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South Sudan downplays Sudan war threats over disputed borders

South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardiit, left, and Sudan’s leader of Sovereignty Council, Abdel Fatah al-Burhan, right (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

August 27, 2020(Nyamilepedia)South Sudan’s government spokesman and the minister of information, Hon. Michael Makuei Lueth, downplays Sudan’s military threat over the oil-rich disputed areas.

Addressing the Sudanese armed forces at Wad Sayedna in Khartoum’s Omdurman district, the chairman of Sudanese Sovereign Council and the acting president, Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, revealed a military strategy for the Sudanese to reclaim disputed areas along the border with South Sudan and also with Egypt.

Al-burhan threatened that his forces will raise the flag of Sudan in the disputed regions along the borders adding that “we want to see our army get back those areas”

“A day will come when the Sudan Armed Forces will raise the flag of Sudan in the greater Fashka, Halayib, Shalaten, Joda and all the disputed areas,” said an excited General Abdel Fattah El Burhan to the Sudanese troops on Monday, 24 August, 2020.

“We want to see our army get back those areas so that Sudan can take control of all areas across the country,” he added.

Responding to Al-Burhan, South Sudan’s government spokesman, Michael Makuei Lueth, said those are just political statements that do not deserve a response.

“These are political statements, which we cannot just respond,” Makuei stated, adding “…and that is a different thing also.” Michael Makuei told local media.

It is not clear what provoked the Sudanese military junta, who barely came to power through a military coup two years ago, to threat over the disputed borders but according to political analysts this could be a strategy to rally public support in order for the military leadership to consolidate its grip on power.

Al-Burhan came to power through a civilian led uprising that toppled the former dictator, Gen. Hassan el Bashir, in mid 2018.

Many Sudanese continue to demand a transition from dictatorship to civilian led democratic leadership; however, a military strategy over the dispute border could create a conflict of interest.

The two Sudans have been one country until the South broke away in 2011 after 50 years of fighting and the two returned to war over the disputed borders in 2012 but since then the relationships have significantly improved.

While Sudan is a peace guarantor and one of the main peace mediators of South Sudan conflict, South Sudan is also mediating the Al-Burhan government and the Sudanese rebels.

By mediating one another’s conflict, the two countries stop supporting the rebels of the other country and this seems to be one of the ways the two countries can co-exist side by side.

In addition to peace mediation, the two countries are implementing corporate agreements that they signed in 2012 over the disputes borders, oil resources and non-interference in one another’s internal affairs.

The managing of the disputed borders has been far more challenging for the two countries and the borders have been closed a few times; however, the two countries continue to forge ways forward.

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