South Sudan Accuses Khartoum of Using Arab Militias to Sabotage Oil Fields

Arab militia used by Khartoum against civilians

South Sudan’s Deputy Minister for Defense and Veteran Affairs, Majak Agoot accused Sudan Government of using militias at the borders of South Sudan with the intention to sabotage oil fields of Unity States.

He said Khartoum continues to use proxy war at the border where it is practicing hostilities against South Sudan despite separation of the two States in July last year after a plebiscite that confirmed South Sudan’s secession.

“Khartoum continues to wage a proxy war at the border and they have been bombing Jau while Militias are being pushed at the border to sabotage oil stations as an escalation,” Agoot told journalists yesterday at a media forum in the Ministry of Information.

South Sudan last month shut down its oil production following bitter tension on oil transit fees with Sudan, and accused Khartoum of “stealing” its oil at the port terminal in Port Sudan where the South transported its crude oil for sale in the international market.

The Deputy Minister said that the Sudan armed forces (SAF) occupied a town called Balbala near Raja in South Sudan State of Western Bahr-El-Ghazal and continued to bomb Jau in Unity State despite understanding on non-aggression.

He said there was nothing new about what Khartoum was doing to South Sudan since they (Sudan) have been encouraging militias to “export” violence to South Sudan borders after the peace agreement and when South Sudan became an independent State.

“We have been cooping with Khartoum aggression and we would continue to cope with them,” he said when asked what the SPLA was doing to protect and secure the borders of South Sudan.

Sudan, South Sudan signed non-aggression MoU not a non-aggression agreement

The Deputy Minister further refuted the reports that South Sudan had signed a non-aggression agreement with Sudan but said the representatives of the two countries only signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on non-aggression pact.

He said the proposal by the African Union (AU) during the talks at Addis Ababa was a non-aggression agreement but the teams’ rejects to sign that agreement because it was too big for the negotiation team to handle it and opted to sign the MoU after breaking down the contents.

Agoot said the MoU stated in its articles that both Countries should respect mutual understanding and the fact that the sovereign principles of being two States should not be interfered with and neither Sudan nor South should hinder internal affairs of each State.

He said talks were on going in Addis Ababa on oil disputes.

When asked why South Sudan was still discussing oil matters with Khartoum he said that South Sudan was engaging Sudan until a mutual agreement is arrived at as far if the talks would not be to an expense of South Sudan.

He said the decision South Sudan took to shut down its oil operation in Sudan was a step towards South Sudan economic independence. “This is one step of gaining economic independence,” he said.

Agoot said South Sudan would continue discussing outstanding issues with Sudan including oil and if a fair deal is reached on the transit fees the South Sudan would go for it provided that the outcome is not based on sharing resources with Sudan.

The MoU also provides that both countries should refrain from launching any attack and bombardment though it was violated recently by Khartoum.