The Government of South Sudan has cautiously welcomed the withdrawal of Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) from Abyei.
Speaking to reporters in Juba on Tuesday, the Minister of Information, Barnaba Marial said the withdrawal though overdue, was a sign towards peace.
“It is overdue because the SPLA withdrew in May 2011 and they are withdrawing a year later,” he said.
Marial added that, “As you are always aware, Sudan government says something else and does something else, so let us see whether they really mean it this time.”
The UN has since confirmed that SAF had completed withdrawal from Abyei by Tuesday evening.
Marial expressed hope that the people of Abyei would now settle to their land and live in peace.
The minister also welcomed the decision by Sudan to get back to negotiations with South Sudan in Addis Ababa.
“We have never left the negotiation table, so we welcome Khartoum back,” he said.
Marial said Juba appreciated that Khartoum seems to have realized that war cannot bring harmony between the two countries.
Addressing the same press briefing, the spokesperson of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), Col Philip Aguer accused the Sudan armed forces of attacking South Sudan’s Warguet in Northern Bahr el Ghazal State.
“This is in contrast with the statements of Khartoum that they are committed for peace and dialogue and diplomacy.” Aguer said.
He explained that there was an attack on SPLA base in Warguet in Northern Bahr el Ghazal State.
“Yesterday with infantry forces from Mairem and using heavy machinery involving tanks, BMS heavy artillery and air, the SAF bombarded SPLA base in Warguet at around 3:00 pm,” he said.
Aguer said the SPLA repulsed the attack.
“The SPLA have destroyed one tank and two enemy trucks and killed many of SAF,” Aguer said.
Aguer further said bombing was still continuing on Tuesday.
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Friday, 7 September 2012