December 12, 2016 (JUBA) - The South Sudanese presidency on Monday dismissed as "untrue" reports claiming that it had arrested a group of Sudanese rebels after failing to comply with recent directives and an ultimatum to leave the world’s youngest nation.
- Fighters from Darfur’s Justice and Equality Movement (AFP)
The presidential advisor on security affairs, Tut Kew Gatluak told Sudan Tribune on Monday that there were no Sudanese rebels presently living in the country.
“Where did you get these reports? Who told you they (Sudanese rebels) have been arrested and by whom? And where have they been arrested”, asked Gatluak when reached on Monday to comment on reports that leading Darfur rebels have been arrested by South Sudanese government.
The presidential aide asserted that the government was not hosting Sudanese rebels, let alone having arrested them.
“Completely, there are no Sudanese rebels in the territory of the republic of South Sudan. They used to operate along the border but they have been advised to cease using the side of the republic of South Sudan as the area from where they launch their operations into Sudanese territory and from that time, there have never been incidents which could justify their presence in the country. So how do you arrest someone who is not within your territory? These reports are not correct.
They are not true”, Gatluak asked in an exclusive interview.
But while leading government officials deny the arrest and presence of the Sudanese rebels in the country, several sources within the military and security told Sudan Tribune on Monday that the rebels are not giving indications that they will comply with the directives to leave the country within the month of December 2016.
"They are causing inconveniences and because of this concern the office of the first vice president and all the security organs have decided to monitor their activities while the high authorities are talking to them, a high level security officer told Sudan Tribune on Monday when reached to comment on what he knows about the activities of the Sudanese rebels and whether they have accepted to leave the country within the period of one month has directed.
This comes after report claimed South Sudanese government has arrested several Darfur leading rebel officials, including Sediq Bango general commander of JEM forces, Commander Gibril Bukhari of New JEM and Mansour Tarada general commander of Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdel Wahid Al Nur .
Sudan Tribune was not able to independently verify the authenticity of the arrest, particularly the exact location where the leaders have been allegedly be arrested.