News / Africa

South Sudanese Official Denies Rebel Support Charge

Pipelines criss-cross at the Paloch oil field in South Sudan on Sunday, May 5, 2013, when production resumed at the facility after a 16-month break.Pipelines criss-cross at the Paloch oil field in South Sudan on Sunday, May 5, 2013, when production resumed at the facility after a 16-month break.
x
Pipelines criss-cross at the Paloch oil field in South Sudan on Sunday, May 5, 2013, when production resumed at the facility after a 16-month break.
Pipelines criss-cross at the Paloch oil field in South Sudan on Sunday, May 5, 2013, when production resumed at the facility after a 16-month break.
South Sudan’s Minister of Information Barnaba Marial Benjamin has accused Sudan of using “blackmail” and “hostage taking” to talk about unilaterally abrogating internationally-sponsored agreements between the two countries.  

He was reacting to reports that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has ordered the closure of all pipelines carrying oil from South Sudan beginning Sunday (June 9).

Bashir told a public rally in the capital, Khartoum, Saturday that the move was in response to South Sudan's support of rebels fighting the Khartoum regime in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile.  

Benjamin denies South Sudan is supporting SPLM-N rebels.  Instead, he said it is Khartoum which has been supporting South Sudan militias like the rebel group headed by David Yau Yau.  

Benjamin said, while South Sudan has yet to receive an official communication about Bashir’s intentions, Khartoum cannot unilaterally revoke the “Cooperation Agreement” without first consulting with South Sudan.

“As we speak now, we have not got any official communication about that statement from the Republic of Sudan.  But, having said so, the agreement, which is the Cooperation Agreement between the Republic of Sudan and South Sudan, is an agreement that has got international and regional implications.  It is an agreement brokered by the African Peace and Security Council and with the support of the UN Security Council Resolution 2046,” he said.

Benjamin accused Khartoum of “blackmail” by regularly threatening to block South Sudan oil shipment.
Butty interview with Benjamin
Butty interview with Benjamini
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

“It is the tradition and custom of any government in Khartoum, including this one.  They are known for dishonouring agreements that they sign, especially when connected with South Sudan.  This is the nature of diplomacy that they have been conducting, using blackmail and hostage- taking on issues that have nothing to do with the various agreements,” Benjamin said.

He denied South Sudan is supporting SPLM-N rebels. 

“The reasons that they gave, which we hear publicly through the press, is that we are supporting rebels in their own country.  That is Southern Kordofan and Southern Blue Nile.  This is an internal issue.  It has nothing to do with us whatsoever.  So, they want to find scapegoat,” he said.

Benjamin accused Khartoum of supporting South Sudan militias like the rebel group headed by David Yau Yau.

“While I speak to you now, the militias they were supporting we just heard walked into our country, 3,000 South Sudanese militias that they armed to their teeth with the intention of asking to come and cause havoc in South Sudan.  These people said, ‘No,’ they couldn’t do that after they entered our territory.  They said they were responding to our amnesty and that they would not do this thing to our country,” Benjamin said.

He said it is undiplomatic for Khartoum to keep issuing threats.  Benjamin said the Cooperation Agreement contains provisions through which both sides can iron out their differences.

“We have, for example, the joint peace and security mechanism, which is a commission.  If there are any complaints, we can put our complaints there and discuss them.  There is a forum for economic issues, for political issues, and for diplomatic issues.  And, these are established within the context of the Cooperation Agreement,” Benjamin said.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

1855 Slave Brochure Starkly Details Sale of Black Americans

Document lists entire families that were up for sale in New Orleans, offering graphic insight into the slavery trade More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs