29 July 2014

Ethiopia Dismisses Allegations That It Supported SPLM-in-Opposition

Photo: Ben Parker/IRIN
A Nuer woman living in a temporary settlement of displaced people in Western Ethiopia's Gambella region (file photo).

Ethiopia's foreign affairs spokesperson, Ambassador Dina Mufti on Sunday dismissed allegations that South Sudanese rebels were receiving support from the East African country or using its territory to destabilize South Sudan.

The allegation was made last week by an unofficial South Sudan army spokesperson who claimed Ethiopia was providing medical treatment to wounded opposition fighters in Gambella Regional State.

He claimed over 50 wounded rebels are being treated in Gambella and urged the Ethiopian government to respect the border security agreement signed with Juba in 2010 and keep wounded rebels out of their territory.

Ambassador Dina said Ethiopia had never been partisan to any of the conflicting parties in South Sudan.

He reiterated that Ethiopia would continue to extend support aimed at finding political solution to the seven month-old conflict in South Sudan: "As a chair of IGAD and as the closest friend to the people of South Sudan, Ethiopia is doing its level best to bring lasting peace in south Sudan."

He said Ethiopia was only providing the necessary assistance to any South Sudanese refugees crossing into its borders irrespective of their political position on humanitarian grounds.

Members of the SPLM-In-Opposition in Addis Ababa described any allegations that Ethiopia supported their struggle as "fabricated."

The IGAD-led South Sudan Peace negotiations are due to resume on Wednesday in Addis Ababa.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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