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Juba Says Khartoum Complicit in Border Raids

  • Bonifacio Taban

South Sudan says Khartoum is turning a blind eye to cross-border raids by nomads from Sudan on South Sudanese.

South Sudan says Khartoum is turning a blind eye to cross-border raids by nomads from Sudan on South Sudanese.

South Sudan said Friday that Khartoum is doing nothing to stop attacks by Arab nomads on communities near the border of the two countries, adding that it has filed a complaint with the United Nations security forces about the attacks.

Earlier this week, members of the Rezigat tribe, which is from Sudan, killed three people, including two police officers, in a raid in Northern Bahr el Ghazal. Last month, the Sudanese Miseriya tribe raided a community in Unity State, killing three people and wounding five.

The deadly attack by the Rezigat came days after South Sudan completed its withdrawal of troops from the border, in line with an agreement signed with Sudan.

A demilitarized buffer zone will be set up along the border, and will be patrolled by nearly 900 troops from the U.N. force in Abyei, known as UNISFA.

South Sudanese Information Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin said the Sudanese government has done nothing to stop the attacks.

"In such cases where you withdraw, you expect some incidents, but it is unfortunate that the Republic of Sudan is not controlling its side of the story,” Marial said, adding that Sudan has filed a formal complaint with UNISFA.

Officials and people who live near the border have voiced concern that the substitution of less than 1,000 UNISFA peacekeepers for tens of thousands of South Sudanese troops has left a security vacuum.

Marial insisted the attacks by the Sudanese nomads will not derail the recent agreements with Sudan. They included a timeline for pulling back from the border and another for the south to resume oil production and exports through Sudanese pipelines.

UNISFA was not available for comment.

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