Source: Sudan Tribune
South Sudan accused the Sudanese government Monday of “rounding up” its nationals living in the troubled western region of Darfur, which shares a direct border with the South’s Western and Northern Bahr el Ghazal State.
Juba made the allegation in the wake of accusing the Sudanese army of carrying out coordinated air and ground attacks on 26 December on Kiir Adem, a locality which lies within the disputed “14 Miles” area. In the security arrangements of the Cooperation Agreement the two countries signed last September, Mile 14 was designated as part of the demilitarized area along the 1,800km border in order to decrease tensions over contested areas.
At least five people were killed, South Sudan’s army (SPLA) said last week, following aerial and ground attacks allegedly carried out by the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) on Wednesday. According to the United Nations, 4,000 people were displaced in Northern Bahr el Ghazal from the areas surrounding Kiir Adem following previous bombings between 20 and 23 November.
In a further illustration of the border tensions, South Sudan’s army on Friday accused the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) of holding hostage South Sudanese farmers which it had kidnapped from across the border from Upper Nile State.
South Sudan seceded from Sudan in July 2011 but many issues, including border demarcation and contested areas such as Abyei, remain unresolved. The September agreement appeared to resolve the issues of oil transit fees and citizenship rights but these aspects have not been implemented due to the impasse over security arrangements.
The September deal agreed to accord citizens of both states the freedom of residence, freedom of movement, freedom to undertake economic activity and freedom to acquire and dispose property in both countries.
There are no definite statistics giving details of the number of South Sudanese living in Darfur, although authorities estimate that between 3,000 and 6,000. Most of them come from the states of Warrap, Western and Northern Bahr el Ghazal.