September 26, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour on Monday has said that his country wouldn’t serve as a launching pad for any armed opposition activities against South Sudan.
- Ibrahim Ghandour (Photo Suna)
In a press release extended to Sudan Tribune on Monday, Ghandour said "Sudan is a key member of the tripartite committee set up by the regional block IGAD to follow up the implementation of South Sudan’s peace agreement".
"Sudan wouldn’t allow any armed opposition to be launched from its territory against South Sudan," he said, pointing his country continued to play an essential and active role in all regional and international initiatives aiming to achieve peace in the newborn nation.
Sudan’s top diplomat underscored his country’s keenness to achieve peace in South Sudan, saying peace can’t be achieved in the two Sudans unless it was achieved in the other country.
He said that Sudan under the leadership of President Omer al-Bashir was the first country to recognize the independence of South Sudan, pointing to the joint history and interests between the two nations.
South Sudan seceded from Sudan on July 9th 2011 following a referendum on whether the semi-autonomous region should remain a part of the country or become independent. 99% of the southern voters chose independence.
Relations between the two nations soured after South Sudan’s independence following a series of disputes over a number of issues, particularly accusations of support to rebel groups.
Ghandour’s statements come two days after the armed opposition faction (SPLM-IO) led by South Sudan’s former First Vice President, Riek Machar, declared war on the “regime” in Juba under President Salva Kiir.
This declaration came in a resolution passed by the political bureau meeting convened for three days in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, under the chairmanship of Machar, also commander-in-chief of the SPLM-IO.
The armed opposition further called for reorganization of the SPLA-IO so that it “can wage a popular armed resistance against the authoritarian and fascist regime of President Salva Kiir in order to bring peace, freedom, democracy and the rule of law in the country.”
Also on Sunday, South Sudan’s former Minister of Agriculture, Lam Akol, announced formation of a new rebel faction, saying his aim is to overthrow by all means the government of South Sudan under the leadership of President Salva Kiir.
South Sudan descended into civil war in December 2013. Tens of thousands of civilians were killed and more than 2 million displaced.
In August last year, a peace deal was signed by both Machar and Kiir, but fighting in Juba put the accord at risk of possible collapse.