News / Africa

South Sudan Urges Sudan to Stop Attacks By Armed Groups

South Sudan's Foreign Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin speaks during a press conference with Interior minister Aleu Ayienyi Aleu (L), in Juba, South Sudan, April 18, 2014. The Government of South Sudan strongly condemns the attack on innocent civilians in
South Sudan's Foreign Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin speaks during a press conference with Interior minister Aleu Ayienyi Aleu (L), in Juba, South Sudan, April 18, 2014. The Government of South Sudan strongly condemns the attack on innocent civilians in
Peter Clottey
South Sudan has urged Sudan to prevent armed groups -- including rebels loyal to former vice president Riek Machar -- from using its territory to launch attacks against the world’s newest nation, according to Barnaba Mariel Benjamin, South Sudan’s foreign minister.

Benjamin says ongoing communication between South Sudan President Salva Kiir and Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir will prevent the “enemies of peace and regional stability” from undermining the warming diplomatic relations between Juba and Khartoum.

“The government of the Republic of South Sudan is committed absolutely to a cooperation agreement, which actually forms the basis for improving relations between Sudan and South Sudan,” said Benjamin.

“This agreement is very important because it guarantees the future of peace between the two countries,” said Benjamin. “Therefore, any moves that undermine this agreement is actually spoiling relations and making it difficult for the neighbors to move forward. This is why we [tell] the Republic of Sudan that allowing some of these Janjaweed and others to come into Unity State and cause havoc is unacceptable.”

His comments come after South Sudan expressed concern that armed groups including the Janjaweed and the Messeriya cross the border into South Sudan to launch attacks on its citizens and oil fields.

But, Sudan denies the allegation, insisting that the government in Khartoum does not interfere in South Sudan’s internal affairs.

Last week, rebels allied to former vice president Machar announced they had taken Bentiu, the capital of South Sudan’s Unity State. Benjamin says the attacks came from people who are “enemies” of regional cohesion and good neighborliness.

“These are the people we are accusing of spoiling the relationship between the two countries.  The attacks now come from the northern part of our country, and they come from the Republic of Sudan. That is why we are urging the Sudan government to be alert,” he said.

Benjamin says his government will keep its commitment to continue improving diplomatic and bilateral relations with the government in Khartoum.

“We are doing everything in our power to improve that relationship. But, [it does not augur] allowing the Janjaweed and ethnic groups like the Messeriya, people well trained and well-armed, to come and attack our oil fields [and massacre citizens] in Unity State like what they did in Bentiu,” said Benjamin. “We are urging Sudan to check its side of the border in order to make sure that no hostile elements are allowed to come into South Sudan to cause havoc,” he said.

Benjamin however says South Sudan has yet to officially petition Sudan to complain about the cross border attacks that he says come from its northern neighbor.
Clottey interv with Barnaba Mariel Benjamin,South Sudan foreign minister
Clottey interv with Barnaba Mariel Benjamin,South Sudan foreign ministeri
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Comment Sorting
by: Lual Peter from: Nairobi
April 21, 2014 4:31 AM
Hey Marial. Why is Uganda in South Sudan and you don't want Sudan to involve? Is it really logic for you to allow foreign forces in South Sudan territory and prevent others having even more interest than Uganda in South Sudan? You better evaluate your words before saying it.

by: wnyin from: canada
April 20, 2014 10:24 PM
This is a prove that Arab's World had established a well planned JIHAD against the majority "Christians," in South Sudan. There is a ghost government in North Sudan that is behind arms supply to the rebels of Riek Machar, and Bashir won't dare to point any finger, because he knows that the day he does would be the end of his life as well his "Moderate," Government. The day Omar Bashir blinks, is a time the most dangerous terrorists in the whole world will take over Sudan. The whole war on terror has been a jok. Terrorism is thriving unhindered in Sudan to this day and Southerners have been fighting them Since Jamal Abdelnaser's era. It seems that troubles around the world are on the increase, South Sudan is not an exception but a test to the world and leason, that how evil is the heart of man. There is no peace. Like it or not it is the truth. Any agreement between Juba and Khartoum, were only on papers.

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