December 29, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The Government of Sudan has lodged a complaint to the UN Security Council (UNSC) among other world organizations alleging the arrival of Darfur rebel forces to the Republic South Sudan, and warning the latter to refrain from supporting them.
- FILE – JEM fighters
A statement issued on Thursday by Sudan’s foreign ministry said that the country’s government had filed a complaint to the UN Security Council (UNSC) and later extended it to the AU Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) among other international organization against the arrival South Sudan of a military force belonging to the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), a rebel group from Sudan’s western region of Darfur.
The complaint, according to Sudan’s official news agency SUNA, states that a JEM force with an estimated strength of 350 combatants and 79 armored vehicles managed on Wednesday to traverse the borders between Darfur and South Sudan, and settled in an area called Tumsaha south of the 1956 border between the recently separated countries.
JEM was involved in fighting this week against government forces in the west of North Kordofan State, where official reports spoke of havoc wreaked by the rebels and the group lost its leader Khalil Ibrahim who was killed in an airstrike conducted by a fighter jet.
The Sudanese government claimed that Khalil was shepherding his forces towards South Sudan when he was killed.
Khartoum’s complaint mentioned that JEM forces had crossed the borders between South Darfur State and northern Bahr al-Ghazal state in South Sudan through “Al-Sarag and Sakara” crossing point south of Ed Daein.
The complaint further claimed that JEM’s injured soldiers had been taken to Gog Mashar hospital in Tumsaha area, and reported that the rebels had also setup a camp close to Raja area in Western Bahr Al-Ghazal state in order to train their fighters.
The Sudanese government asked the UNSC to help it to pressure South Sudan’s government to withhold any form of assistance to JEM forces, disarm them and extradite those among them who are wanted by the Sudanese government.
“The way in which the Republic of South Sudan will handle this matter will reflect on the progress of normalization between the two countries and their future relationship, therefore Sudan asks the state of South Sudan to deal with this matter in a manner that demonstrates its seriousness in pursuing good neighborhood and in line with its international obligations”
This is the third time Sudan complains to the UN against South Sudan since the latter seceded to form an independent state in July. The two previous complaints accused South Sudan of supporting the rebels Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N,) which is fighting the Sudanese government in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states on the borders with the South, as well as Darfur rebel groups.
Juba, which also accuses Khartoum of supporting rebel groups in its territories, denied the charges and asked Khartoum to seek a peaceful settlement to the conflict in Blue Nile and South Kordofan.
The SPLM-N and JEM along with two other rebel factions from Darfur forged an alliance in November and pledged to hold joint military operations in order to topple the government of Khartoum.
Meanwhile, the UN Office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs (OCHA) said in its latest Sudan Weekly Humanitarian bulletin that state and UN security sources had observed the occurrence of a military buildup on both sides of the border between South Darfur and South Sudan’s Northern Bahr Al-Ghazal state near the Bahr el Arab/Kiir River.