Sudan has renewed accusations that South Sudan’s government is supporting and harbouring the Sudan People’s Liberation – North rebel movement and has called on Juba to stop interfering in its internal affairs, the official news agency SUNA reports.
In a statement, issued by Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), South Sudan was accused of holding “intensive” meetings with the Sudanese rebel movement, “since last Wednesday to 22 April, South Sudan’s president and his first vice president and a number of senior executive and security officials have engaged in intensive meetings with the so-called Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – North (SPLM-N) in Juba,” said the statement.
In addition, NISS accused South Sudan’s leadership of encouraging SPLM-N leaders to “prolong the war in Sudan” and called on Juba to “immediately refrain from interfering in Sudan’s affairs”.
NISS referred to humanitarian assistance being provided:
South Sudan’s government responded to this humanitarian cooperation by continuing to fully support and harbour the Sudanese rebel movements according to documented information including United Nations reports.
However, speaking in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, the Secretary-General of the SPLM-N, Yasser Arman, denied the accusation and said the reports were fabricated. “The NISS’s statement is a fake one, the SPLM-N chairman, the secretary-general and General Izzat Koko, deputy general chief of staff, we are all in Addis Ababa and we have not been to Juba since last year,” Arman said.
Arman, who is holding meetings with the African Union mediation committee, said the last time he was in Juba the Sudanese government were also present following an invitation by South Sudan who offered to mediate between the two sides.
Meanwhile, Sudan Tribune reported that the armed opposition forces loyal to former Vice-President, Riek Machar, who is fighting the government in Juba, claimed that Sudanese rebels were supported and protected by the South Sudan government.
A spokesperson, Brigadier William Gatjiath claimed Sudanese rebels have several bases in Unity, Bhar El Ghazal and Upper Nile states.
We knew in the beginning of the conflicts that Sudanese rebels operate inside South Sudan. And their logistics supplies came from the government of South Sudan.
Sudan has accused its southern neighbour on a number of occasions of arming the rebels in the two areas, South Kordofan and the Blue Nile. The latest accusations come as the leaders of the two countries are set to begin bilateral talks to deal with joint cooperation agreements, security and the humanitarian aid corridors for the South Sudanese displaced as a result of the ongoing civil conflict.