South Sudan says Sudan Army backing militias

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The Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) of South Sudan has said that the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the National Security are supporting militias led by Galwak Gai.

According to SPLA spokesperson, Major General Kuol Diem Kuol,
Sudan People’s Liberation Army forces yesterday (Thursday) clashed with the militia in Unity State, where they [the militia] lost some men.

“‘They attacked us but our forces responded bravely. Our troops killed of eight of Galwak’s men and also captured of 13 others. We lost one soldier during the fight,” confirmed Kuol Diem Kuol.

However, the spokesman of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), Lieutenant Colonel Al Sawarmi Khalid Saad has denied allegations claiming Sudan Armed Forces’ involvement in the clashes in Southern Sudan.

“It is not true that Sudan armed Forces are supporting Galwak Gai’s militia. If there are any proofs regarding SAF’s involvement then the legal procedure is to file a complaint to the Joint Military Committee rather than take the issue to the media,” said Al Sawarmi.

He also said that SAF and the SPLA are the “nucleus” of the future Sudanese army and therefore it would be “illogical” for SAF to fight the Southern Sudanese army.


Sudan has suffered from a longstanding rivalry between the predominantly Islamic and Arabic North and the Christian South with mostly Black populations. And South Sudan in particular has been negatively affected by two successive Sudanese Civil Wars which lasted for all but 10 years since the country’s independence in 1956.

The instability resulted in serious neglect, lack of infrastructure development, and major destruction and displacement.

But after the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the North and South which ended 22-year civil war that caused the death of some 2 million people, southern politicians still accuse the north of backing proxy militias it once supported in the civil war.

Southern politicians claim that the Northern (the main) government in Khartoum wants to ferment southern divisions to scupper the 2011 referendum. But northern politicians deny the accusations, claiming southern politicians want to shift the blame for their failure to establish peace and restore security in the south.

According to the United Nations, more people died in such clashes in 2009 than in the Darfur conflict. An independence referendum is due for the South in 2011, which may split North and South Sudan.


South Sudan is home to 80% of all Sudanese oil. Oil royalties count for 60% of the total revenue in Khartoum and 98% in the semi-autonomous Government of Southern Sudan and contributes to a little over 70% of all Sudanese exports.

The oil resource remains the greatest challenge for the 2011 referendum.

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