The government of Sudan has accused South Sudanese forces of moving into the contested area of Joda in Upper Nile State.
South Sudan has responded by alleging that Sudanese forces are building up troops and encroaching around Joda.
The Sudanese Minister of Information, Ahmed Belal Osman told Eye Radio today that he believes the SPLA are patrolling in and around Joda.
“There are two areas known as Joda: One is attached to South Sudan, and the other within Sudan. We are talking about one in the North –which is in Sudan.” Ahmed Belal Osman the Sudanese Minister of Information, told Eye Radio. “The Sudanese farmers have cultivated there for hundreds of years, and it is in the same place that they are, that farmers have been expelled by the SPLA in the area within Sudan.”
Mr. Osman said that such alleged incursions are “uncalled for because currently there are good signs and improvement in our relationship between South Sudan”.
“Things like that not supposed to happen. If there is any complaint from South Sudan, it can be resolved in a good way not by the occupation of the area.’’
Responding the allegations of South Sudanese forces patrolling around Joda, Colonel Philip Aguer the SPLA spokesperson said that it was the Sudanese army that was building up troops along the border of Upper Nile state.
“Khartoum forces violated the buffer zone agreement that was implemented in March by the two armies by withdrawing 10 kilometers from the center of the buffer zone,” he told Eye Radio.
“The SPLA withdrew southward by ten kilometers and (the Sudan army) withdrew ten kilometers northward from the buffer zone. On the 25th we were surprised by SAF returning to their position and they came with heavy machinery with six tanks and more.’’
Colonel Aguer also said that the SPLA has reported the matter to the African Union High Implementation Panel and the relevant UN bodies.
Earlier this month, Sudan and South Sudan reconfirmed their commitment to deploy joint patrols to monitor the border and to establish a demilitarized zone on the disputed areas.
The governments of the two countries also agreed to stop supporting rebel groups from both sides and to open ten crossing points on the border.
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