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Negotiators from Khartoum and Juba meet in Addis Ababa amid new tensions on borders

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March 31, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The spokesman of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) Al-Sawarmi Khalid Sa’ad on Saturday claimed that forces from South Sudan’s army (SPLA) carried out an incursion inside South Kordofan State.

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The official spokesman of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), Colonel Al-Sawarmi Khaled Saad (Photo: Ashraf Shazly/AFP/Getty Images)

Sa’ad speaking in an interview on Sudan TV said that South Sudan army’s Fourth Division battalion had entered South Kordofan moving towards the strategic twon of Teludi. The army spokesperson said that this shows "bad intentions" on the part of Juba.

But Philip Aguer, a spokesman for the South Sudanese army, denied the allegations.

"That is not true. We don’t have any SPLA from South Sudan that have crossed to South Kordofan. If anyone is doubting us, let them send monitors," Aguer told Agence France Presse (AFP).

"They are trying to push us back so that they can invade Unity State and take the oil fields, and the SPLA will not stand for that" he added.

On Friday a source told Sudan Tribune that rebels from the Sudan People Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) managed to briefly enter Teludi before being pushed back by SAF. The latter claimed to have inflicted heavy losses on the assailants including two T-55 tanks and seized a large number of small weapons and machine guns.

But the rebels today said that the battles continued through the night and on into Saturday.

"Our forces managed to go inside the town but still the fighting is going on," said SPLM-N spokesman Arnu Ngutulu Lodi.

Sa’ad said that the SPLM-N wants a foothold in South Kordofan through taking over Teludi and making it a strategic base given its location. However, he stressed that the army will not allow that to happen. He also alleged that yesterday’s attack on Teludi was carried out jointly by SPLM-N and SPLA.

In response to a question on whether the current situation can be construed to be the start of war between the two countries, SAF spokesman said that the declaration of war is a political decision.

"I cannot say this is war particularly as we have a security and political delegation, now sitting at the negotiating table in Addis Ababa and therefore it is not wise to say that we are at war when it is prudent to say that we must overcome differences" he said.

This week SAF & SPLA fought around the oil-rich region of Heglig with South Sudan president Salva Kiir announcing that they had taken control of it in the course of repulsing Khartoum’s aerial and ground attack inside South Sudan’s Unity State.

But Kiir’s assertions regarding Heglig were contradicted by SPLA field commanders and later South Sudan’s army announced that it has disengaged and returned to its old positions inside the country’s borders.

In South Kordofan and Blue Nile States, along the contested border with South Sudan, SAF has for several months been at war with ethnic minority insurgents who fought alongside the former rebels now ruling in Juba.

Khartoum persistently accuses Juba of providing aid to the rebels but South Sudan routinely denies the charge.

In Addis Ababa, the Sudanese government delegation started informal consultations with the Chairman of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) Thabo Mbeki along with the committee of experts.

The delegation briefed Mbeki on what it claimed was military assaults by South Sudan on oil-rich Heglig and Teludi.

The spokesman for Sudan’s foreign ministry Al-Obeid Marwih said that the delegation in Ethiopia is comprised of the ministers of interior and defense., intelligence director, deputy chief of staff, state minister at foreign ministry in addition to chief negotiator Idriss Abdel-Gader and Sudan’s ambassador designate to Juba Mutrif Sideeg.

He pointed out that the official talks with South Sudan will start on Saturday.

Delegates told AFP that they had been asked by the mediation to refrain from talking to journalists.

"We are ready and prepared to discuss the [issues] if our counterparts can just come to Addis," South Sudan’s Foreign Minister Nhial Deng Nhial told AFP in the Ethiopian capital.

Along with Nhial, Juba’s ministers of defense, justice and parliamentary affairs were at the meeting venue, as was their chief negotiator Pagan Amum.

This week’s battles led to the suspension of a long-awaited summit between Kiir and his Sudanese counterpart Omer Hassan al-Bashir set for 3 April. But the South Sudanese government say that they have not received formal notification from Khartoum in this regard.

