SUDAN WATCH: S. Sudan army SPLA captured Khartoum-destined 'copter carrying militias allied to Athor -SPLA resists UNMIS patrols on border between south and Darfur

Thursday, August 12, 2010

S. Sudan army SPLA captured Khartoum-destined 'copter carrying militias allied to Athor -SPLA resists UNMIS patrols on border between south and Darfur

THE President of the semi-autonomous Government of Southern Sudan, General Salva Kiir Mayardit, who is also the First Vice President of the Republic, has directed the legal authority in the region to prosecute the captured officers from the rebels led by the former SPLA General, George Athor Deng.

The officers including Athor’s third person in command were captured in a helicopter on transit at Fulluj airport in Upper Nile state as the plane was returning from Jonglei state to Khartoum.

The SPLM’s Secretary-General, Pagan Amum, told reporters in a press conference in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, on Tuesday that the South Sudan army, SPLA, on 8 August captured the helicopter after it landed in Fulug county airport, Upper Nile State, on its way back from Athor’s strongholds in the Fangak area.

SOURCES: See reports below from SRS and Sudan Tribune

GOSS Captures Militias Allied To Renegade General George Athor
Source: SRS - Sudan Radio Service
Date: Wednesday, 11 August 2010:
(Khartoum) - The Government of Southern Sudan says it has captured a helicopter from Khartoum at Faluj airport in Upper Nile State carrying militias allied to renegade General George Athor.

The S-P-L-M Secretary-General Pagan Amum was speaking in Khartoum on Tuesday.

[Pagan Amum]: “On the 8th of August 2010, a cargo helicopter left Khartoum and landed at Faluj airport in Upper Nile State. From there, it flew to Fanjag to areas controlled by George Athor, who rebelled against the G-O-S-S in order to destabilize security in Southern Sudan. The plane returned to Faluj and when it landed at Faluj airport, a force from the S-P-L-A besieged the plane and searched it and found on the plane a group of leaders who belong to Athor under the leadership of the third in command of Athor’s forces. They were on their way to Khartoum and they have been arrested together with the helicopter crew.”

Amum said the G-O-S-S has launched an investigation into the incident.

[Pagan Amum]: “Now G-O-S-S has decided to launch an investigation in order to reveal in a transparent and complete manner that there are people in Khartoum that are supporting Athor’s group with a lot of things and they are working with him openly in order to destabilize security in Southern Sudan and this is a dangerous development to disrupt the peace process and spoil the process leading up to the conduct of the self-determination referendum for Southern Sudan.”

Mister Amum said those involved in will be brought to justice.
- - -

South Sudan captures Khartoum-destined helicopter with rebels on board
Source: Sudan Tribune
Published: Wednesday 11 August 2010
August 10, 2010 (BOR/KHARTOUM) — South Sudan said it has impounded a Khartoum-destined cargo helicopter carrying men loyal to Gorge Athor, the man behind a rebellion against the government of the semi-autonomous region. The ruling party in southern Sudan, SPLM, accused "quarters in northern Sudan of supporting the renegade general in order to destabilize the south".

However, the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) in the north has rejected the SPLM’s claims, dismissing them as "false accusations" whose aim is to "run away from the reality of the unstable security situation in the south."

North and South Sudan fought a civil war for two decades. The war ended when the SPLM and the NCP signed a peace deal dubbed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005, giving the mainly Christian-animist south autonomous role from the Muslim-dominated north and promises of a referendum on independence due in January 2011.

The SPLM’s Secretary-General, Pagan Amum, told reporters in a press conference in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, on Tuesday that the South Sudan army, SPLA, on 8 August captured the helicopter after it landed in Fulug county airport, Upper Nile State, on its way back from Athor’s strongholds in the Fangak area.

The former independent election candidate Gorge Athor staged a rebellion against south Sudan’s government last April after he lost gubernatorial elections in Jonglei State to the SPLM’s candidate Kuol Manyang Juuk. General Athor refused to concede defeat and claimed vote rigging. Athor had served with the SPLA during two decades of civil war and was promoted to be the SPLA’s deputy Chief of General Staff for Moral Orientation after the signing of the CPA in 2005.

