In recent days, Khartoum repeatedly accused Juba of supporting rebel forces of the Sudan Revolutionary Front (an alliance of the main Sudanese rebel movements). A spokesman of the Darfuri Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) strongly denied the presence of rebel fighters in South Sudan.
The spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Yousef El Kordofan, told reporters of the Sudanese Media Center in Khartoum last Sunday that the Sudanese government “has documented information” that proves Juba’s backing of the armed movements, and called on South Sudan to commit itself to agreements made in the past.
In the 2012 Sudanese-South Sudanese Cooperation Agreement, the countries agreed to stop supporting or harbouring rebel groups, and to establish a buffer zone at the border, as well as a “joint monitoring team to prevent rebel infiltration”.
Mohamed Atta, Director-General of the National intelligence and Security Service (NISS), last week threatened to pursue the insurgents inside South Sudanese territory. In his speech on the occasion of a parade of Rapid Support Forces (a militia force commanded by the NISS) on Wednesday, Atta again warned Juba against the supporting and funding of Sudanese rebels. He pointed in particular to the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM).
The NISS director asserted that JEM forces are still present in Northern Bahr El Ghazal, and stressed that Khartoum considers any hostile action by the JEM, or any other rebel group, from inside South Sudan’s territory an “act of aggression” by Juba. He also blamed the UN Mission in South Sudan (Unmiss) that denied the presence of Sudanese rebel forces in South Sudanese territory.
JEM spokesman, Jibril Adam Bilal, however, strongly denied the presence of any rebel forces, affiliated with the Sudan Revolutionary Front, in South Sudan. “Khartoum is searching for an excuse to raid South Sudan, in order to regain control of its northern oil-rich parts,” he told Radio Dabanga today (Thursday).
“After the Sudanese government provided military and logistical support to the South Sudanese rebels and militia groups, it now starts to collect excuses and arguments to raid and occupy the South Sudanese oil regions, such as the arguments you are hearing from Mohamed Atta.”
File photo: A JEM convoy in Darfur