July 10, 2012 (JONGLEI) – A senior member of South Sudan’s army (SPLA), Kuol Deim Kuol, said the military would be willing to fight the armed forces of neighbouring Sudan if talks over their disputed border do not reflect the interests of the government of South Sudan.
- SPLA Lt-Gen Kuol Deim Kuol overall commander of Operation Restore Peace and Disarmament in Jonglei State, South Sudan, 10 July 2012 (ST)
South Sudan and Sudan are engaged in talks, related to the consequences of South Sudan’s independence last year, in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
Under negotiation are demarcation of the border, oil transit fees, the status of Abyei and other disputed areas. However, Kuol said that ill intentions on behalf of Khartoum were overwhelming the talks.
The UN and African Union have given the two sides until August 3 to come to an agreement including demilitarising the disputed border.
Speaking at independence celebrations in Bor on Monday, Lt-Gen Kuol told the public that the "struggle is not over" while the border remains in disputed.
Khartoum was still capable of dragging South Sudan back to war but "we are ready to confront them", he said.
If the disputed areas of Heglig/Pathou, Abyei and Kafia-Kingi and others were not resolved politically then "we will fight to remove" the Sudan Armed Forces from these area, he said.
"This present generation will not allow war to reach our coming generation again – we will complete this war before the coming generation. In our plan in the SPLA, the coming generation is aim to set up development of the country with high technology”.
Sudan and South Sudan delegations are expected to resume talks Thursday in Addis Ababa over security and outstanding issues. Last week, the parties have defined a strategic approach to make a breakthrough on the security matters.
Speaking about the rebel groups in the immense state, Kuol said that the fighters of the late George Athor have all being integrated to the South Sudanese army after a peace deal signed with his group.
The SPLA general also denied the presence of David Yau Yau in Pibor saying the army is prepared to deal with him if he returns to the county.