World Bulletin/News Desk
The South Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) is reportedly controlling the disputed area of Joda on the joint border with Sudan, claiming it belongs to South Sudan.
Al-Jaily Fadhlalmola, a resident of the area, told Anadolu Agency over the phone that the area is currently under the control of the South Sudan army.
He said the SPLA, which was founded as a guerrilla movement in 1983 and became the army of South Sudan after its secession in September 2011, closed schools and prevented people from going to fields or grazing, ordering them to stay home.
"They asked the citizens of the area to pay 240 SDG per person or leave the area, and when they refused, they subjected them to siege, terror and starvation," Fadhlalmola claimed.
"They even started changing the vehicle license plates to the South, issuing immigration documents and renting the lands of the Joda agricultural project," he added.
Joda lies along the border between Sudan's White Nile state and South Sudan's Upper Nile state.
The area is one of the eight disputed areas along the joint borders between the two countries.
Anadolu Agency tried to reach the army spokesperson, but his phone was cut off.
An AA correspondent phoned the press secretary of the presidency and was asked to talk to the Sudan and South Sudan Joint Political and Security Committee (JPSC).
The Sudanese Foreign Ministry's Ambassador Badraodeen Abduallah, a spokesperson in the negotiations team who is also in charge of South Sudan's file, said the issue is being addressed by the JPSC.
Ambassador Abduallah expected the issue to be "resolved very soon."
The media officer at the South Sudan Embassy in Khartoum was not answering calls to his mobile.
The JPSC met two days earlier in Khartoum in order to discuss ways to implement security arrangements, establish a demilitarized zone on their border, open crossings and ease the mobility of citizens from both countries.
The JPSC said its meeting was fruitful and described it as a positive sign of cooperation between the two countries, and as a step in the right direction to build mutual confidence.Güncelleme Tarihi: 26 Ağustos 2013, 15:47