Juba Accuses “Neighboring Country” of Arming Rebels

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"Un-named neighboring country" is arming the rebels" - Gen. Paul-Malong Awan
“An Unnamed neighboring country is arming the rebels” – Gen. Paul-Malong Awan

By TesfaNews,

SOUTH Sudan on Monday accused an unnamed neighboring country of allegedly supporting opposition forces fighting the Juba government.

The army chief of general staff, Gen. Paul Malong Awan, said there were some “unusual” movements within South Sudan’s borders, but declined to name country allegedly involved in dealing with the rebels.

“We have not reached that level of pointing figures but where they get ammunition and new guns?” Awan said. 

“I believe that something unusual is happening,” added the army chief.

Rebel forces on Sunday launched their largest offensive since an oft-broken May truce, attacking the strategic Upper Nile state town of Nasir. Both government and rebels insist they control the small town.

Army chief Awan said government forces are in full control of Nasir.

The governor of Upper Nile, Simon Kun Puoc, also claimed government forces were in “full control” of Nasir, despite opposition forces insisting they control the strategically located town.

The United Nations, however, said most parts of Nasir appears to be under the control of opposition forces, apart from South Sudanese army (SPLA) barracks, located west of the town.

Ethiopia has been suspected of forging secret alliance with rebel leader Dr. Machar and allegedly extend material and weapon support ever since Uganda declared its support for President Kiir’s government.

With the arrival of new Ethiopian General to head the UNMISS and recent deployment of Ethiopian soldiers dubbed as ‘peacekeepers’ to South Sudan, Juba has every reason to worry.

Meanwhile, Uganda refuses to receive South Sudan rebel delegation that arrived in Kampala early Monday.

The high level delegation arrived at Entebbe International Airport to meet Ugandan President Museveni. But the Ugandan government ignored the delegation and refused to receive them altogether.

Frustrated, the rebel delegation finally decided to return to their base to the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, after nearly one day at the airport.

The rebels call Kampala’s move a “humdrum“, adding that they are not surprised.

“The attitude demonstrated by the Ugandan leadership has clearly indicated that President Museveni is not serious to dialogue with our leadership. Maybe the Ugandan leadership had a different intention,” said rebels spoksperson James Gatdet Dak.

Uganda on its part said the team had just arrived and then left.

“They never communicated they were coming, they just arrived,” Ugandan Foreign Minister Henry Okello Oryem explained. “That’s not the way we do things here – if a foreign delegation is visiting, they communicate.”

Stalled peace talks taking place in Ethiopia are being mediated by the regional East African IGAD-bloc, of which Uganda and Ethiopia are key member.

“It does not bother us,” Oryem added. “It is in their interest to talk to us, not us.”