August 5, 2012 (JUBA) - Head of the parliamentary group representing the country’s governing Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), Atem Garang de Kuek, reiterated claims that Khartoum provides military support to militia groups and political dissidents working to create instability in the country.
- SSLA rebels in Unity state, August 2011 (Bonifacio Taban)
Kuek said there are militia groups fighting to topple the Juba government led by former rebels who now live luxurious lives in Khartoum’s hotels.
He said there is “substantial evidence” of Khartoum’s support of rebels and that “we know where they are in Sudan. These are hard facts”.
The remarks were made at the New Sudan Hotel in Juba on Saturday, where Kuek chaired a parliamentary meeting with members of parliament from across the ten states of South Sudan representing his Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in the house.
He claimed members of South Sudan Liberation Army/Movement; a militia force previously led by Peter Gadet, has been orchestrating raids on civil settlements from Sudanese territory, where they fled a year ago after the South Sudan army (SPLA) launched an offensive against their hideouts in Unity State.
“If somebody is living in your house and you do not ask where the person gets food, what this person does and what this person brings back from where he went, automatically you are considered part of the deal. This is exactly what Sudanese is doing”, said Kuek.
He dismissed Khartoum’s claims that South Sudan supports cross-border attacks, describing it an attempt to cover its military behaviour and to distract and divert international attention from what he says is Sudan’s long history of supporting militia groups and political dissidents and other dissatisfied factions.
The Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF); a coalition of Sudan’s major rebel groups, is headed by members of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – North (SPLM-N); a breakaway faction of the former rebel group which now rules South Sudan, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement.
For Khartoum, acknowledgement of Juba’s support of the SPLM-N has been a sticking point of ongoing negotiations between the two nations.