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South Sudan accuses Sudan army of bombing its territory

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March 24, 2016 (JUBA) – South Sudanese army, known as the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army (SPLA), has accused the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) from the neighbouring Sudan of carrying out surprise aerial bombardments on SPLA forces inside South Sudan on Thursday, destroying a number of weapons and army shelters in northern part of Upper Nile region.

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A SPLA soldier looks at warplanes as he lies on the ground to take cover beside a road during an air strike by the Sudanese air force in Rubkona near Bentiu April 23, 2012 (Photo Reuters/ Goran Tomasevic)

The newly appointed official spokesman of the SPLA, Brigadier General Lul Ruai Koang, in a press statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Thursday said SPLA forces in Renk county of Upper Nile state in what he described to be their “defensive positions” became a latest target of the Sudanese army.

“This morning at about 11:00AM, an Antonov belonging to Sudan Air force bombed our defensive positions at Babaneis east of Renk town in Eastern Nile State. A total of 12 bombs were dropped; one exploded near Battalion 109 Military Police post setting it ablaze,” Koang in the release.

“It’s good to inform our forces, people of South Sudan, region and the international community that the aerial bombardment by Sudan Air force were launched without provocation and constitutes violation of our air space. SPLA military leadership urges Sudan Army to respect the territorial integrity of the Republic of South Sudan,” he said.

Sudanese government recently leaked intelligence reports saying that Juba government has resumed its support to the Sudanese rebel groups in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.

South Sudanese officials also on the other side, said Khartoum is preparing a regime change in Juba and coordinate its plans with Riek Machar.

The SPLA spokesperson also alleged that his army had intercepted a movement of thousands of forces of the armed opposition faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO), backed by Sudanese army with the aim to attack government’s positions at the borders in the region.

He further claimed that about 3,000 SPLA-IO forces, which he also referred to as “Nuer-IO” have been moving in the area around Maban county with heavy weapons including “10 tanks, 4 D-30s and 3 BM multi-rocket launchers (each with 40 barrels) and other light weapons.”

He said the intention of the SPLA-IO and the Sudanese government is to seize border areas in order to allow Kamal Loma, a commander of the SPLA-IO in Maban area, to allegedly attack Sudanese refugees inside South Sudan.

Koang also said about 40 airborne men are already dropped and stationed at Kalgo Mountains and their mission is to assist ground forces in conducting the operations.

“These forces have been addressed by Lt. Gen. Yahya, of Sudan’s Ministry of Defence and D.COGS for Administration Maj. Gen. Chuol Gakah and Johnson Oliny all from IO,” he said.

He said the SPLA leadership released the information to the public in order to inform the people of South Sudan, the region and international community that elements against peace are still involved in planning subversive activities against the government and the people of South Sudan.

“In spite of all those planned hostile acts, let our people rest assured that our national army the SPLA is ever-ready to protect civilians, their properties and the territorial integrity of our country,” he concluded.

SPLM-IO DISMISSES ALLEGATIONS

Meanwhile officials of the SPLM-IO under the leadership of First Vice President Designate, Riek Machar, have dismissed as “negative propaganda” the allegations of their plans for imminent attacks against government’s forces.

“This is untrue. It is a negative propaganda. I hope it is not implementation of the promised “media warfare till the last drop of blood” which the government’s army headquarters announced in Juba this week,” said James Gatdet Dak, opposition leader’s spokesman.

He said SPLA-IO forces unlike government’s forces have been respecting the permanent ceasefire, saying there was no reason to launch attacks when they are rather preparing to be transported to Juba as part of the joint integrated forces per the August 2015 peace agreement.

The opposition faction’s media official however cautioned the government not to attack their forces and give peace a chance, adding that such allegations of pretext from the government in the past were likely followed by attacks on positions of opposition forces.

(ST)

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  • 25 March 2016 08:11, by Khent

    Doesn’t Juba feel humiliated being bombed by creaking, primitive Antonovs that use mortar rounds in lieu of precision guided bombs and missiles? Even Khartoum’s most advanced aircraft -Fulcrums- lack targeting pods and advanced radars to be really effective. Acquire a comprehensive air defence system and end this.

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    • 25 March 2016 09:39, by Ayom Ayom

      Let the sleeping document lie. There is a hide agenda of political mind which is danger, Again, another crisis which may cause great people lives from the two Sudan, due to wrong calculation, wrong assumption and wrong political ideologies beliefs. "The worst is yet to come"

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  • 25 March 2016 15:07, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    Republic of South Sudan, would have not withdrawn its troops from border of 5km, if president Kiir, knowledge about the plan of Riek Machar with his friend Bashir of targeting South Sudanese peace plan
    > my thanks goes to Brig. Gen, Lul Ruai Koang, for his correct reported on aggression for South Sudanese by Riek Machar and Omer el Bashir, but SPLA, is still fully committed to protect its territor

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  • 25 March 2016 15:17, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    South Sudan government, should gunned down such enemy plane, it is totally violation of international military law.
    Otherwise south Sudan will allow its military war plane to attack Khartoum if they don’t complying with military law.

    repondre message

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