South Sudan rebels allied to Riek Machar have dismissed allegations that Khartoum has been giving them weapons and ammunition.
In a statement to the press, James Gatdet Dak, Machar’s spokesman said that the evidence presented by the London-based Conflict Armament Research (CAR) is not conclusive to prove that the weapons were delivered to them from Khartoum during the war.
CAR in a recent report, said ammunition captured from the SPLA-IO in Pigi County, Jonglei state was identical to other weapons that Sudan has provided to South Sudanese rebels in recent years, and showed damage from being airdropped.
It concluded that President Omar al-Bashir was arming South Sudan rebels which Gatdet contested saying the weapons they have were taken from defeated SPLA soldiers.
He further said that the South Sudan government buys weapons from Sudan and others from China as revealed last year when a consignment of $38 worth of weaponry shipped through Port Mombassa of Kenya destined for South Sudan.
“Since we have been capturing sizable quantities of weapons from the government, seeing a Sudanese or Chinese manufactured weapon shouldn’t be a surprise. It shouldn’t also be alleged as evidence of receiving weapons from Khartoum,” Gatdet concluded.
Rebels take village in Aweil
Meanwhile, Radio Tamazuj quotes Machar’s rebel claiming the capture of Achana administrative unit in Aweil West County, about 40 kilometres away from the Northern Bahr al Ghazal capital Aweil.
Deng Deng, SPLA-IO commander in the area, told Radio Tamazuj that they attacked the area and captured military equipment.
However, the rebel commander didn’t give further details about the alleged attack on the area.
Radio Tamazuj could not reach government officials to comment on the opposition fighter’s claim.
Recently, however, the commissioner of Aweil North County Kon Angok Kon told Radio Tamazuj that opposition forces were present in the northern part of the county near the border with Darfur.
He accused forces of defector Dau Aturjong and rebel leader Riek Machar of carrying out activities in the area.
He added that the opposition forces include soldiers who defected from Wau last year.