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JEM, Juba accuse Sudan of harboring Kony rebels - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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In this Nov. 12, 2006 file photo, the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, Joseph Kony answers journalists' questions following a meeting with UN humanitarian chief Jan Egeland at Ri-Kwamba in southern Sudan. (AP Photo/Stuart Price)

In this Nov. 12, 2006 file photo, the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, Joseph Kony answers journalists’ questions following a meeting with UN humanitarian chief Jan Egeland at Ri-Kwamba in southern Sudan. (AP Photo/Stuart Price)

London, Asharq Al-Awsat—Fighters from Ugandan militias affiliated with Africa’s most wanted man, Joseph Kony, are present in the border region between Sudan and South Sudan, key opposition figures in Khartoum said.

Sudan’s opposition Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) accused the Khartoum government of trying to undermine regional stability by “harboring and training” fighters affiliated with the Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and other Central African militias. The LRA, headed by African warlord Joseph Kony, has been accused of widespread human rights violations.

In comments to Asharq Al-Awsat JEM spokesman Jibril Adam Bilal accused President Omar Al-Bashir’s government of overseeing, training and bankrolling African militias in the border region between Sudan and South Sudan. These militias are marching towards Darfur, the JEM spokesman said.

Government helicopters have been spotted shuttling between Khartoum and the border zones, where the militias are stationed, with “senior Sudanese officials arriving in the region to oversee the conditions and preparations of these forces,” the opposition official added.

“We accuse the Sudanese government of supporting and harboring LRA and Central African militias, opening camps to train, arm and bankroll these militias in a bid to destabilize South Sudan, Uganda and the Central African Republic,” the JEM spokesman told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Bilal claimed that Khartoum is preparing to “send the militias to conflict zones in Darfur, the Blue Nile and South Kordofan.” There are a number of regions under contention between Juba and Khartoum following the secession of South Sudan in 2011.

South Sudanese Military spokesman Col. Philip Aguer informed Asharq Al-Awsat that Juba has reliable information about LRA fighters being mobilized along the borders with Sudan.

“All of these forces have come from Darfur and we have been monitoring their movements of late,” Aguer said.

“Our forces are closely monitoring the movement of these militias and will deal with them in the event of any attack on the army or civilians,” he said.