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Juba protests rebel press conference in Khartoum

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June 7, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The South Sudanese embassy in Khartoum has protested a press conference held by a visiting delegation of the rebel SPLM-In-Opposition in the Sudanese capital, saying it breaches existing bilateral agreements.

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Salva Kiir attends the signing of the standard gauge railway agreement with China in Nairobi, Kenya, on 11 May 2014 (Photo: AP/Thomas Mukoya)

SPLM-IN-Opposition spokesperson Yohanis Musa Pouk , who is part of the rebel delegation visiting Khartoum to prepare for an expected visit by their leader, Riek Machar, held a briefing largely covered by Sudanese media on Thursday.

Pouk criticised Khartoum for its refusal to support the rebel movement, arguing they share the same enemy, Uganda, which continues to provide military support to the South Sudanese army (SPLA).

He said Kampala was now actively fighting against Machar, alleging that Uganda was also supporting Sudanese rebel groups planning to attack Bashir’s regime in the future.

He said while rebels had the ability to attack and control oil production areas in Upper Nile state, Machar had halted forces progressing further on oil fields located near the Sudanese border for fear of damaging oil installations.

Reacting to the presence of the rebel delegation, the South Sudanese embassy in Khartoum released a statement on Saturday, describing the press conference and as a “clear violation of the cooperation agreement signed by the two countries”.

The embassy’s press secretary, Gabriel Deng, said that allowing the rebel movement to hold press conferences in Khartoum is inconsistent with an agreement between the two countries on the need cease hostile media and propaganda against each other.

“Even neighbouring countries have not been spared” from criticism by the rebel movement, he added.

Meanwhile, South Sudan’s ministry of foreign affairs on Friday urged the Kenyan government to “curtail” its contact with the country’s armed opposition group in order to avoid creating “gaps in bilateral” ties.

The comments come after a group of Kenyan MPs criticised president Uhuru Kenyatta over what they described as a “red carpet” reception accorded to Machar during a six-day visit to the country last week

Machar was received by Kenyatta at the State House in the capital, Nairobi, where the two leaders reportedly discussed ways to advance the peace process for South Sudan.

However, the group of five Kenyan MPs protested over Kenyatta’s decision to hold the meeting, describing it as an “insult” to South Sudanese president Salva Kiir.

Negotiations, which are being mediated by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), have so far failed to achieve lasting peace in the country, which erupted in violence in mid-December last year following a split in the ruling SPLM.

The latest round of peace talks were recently postponed without explanation.

The embassy’s statement highlights Juba’s frustration over recent diplomatic efforts by the SPLM-In Opposition with IGAD member countries.

Machar is expected to visit Khartoum following his meeting with Kiir in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on 9 June.

Sudanese officials declined to comment on the embassy’s statement.

The foreign ministry in Khartoum last month accused South Sudan of allegedly accepting support from Sudanese rebel group – the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) – to fight the rebel SPLM-In-Opposition, saying their involvement confirms Juba’s ongoing links to the Darfur rebel group.

Khartoum claims it maintains a neutral position in the ongoing conflict in South Sudan and is supportive of the IGAD-led mediation to reach a peaceful settlement to the crisis.

(ST)

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  • 8 June 2014 12:13, by Wicdail

    What are these fools talking about? Let me remind you again. It’s just a matter of months if not days, before your rotten to the core regime become the thing of the past and a bad momorises in South Sudan history.

    repondre message

  • 8 June 2014 12:26, by Jalaby

    "saying it breaches existing bilateral agreements
    HAHAHA
    You never ever respected or honored the bilateral agreements, you guys never ever stop supporting SPLA-N & JEM, we know you’re liars and not serious in lifting your hands off, you signed this agreement not because you love Sudan but you signed it while crying because you’ve been left with no other option!

    repondre message

  • 8 June 2014 14:27, by Fact Nonsense

    The SPLM-O have revealed their dirty campaign openly. If Sudan openly support them then higher are chances that NCP and SAF won’t live for long anymore. The long awaited change needed in Sudan is very inevitable if Sudanese gov’t give any hand to the SPLM-O. Sudan is already on the frying pan. Surrounded by insurgency, internal pressure and bad relations with friends abroad will soon yield.

    repondre message

    • 8 June 2014 14:49, by Fact Nonsense

      I was very sure SPLM-O wanted to involved Sudan in South Sudan conflict by all means. This demand won’t bring any blessing to Sudan and SPLM-O but embarrassment . Sudan should publically condemn the rebels statement and remain neutral hence, Egypt, South Sudan, Saudia Arabia, Libya, Israel etc will have to wait for another window of opportunity to remove Bashir and bring peace in the Sudan.

      repondre message

      • 8 June 2014 15:09, by Jalaby

        Ironically,despite those people divided Sudan and separated themselves and created their own country in the south but they’re still calling themselves:SPLA/SPLM,SPLA-O, and their dogs of SPLA-N!
        What? all the names are run out of stock and you couldn’t find a name other than liberating Sudan? Sudan is not your business anymore, leave Sudan alone you dumb close-minded!

        repondre message

  • 8 June 2014 18:40, by Martin Muong

    Sudan ought not to hosts and welcomes ring leader Riak Machar with open arm like what Kenya did the other day. It will be nothing more than insult to incumbent President Salva Kiir and entire South Sudanese particularly. We see the welcoming of warlord and notorious tribal fighter by countries we having diplomatic ties, is a symbol of cutting our diplomacy with them.Recall the word call symbiosis

    repondre message

    • 8 June 2014 20:08, by Ito

      South sudan government is frustrated and because it has been embarrassingly defeated diplomatically by the democratic forces led by Dr. Riek Machar. Whoever have truth and courage in his heart shall win in the win and DR. Riek will win and the trend is leaning towards it. Don’t blame democratic leader for your diplomatic failure. Lies will not take you anywhere. Sudan and Kenya are not stupid

      repondre message

      • 8 June 2014 20:12, by Ito

        you expect other tribes to leave the country for you, this is not acceptable. You know the reason why people don’t like the government. To support dictatorship and tribalism is an agenda of a self fish person who benefit from such ugly practice. Peoples eyes are open wide now and they are not going to sit and watch you rape, kill, intimidated and seize properties by force. Better to die for truth

        repondre message

  • 8 June 2014 20:31, by Bolong

    Ya Jalaby, do you think South Sudan has ran out of options?and if you are pretty sure; then you miss the point here. Also you ask people not to mention the liberation of Sudan by using SPLM,N,DC, in-O, Detainee, JEM, etc. all these movements are belong to Sudanese people, they can make greater Sudan or tiniest Sudan, let talks peace. Car-tuom means merge rivers in my mother tongue.

    repondre message

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