KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudan’s intelligence chief warned South Sudan against “hostile moves from its territory”, saying any incursion by rebel forces based in its neighbor would be treated as an “assault” by Juba.
In comments broadcast by a Sudanese news channel, Mohamed Atta named two camps in neighboring South Sudan’s Northern Bahr el Ghazal state and urged Juba to disarm the rebels there.
Each side has accused the other of harboring rebels seeking to destabilize the other, but tensions have spiked again since the collapse of African Union-brokered talks in the Ethiopian capital on Dec. 9.
Atta said the rebels were from the Justice and Equality Movement, an armed group that emerged during the war in Sudan’s western Darfur region. While fighting peaked there in 2003 and 2004, law and order has not returned and clashes between insurgents and government forces have continued despite a large United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force.
“We say to the South Sudan government that peace is better for you and better for us and ask them for reciprocity in not harboring any armed movements.”
Relations between the two states have been troubled since the oil-rich south seceded in 2011. The governments have been unable through the African Union-backed negotiations process to reach an agreement on disputed sections of 1,800-km (1,200-mile) border. Fighting along the frontier came to the brink of full-scale war in 2012.
Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; Writing by Maggie Fick; Editing by Robin Pomeroy