"After landing in Fulug, SPLA forces raided the helicopter to find a group of Athor’s loyalists, including the third-in-command of his group, on their way back to Khartoum” said Amum, adding that "all men were arrested along with the helicopter’s crew".

Intelligence sources in Jonglei state, speaking on condition of anonymity to Sudan Tribune, said that "the former commissioner of Pigi county, James Yhor, and other senior Athor’s military men were the ones found in the helicopter". The sources further added that the detained rebels were wounded and heading for hospital in northern Sudan to receive medical treatment.

Amum has also declared that south Sudan will launch a probe into the case, considering it as "a serious development indicating that some quarters in Khartoum were supporting Athor in order to undermine security and stability in the south and obstruct the referendum".

News of capturing the helicopter by the SPLA was first reported by the subtly pro-government Alray Alamm newspaper on 9 August. The paper, which said that the helicopter belongs to Sudanair, Sudan’s national airlines company, quoted "a high-ranking source" as saying that the helicopter was "chartered by Fangak Aid Organization to transport aid materials".

For its part, the NCP’s official spokesman, Fathi Shillah, accused Pagan Amum of "launching hollow and false accusations" against the NCP in order to "run away from the reality of security instability in the south".

In statements published by the state-run Sudan Media Center last night, Shillah demanded that the SPLM intervenes and releases the helicopter and make an apology for the SPLA’s actions.

He reiterated that the NCP respects the existing partnership with the SPLM alongside its commitment to the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
- - -

Kiir directs for prosecution of captured officers of renegade George Athor
Source: Sudan Tribune
Published: Thursday, 12 August 2010:
August 11, 2010 (JUBA) – The President of the semi-autonomous Government of Southern Sudan, General Salva Kiir Mayardit, who is also the First Vice President of the Republic, has directed the legal authority in the region to prosecute the captured officers from the rebels led by the former SPLA General, George Athor Deng.

The officers including Athor’s third person in command were captured in a helicopter on transit at Fulluj airport in Upper Nile state as the plane was returning from Jonglei state to Khartoum.

The Secretary General of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and minister of Peace and CPA Implementation, Pagan Amum, announced the fate of the officers while addressing the press in Khartoum on Wednesday. He said Athor’s officers were found on board the helicopter destined for Khartoum and were immediately arrested.

Athor rebelled against the government after he was declared loser in the April gubernatorial elections in Jonglei state against the incumbent governor, Kuol Manyang Juuk, whom he accused of allegedly rigging the votes.
- - -

SPLA resists UNMIS patrols on border between south and Darfur
Source: Sudan Tribune
Published: Thursday 12 August 2010 - excerpt:
August 12, 2010 (KHARTOUM) – The Force Commander of the United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS), told the UN Security Council (UNSC) last week that the southern Sudanese army had resisted their efforts to patrol the area of south Sudan that borders the troubled western state of Darfur.

Major-General Moses Bisong Obi said August 6 that the area was of particular concern. He told the UNSC that the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) had often resisted UNMIS efforts to send patrols to the area.

UNMIS Helicopter Hijacked

Also in his statement to the UNSC Bisong ‘described incidents in which an UNMIS helicopter had been hijacked and a patrol manhandled.’

The same UN source said that technically the incident was a hijack under international law but downplayed the incident.

Two SPLA soldiers who were being transported on the helicopter between Juba and Malakal had started an argument with the pilot who refused to drop them off at a third destination the source told Sudan Tribune.

There were no guns or violence involved in the dispute, the source said. All weapons on UNMIS flights are stowed in the hold unless the aircraft is on a patrol.

The helicopter landed over an hour later than scheduled and the soldiers involved were arrested by southern Sudanese authorities on arrival said the UN official.

This was a separate incident to the Russian pilot of a UN helicopter kidnapped in Darfur in June and the capture August 10 of a helicopter, which the SPLA claim was carrying Khartoum backed rebels.

The rest of the details on Bisong’s statement to the UNSC can be found on the UN’s website. (ST)

Labels: , , ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

Click HERE to scroll up ......Click HERE to scroll down