(ST)

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  • 1 April 2012 10:53, by Chok Deng

    My message to South Sudan delegation,is that be more careful,because gangs of NCP are not for peace in Addis,they are for war.They are wasting your time there while they are preparing for war by mobilizing paramilitry forces.They were the first who started war this week by attacking South forces.Let them taste the bitterness of war first,then we talk of peace.

    repondre message

  • 1 April 2012 11:16, by viper

    It is useless to be in talks in Addis Ababa with those intruders of SAF and Khartoum while they are still occupying Abyei and Heglig plus hufra nias. These areas have to be evacuated by SAF, if not we in S. Sudan better declare war on those who are now occupying our lands

    repondre message

  • 1 April 2012 13:07, by Northern Sudanese

    loooooool hahahahahahah you pussy southerners soooooooo stupid!!!!!!!! after the Humiliation in Heglig you still speak about war???? after 1 hour when your president said ’our forces have taken Heglig’ you found yourself fools.

    you claims you have taken heglig (watch from 10:46)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6S_wNSee1c

    loool, your dead brothers in Heglig hahahahahahaha
    http://www.youtube.com/

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  • 1 April 2012 14:43, by Smith

    SAF suffered heavy casualties in Teludi, almost 60% of the so called Mujahideen have been sent to hell and are now enjoying sex with the 70 virgins.....hahahahah.. Mohamed Harun wanted all the area cleaned and handed over to him to settle some foreign refugees there, the one they failed to settled in Darfur. instead of cleaning the area, they were the one cleaned out yesterday by the mighty SPLA-N

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    • 1 April 2012 15:53, by Northern Sudanese

      hahahhahahahhhahahahaha Smith

      get me the proof loooooooooooool !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! do you know how many mujahideen there are???????? mujahideen weren’t even present there looooool hahahahahhaahaha

      your just a stupid liar like your president loooooool hahhaahahahhaaaaha

      repondre message

      • 1 April 2012 23:51, by Smith

        67 Mujahedeen are killed yesterday and more are perishing today as you chat here bro....ask Al Sawarmy and Ahmed Harun......severe damage to these fucking fighters is happening man....

        repondre message

        • 1 April 2012 23:53, by Smith

          Pure civilians wrapped in human to go and die instantly...what a joke by Khartoum terrorists? well, you don’t care of the life of innocent civilians whether armed or not armed but a fate of you must die....this is the strategy of the NCP fellows in Khartoum. you cannot sleep if there is no civilian death...Ahmed Harun is your sole butcher used in almost any massacring scandal planned by your Bashi

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  • 1 April 2012 16:47, by Tambura

    The accusation of south Sudan is supporting rebels will never finish until they occupied oil field in south Sudan so continue stealing our source. South Sudan is independent country by choice, what we want from North so we continue to support rebel? all this is about our oil they will never get it again, soon and latter our pipeline will finish and we ll start exporting our oil, what we want?

    repondre message

  • 1 April 2012 17:10, by E. Defense Forces
  • 1 April 2012 20:30, by equtoria helped

    SUDAN IS UNLESS EVERYONE WHO LIVES THERE IS A LIAR BECAUSE THERE "MEDIA" PROMOTES LIES AND THEY ARE BRAINWASHED INTO ACTUALLY THINKING THERE ARABS WHILE THEY STILL LOOK THE SAME AS US I FEEL SORRY FOR ANYONE WHO HAS THE DISPLEASURE FROM BEING A NORTH SUDANESE

    repondre message

    • 1 April 2012 20:31, by equtoria helped

      *USELESS NOT UNLESS LOL

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  • 1 April 2012 20:33, by equtoria helped

    WE COULD OF BEEN FRIENDLY WITH YOU GUYS BUT IF YOU KEEP FIGHTING US LIKE THIS I SWEAR THAT WE WILL FIGHT AND NEVER STOP UNTIL WE DRIVE YOU OUT OF SOUTH SUDAN AND EVEN IF WE LOOSE WE WILL STILL FIGHT AND BOMB DOWN KHARTOUM TO ASHES

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  • 2 April 2012 09:54, by Bentiu CAPTAIN

    SAF want to steal our OIL and our LAND, but they will never get it. We kill and finish these cowards.

    Also America should know that the Khartoum terrorists who waged jihad war a gainst South Sudan (the present Sudan defence minister and Bin Laden ) in 1990s are again back to thier old bussines of Jihad(terrorism). South Sudan was the first to fight the terrorist BIN LADEN when he was in Khartoum

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