf Shazly AFP/Getty)

JEM, in a statement issued Monday, said it had no plans or intentions to interfere in the ongoing conflict, dismissing last week's claims that its forces were cited in parts of South Sudan's Unity state.

Speaking in an interview with Sudan Tribune on Saturday, Maj. Gen. James Koang Chuol, the dissent fourth division commander in the state warned JEM fighters against taking part of the conflict, which he described as a South Sudan matter.

Koang, whose forces took control of the state capital, Bentiu said he received reports from his troops on the ground that JEM fighters had crossed from Nuba Mountains in Sudan into Parieng county, after their supply route from the region was blocked.

But Gibreel Adam Bilal, the spokesperson for Darfur rebel group denied the report, advising the dissident commander to recheck his sources of information.

"Spreading unfounded information complicates the already disastrous situation rather than paving the way for the most urgently needed national reconciliation and peaceful settlement in South Sudan", Bilal said in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune.

The Sudanese rebel group said it was, together with its partners, fully pre-occupied with quelling the current Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) offensive in South Kordofan.

"We are not at all present in South Sudan", said the rebel spokesperson.

Meanwhile, JEM strongly urged parties involved in South Sudan conflict to immediately cease hostilities and settle their differences through peaceful means.

"We fully support the mediation efforts of IGAD [Intergovernmental Authority on Development] and the international community and look forward for a good outcome from the planned Tuesday meeting at the Ethiopian capital", Bilal said.

Violence broke out in the South Sudan capital, Juba on 15 December between rival factions within the national army - the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), leaving more than 1,000 dead and over 60,000 homeless.

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