September 25, 2012 (JUBA) - South Sudan remains undeterred by Sudan’s aggression and will continue to engage the latter in talks until both countries amicably resolve all the outstanding post-secession issues, its information minister, Barnaba Marial Benjamin, said on Tuesday.
- South Sudan nformation minister, Barnaba Marial Benjamin (Getty)
Marial’s remarks comes in the wake of earlier reports that the South Sudan army (SPLA) and UN peacekeepers witnessed about eight airdrops from an aircraft in Likuangole village of South Sudan’s Jonglei state.
Although the UN could neither confirm what was dropped nor who was behind the incident, the SPLA accused the Sudanese army (SAF) backing rebels fighting South Sudan regime; an allegation Khartoum has repeatedly denied.
“Any act of flying within the territory of South Sudan without permission is a complete violation of out territorial integrity. This is totally unacceptable,” said Marial.
“The Republic of South Sudan, I can assure you, has always been committed to the peace process and will continue doing the same until a lasting solution is reached,” he added.
The two Sudans are expected to clinch a deal in the final round of talks, currently taking place in the Ethiopian capital. The two countries’ leaders have also entered into day three of the highly anticipated presidential summit.
Phillip Aguer, the SPLA spokesperson told Sudan Tribune that Sudanese military aircraft airdropped about eight parcels of weapons to renegade David Yau Yau-led rebels in Likuangole, after which the army reportedly repulsed a rebel attack.
He also accused some section within the Sudanese government of allegedly working to frustrate the ongoing peace process, being facilitated by the Thabo Mbeki-led African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP).
“There are always some elements in Khartoum who remain opposed to the peace process between Sudan and South Sudan. Their actions, as we have often seen, are always contrary to what the leadership of both countries is trying to achieve in the interest of peace,” said Aguer.
Sudan and South Sudan fought over two decades of a bloody civil war, which ended in 2005 with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). A referendum was held six years later in which the South Sudanese people overwhelmingly voted in favour of separation, leading to South Sudan’s independence in July 2011.
The two nations, however, remain locked in negotiations on several outstanding issues, including borders, oil, citizenship and the disputed border region of Abyei.