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South Sudanese army claims Sudan provides heavy weapons to rebels

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June 6, 2015 (JUBA) – A high ranking South Sudanese military officer on Saturday reiterated claims that neighbouring Sudan, from which the young nation seceded in 2011, had been providing heavy weapons to armed opposition fighters allied to the former vice-president, Riek Machar.

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An SPLA soldier is pictured behind a South Sudan flag as he sits on the back of a pick-up truck in Bentiu, Unity state January 12, 2014. (Photo Reuters/Andreea Campeanu)

“For a very long time, we have precise information that the government of Sudan provides all types of weapons and supports, including hosting and training the rebels and militia groups operating against the government of the republic of South Sudan before, during and after independence,” Major General Manyok Barac, SPLA’s 5th division commander in Western Bahr el Ghazal state, told Sudan Tribune on Saturday.

General Barac was reacting to reports that armed opposition fighters have expanded scope of military operation to the areas under his command and that they have seized strategic areas in the region.

He blamed the situation of growing military strength of the rebels on Khartoum for allegedly providing them with weapons to challenge the government’s military superiority.

"Artillery, anti-aircraft systems, advanced weapons systems; they have supplied more than 1,000 units of this kind to the rebels of Riek Machar,” he further alleged.

He cited revelations from military intelligence reports and investigations from war captives from the armed opposition fighters, which he claimed confessed that Sudan was providing them with weapons.

“Some of these militiamen have abandoned this business and took advantage of the presidential amnesty. They themselves accepted they received support from Sudan and these statements were made public,” he said in an indirect reference to their current allied militia leaders in Unity, Jonglei and Upper Nile states.

Barac accused Sudan of carrying out attacks in areas deep inside South Sudanese territories and that it had delivered large quantities of heavy, advanced weapons to the armed opposition fighters.

The high ranking military officer also said prisoners of war from the rebels in recent military offensive in Western Bahr el Ghazal state have confessed receiving weapons, training and all types of supports from the Sudanese government.

But the rebel leadership earlier dismissed reports that they were getting military support from Sudanese government, claiming its forces got their supplies from captured towns from the government troops or from those changing allegiance from the government to the opposition faction.

This latest accusation against Khartoum by Juba comes after resumption of fighting in the previously relatively calm region of Bahr el Ghazal.

Khartoum has also been accusing president Salva Kiir’s government of allegedly hosting, training and arming Sudanese rebels inside South Sudan, including Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) to fight against Khartoum.

South Sudanese rebels also accuse Juba of allegedly using Sudanese rebels and foreign troops from Uganda to fight the war for them.

(ST)

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  • 7 June 2015 07:07, by Mi diit

    Or should we say and agree that the alien Ugandan government is supplying both weapons and troops to president Kiir and Juba’s former boss Khartoum is supplying only weapons to Dr. Riek Machar?

    So why should any side complain? It is supposed to be a tit-for-tat business.

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    • 7 June 2015 12:07, by Clausewitz

      Mi diit:

      That ’tit for tat’ justification simply does not work because some of us haven’t purposely subjected ourselves to a state of self-induced amnesia. The relationship that Riek has with Khartoum was established decades ago... It was not recently formed at the heels of Uganda’s involvement in this conflict. Khartoum was never our ’boss’, however, Khartoum has always been your boss.

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      • 7 June 2015 13:27, by sudani ana

        Clausewitz:
        I fully agree with Mi Diit on this one. It is tit for tat. Not because of Ugandan presence in SS but mainly because of SS’s support to Sudanese rebels the SPLM-N, JEM and others. JEM had actually taken part in the attack on Heglieg with SPLA. The recent JEM force that was destroyed in South Darfur came from its basis in SS where it was receiving training and arms. Known facts.

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        • 7 June 2015 13:55, by Clausewitz

          sudani ana:

          Well, your assessment presupposes that Khartoum only started supporting rebels in South Sudan when we started supporting rebels in the North. That isn’t the case. Reports from International Crisis Group have comprehensively documented Khartoum’s support of the LRA in their destabilizing activities in South Sudan all the way back in 2006 — years before there was an SPLM-N...

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          • 7 June 2015 14:22, by Clausewitz

            ..Khartoum supported the now defunct South Sudan Democratic Movement/Army (SSDM/A), the SSDM/A-Cobra faction and the South Sudan Liberation Army (SSLA) a full year before war erupted in South Kordofan and Blue Nile. We didn’t start this, and considering that Khartoum occupies over 20, 000km2 of our territory, our hostility is to be expected.

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            • 7 June 2015 14:42, by Clausewitz

              I expect Khartoum to continue arming the rebels. This is natural and I take no issue with this. I take issue with the death-deserving incompetence and narcolepsy in Juba that has utterly failed to bridle Khartoum’s ability to arm rebels in our territory.

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  • 7 June 2015 17:04, by Kim Deng

    Jaang,

    You should recognize and appreciate what these sell-out Nuer have been doing on behalf of Dinka Kindom against their own kins in Greater Upper Nile (Nuer Empire). The "enemy of your enemy is your friend," just simple as that.

    repondre message

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