February 28, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The governing National Congress Party (NCP) in Sudan has appealed for support from local opposition groups against a military attack it alleges was carried out by neighbouring South Sudan.
- NCP Emblem
The NCP led government has accused South Sudan’s army of participating in an attack conducted by Sudanese rebel groups, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) on Jau town.
South Sudan denied participating in the attack by Sudanese rebels but Juba confirmed that its army captured Jau after heavy fighting with Sudan’s army (SAF).
The clashes in Jau, which lies on the poorly defined borders between Sudan and South Sudan, took place on Monday, less than two weeks since Khartoum and Juba signed a non-aggression deal.
The NCP’s newly appointed party secretary, Hamid Sidiq, said on Tuesday that the current events are of concern not only to the NCP but to the country as a whole.
Sidiq called on the opposition Popular Congress Party and the Sudanese Communist Party as well as other anti-government groups to rise above their own interests and join defence of the country’s territories.
Any other action, Sidiq warned, will be considered as “national treason”.
He added that opposition forces must sense the fact that the country is being attacked, which requires solidarity and defence.
Mainstream opposition forces accuse the NCP of a long list of failures and some of them vowed to topple it through popular uprising.
The NCP official rejected accusations that his party was beating the drums of war with South Sudan. He claimed that repeated attacks by South Sudan’s army on Sudanese border areas clearly show which side was beating the drums.
The military confrontations along the borders followed a bitter political dispute between Khartoum and Juba over the transportation of South Sudan’s oil via Sudan.
Land locked South Sudan last month suspended oil production in response to what it terms as Khartoum’s “stealing” of oil passing through Sudan’s territories.
Oil is the lifeline of both economies but the grossly underdeveloped South Sudan is more vulnerable because the commodity accounts for 97 percent of its budget.
Sidiq described South Sudan’s decision to halt oil exports as evidence of Juba government’s lack of responsibility towards its own citizens.
Sudan and South Sudan are due to resume talks next week on oil but the positions of both countries on the transit fees remain far apart.
In a related context, the Sudanese government submitted on Tuesday a complaint to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) accusing South Sudan of attacking Sudanese territories.
Sudan’s permanent envoy to the United Nations (UN), Daffa Allah Ali al-Haj, called on the 15 member council to send a decisive message to the government of South Sudan to stop “acts of aggression”.
The complaint stated that South Sudan was involved in training and supporting SPLMN rebels who are fighting the Sudanese government in the border states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile.
Khartoum routinely complains against Juba’s support of Sudanese rebel groups, especially the SPLM-N which fought as part of South Sudan’s army before independence.
South Sudan seceded from Sudan in July last year under the 2005 peace deal that ended nearly half a century of intermittent civil wars between the two sides.