June 23, 2013 (JUBA) - South Sudan on Sunday again claimed it is has evidence proving that neighbouring Sudan was providing support to rebel groups fighting the Juba government.
- South Sudan’s defence minister, John Kong Nyuon (Reuters)
Khartoum, according to South Sudan’s defence minister John Kong Nyuon, is using mercenaries to destabilise the new country, which separated from Sudan in July 2011.
The official made these remarks at a meeting with Norwegian defence minister Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen, during which he accused Sudan of failing to implement the bilateral Cooperation Agreement signed in September last year.
Nyuon said that Khartoum is looking for a way to blackmailing the international community from pressing for the implementation of the agreement.
"Khartoum’s claims that we provide support to the rebels fighting them are not true", Nyuon said.
"It is actually the government of Sudan which provides all kind of supports to militia groups they want to destabilize this country. These are not just allegations. We are holding evidence", he added.
Three well armed militia groups, the defense minister revealed, have crossed from Sudan into South Sudan’s Unity and Upper Nile states with heavy weapons.
He said the groups that accepted the amnesty offered by president Salva Kiir, "admitted they were trained and armed by the government of Sudan".
"Some are here with us. You ask them", Nyuon told Norwegian defence minister during a meeting at the army headquarters in Juba on Sunday.
“Our interest is to see our neighbours including the Republic of Sudan live in peace. We want to live as good neighbours so that our people benefit from the mutual cooperation and promote build two viable states living side by side in peace and harmony", he stressed.
Minister Nyuon further added that his country had fully implemented the cooperation agreement and the implementation matrix as it was agreed by the two parties and that they were expecting Sudan to do the same.
“It is the other side, which is not showing commitment and honour their promises. On our side, [we] have fully implemented and everybody knows this. It was done in a transparent manner. The international and local media were accorded the opportunity to go to the areas where we withdrew", he said, adding that South Sudan had completely withdrawn its forces from the buffer zone as per the agreement.
The troops from both sides, Nyuon told reporters, were to withdraw from the border areas, especially the those identified as buffer zones in the security arrangement, but the government failed.
"They have not moved until today”, he said.
On her part, however, the Norwegian defence minister assured Nyuon of her country’s readiness and commitment to support the African Union’s position that the two countries should fully implement the accord.
Minister Strøm-Erichsen also pledged the willingness of her country to continue strengthening military cooperation between the countries in areas of training and helping the new nation to transform its army from a guerrilla force into a professional army capable of defending the country.
“It was a good meeting which discussed number of important issues. I had a briefing by the minister of defence on current security situation between Sudan and South Sudan which is one of the concerns of everybody at the moment", she said.