Home | News    Tuesday 15 March 2011

SPLM presents documents it says prove Khartoum support to southern rebels

By Julius N. Uma

March 14, 2011 (JUBA) – The intelligence unit of South Sudan’s ruling party on Monday unveiled some of the documents it alleges show that the Khartoum government plans to overthrow the southern government ahead of the region’s independence in July.

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Pagan Amum (AFP)

The intercepted documents, mostly written in Arabic, were presented before journalists in Juba, the South’s capital, by Pagan Amum, Secretary General of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM). Amum said the documents had been leaked from Sudan’s defense ministry, military high command, the logistical department and the national intelligence unit of the Khartoum-based government.

The northern Sudan ruling National Congress Party (NCP) on Monday denied the accusation that there is a plot to overthrow the Juba government before secession of the South terming the SPLM’s statements as “false and unfounded”.

A 2005 peace deal established an autonomous government in Juba and a national unity government in Khartoum where the SPLM and NCP share power. The deal will end in July with the secession of the South, which voted in a referendum in January, to separate from the North.

The SPLM said the documents prove that the north was supporting, training and militarily equipping the forces loyal to Lam Akol’s SPLM-DC, a breakaway faction from the SPLM.

According to a September 22, 2010 document seen by Sudan Tribune, the overall commander of the military intelligence unit in the northern army instructed his counterpart in charge of logistics to issue arms and ammunitions to all forces loyal to the SPLM-DC leader in Blue Nile, Unity state and the Nuba mountains in South Kordofan.

"We have always told you and the entire world that Lam Akol and his SPLM-DC [Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-Democratic Change] are being used to destabilize the south. Now we have the evidence as you can witness," Amum said.

Akol issued a statement on Monday denying that his party was aligned to any armed groups in the South.

The SPLM Secretary General also appealed to the UN Security Council (UNSC) and the international community to investigate the actions of the Khartoum regime, especially its alleged plan to overthrow the southern government.

NCP political secretary Ibrahim Gandoor strongly denied the Khartoum government was attempting to destablise the South or overthrow the SPLM government in Juba.

In a statement reported by the pro-government Sudan Media Centre on Monday Gandoor said that, confronted by a large armed opposition, the SPLM was seeking a scapegoat for what is a southern problem.

He added that monitoring committees of the 2005 peace deal have found that the NCP has nothing to do with any support to the armed groups in the South.

Gandoor described the suspension of discussions on the implementation of the remaining issues in the 2005 peace agreement as stoppage of the process of development in the south.

"We look forward to strong relations with the South, but it seems some voices within the SPLM are still trying to disturb these relations."

Following clashes in Malakal, the capital of Upper Nile state, the SPLM had said that they would break off talks with the NCP on post-referendum and independence issues.

Over 40 people are reported to have died in the clashes, which the SPLM claim was carried out by forces loyal to the SPLM-DC and are backed by the NCP.

However, speaking in Juba on Monday, Amum said that the SPLM remains committed to the post-referendum negotiations with the NCP but urged the latter to desist from all forms of military attacks in the south.

"The SPLM and the southern government are ready to give the north a grant that will enable them manage their economy after losing their percentage of the oil revenue after independence," Amum said.

North Sudan’s economy is expected to suffer after the South secedes as the current oil sharing deal whereby all oil revenues from South Sudan is split 50-50 between north and south.

The SPLM also claim that a letter dated November 14, 2009, shows that the NCP leadership instructed all telecommunication companies operating in the north to intercept all phone calls of some key SPLM figures. Their phones numbers were listed in the confidential letter.

Another document, dated August 27, 2009 from the north’s defense ministry called for the establishment of a “security committee” to oversee the NCP’s alleged plan to destabilize South Kordofan and Blue Nile, which are in north Sudan but are home to groups which fought with the SPLM during the civil war that ended in 2005.