Home | News    Thursday 24 April 2014

Sudan condemns Bentiu atrocities, accuses Juba of using Darfur rebels

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April 23, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese government has denounced the killing of Sudanese nationals after South Sudanese rebels took control of Unity state capital Bentiu earlier this month.

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Injured civilians are treated at the UNMISS base in Bentiu, the capital of South Sudan’s Unity state (Photo: UN/Toby Lanzer)

Khartoum accused Juba of using Sudanese rebel groups in its fight against rebels allied to former vice-president Riek Machar, considering the move a violation of the security agreements signed between the countries.

In a new development in the relations between the two countries after the eruption of South Sudan crisis, Sudan’s foreign ministry issued a strongly worded statement on Wednesday rejecting claims that civilians were mistakenly killed because Machar’s forces thought they belonged to Darfur rebel groups, said to be fighting alongside president Salva Kiir’s forces.

The statement called on warring parties in South Sudan to respect international and humanitarian laws, demanding an immediate investigation into the ongoing assaults against Sudanese nationals in Bentiu.

In a statement issued on 21 April, the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)confirmed that more than 200 civilians had reportedly been killed and over 400 wounded at Bentiu Mosque when the town changed hands on 15 April.

UNMISS also accused the rebel SPLM-In-Opposition of separating civilians along tribal lines, saying Darfuris were specifically targeted and killed at the hospital along with other civilians.

However, the rebel commander in charge of Unity state’s military division 4, Maj. Gen. James Koang Chol, dismissed the accusation as “lies” when contacted by Sudan Tribune by phone on Sunday.

However, he admitted to the killing of armed Sudanese nationals who were fighting alongside Kiir’s forces.

“What we know is that, yes, we killed in action armed members of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) who were fighting alongside the government’s troops. They were in military uniform and participated in active combat against our forces,” he said.

The rebel commander could not rule out that some Sudanese traders who remained behind in Bentiu may have been killed in the crossfire during the fighting, but dismissed allegations of targeted killings by rebel forces.

“We would not have killed innocent Darfur civilians. We don’t see them as our enemies. Our target are those JEM members who have decided to abandon their cause in Sudan and allowed themselves to be used as mercenaries to fight for Salva Kiir,” Koang said.

SECURITY ARRANGEMENTS VIOLATED

Khartoum has accused Juba of harbouring and using Sudanese armed groups in its ongoing fight against pro-Machar forces for the first time since conflict erupted in mid-December last year.

The Sudanese foreign ministry said Juba’s actions contradict the security agreements signed between the two countries, as well as a cessation of hostilities agreement signed between the warring parties on 23 January, in which both sides resolved not to resort to using foreign troops.

“Juba’s actions contradict with its commitments as a member of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) which designated JEM and [the] Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) as negative forces that threatens [the] security of the region and obliged member countries not to deal with them,” Khartoum said in a statement.

It further said that the involvement of armed groups in the southern conflict led to the targeting of Sudanese civilians by warring parties, implying Juba was responsible for the incident.

Khartoum’s comments come after several mutual visits made by Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir and Kiir in which the two leaders committed to normalising relations and ending support for rebel groups on both sides.

Sudan has previously opposed the presence of Ugandan troops in the young nation, calling for their immediate withdrawal. It has also denied harbouring and supporting Machar’s forces.

(ST)

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  • 24 April 07:40, by Knight In Shining Armor

    It is something known that JEM does not ware uniform in the history of their movement. Those who were killed in Bentiu are all adult males. How come there were no female, children or elderly among the victims if indeed they are civilians? Do you people in Juba thinks others no longer use their common sense?

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    • 24 April 08:17, by Tong dut

      Darfurian are died in south sudan like who?
      If you are fighting for Kiir,you will die like a dog,He is unable tis to his own Army, Soon the will kill him this month.

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      • 24 April 23:53, by Frak Cho

        If JEM rebels were present in Bentiu, why the S. Sudan rebels at least do not have at least one prisoner of war, then interviewed and possibly take to Khartoum as evident. Those rebels on media war are the one fabricating pictures of Darfur rebels and posted them. How do the take Darfur rebels’ photos? Khartoum is known for lies that’s why they are accepting the fabrications of the rebels.

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    • 24 April 08:19, by mathem jech amer

      Bashir armed Nuer, telling them to kill any Dafuri in South Sudan territory and now pretending to condemn, you will see soon after chief of staff replacement who has been obstacle.

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      • 24 April 08:37, by Mi diit

        Good. Kiir and his Darfur criminals should not expect to have it both ways. Respecting the cooperation agreements and harbouring and arming Darfur rebels to fight Machar fighters and Sudanese government do not go together. The Darfurians killed in Bentiu were wearing uniforms and civilian clothes fighting for Juba government.

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        • 24 April 08:49, by Mi diit

          Mathem Jech Amer,
          That useless new chief of staff called Paul Malong Awan will be killed soon. All the Nuer soldiers will now defect. It is good that the government and army clearly becomes Dinka Bahr el Ghazalian. We will burn down Warrap state while Malong Awan will fail to defend it.. You used useless Hoth Mai to fight for you in Juba and Upper Nile region and now you dumbed him like a dog.

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      • 24 April 11:49, by Wicdail

        mathem jech amer
        Khartoum is just telling the trust. JEM forces in bentiu were the ones patrolling bentiu and blocking civilians’ entries into UN camp two days before the rebels’ storms in. Kirr blindfolded and promise them that whatever you captured from the rebels will be yours. That’s why they transported all valuable things such as cars etc. into their liberated areas. They were hunting---

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        • 24 April 11:52, by Wicdail

          Cun. They were hunting rebels and government officials who run for their life to the bush and took all their cars.

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  • 24 April 07:50, by Knight In Shining Armor

    I thought the three Great upper Nile States of Joungole, Unity, and Upper Nile were declared long time ago by the presidential decree as combat zone so, how come there are still foreign traders operating there? And who are their customers? Why out on the streets instead of UNMISS compound when the fighting broke out?

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  • 24 April 08:03, by Joseph Canada

    Now the Sudanese govrt. for the first time is telling the truth and putting Juba on the light to prove the hidden agenda Juba and Kampala have in common. I WANT TO HEAR WHAT AGUER AND LUETH SAY!!

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  • 24 April 12:52, by wisemen.

    DEAR ALL,
    LET THE NUER KILL AND KILL BUT THERE END IS SMELLING AND YOU SEE WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THEM SOON
    BY THE WAY WHOM ARE THEY GOING TO RULE IF THE CAME TO POWER ME WHOM THEY HAVE KILL ALL MY RELATIVES
    FUCK ALL THE NUERS
    LONG LIVE SOUTH SUDAN

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    • 24 April 20:58, by papamoon

      wisemen or whoever you are,
      Nuer will rule you if don’t like it go to hell, who started this war is your idiot president. i hope Nuer can killed more from your family you don’t like go meet them in a battlefield you idiot.

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