Ethiopia denies sending weapons to South Sudan

October 15th, 2008 | by addis portal |

October 14, 2008 (KHARTOUM) — Ethiopia has denied charges of sending weapons to the Government of Southern Sudan by an aircraft during the past week.

Sudanese foreign ministry summoned yesterday the Ethiopian ambassador to Sudan and conveyed strong protest over alleged weapons shipment to the former rebel Sudan people’s Liberation Army.

Ethiopia’s ambassador Ali Abdu n a press conference held Monday after his meeting at the foreign ministry said the plane transported samples for a trade fair scheduled to be held in Juba for Ethiopian companies.

Abdu further said the air-shipped samples include military gears, spare parts, some samples of firearms, and military uniforms. The ambassador stressed that these samples would be repatriated to Ethiopia at the end of the exhibition on October 16.

The Ethiopian Ambassador in Khartoum said that the purpose of the military equipment was to show the capacity and industrial potential of the concerned companies but not to supply the SPLA.

The Vice President of the Government of Southern Sudan Riak Machar has dismissed any knowledge of reports of an Ethiopian airplane landing in Juba with heavy weapons.

Machar said a press statement that even if the weapons belong to the SPLA, then there is still no problem because the Comprehensive Peace Agreement grants the SPLA the right to get arms from any sources and it does not require any coordination from Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) to import weapons. Machar added that SAF did not need any co-ordination with the SPLA to import weapons when it imported jet fighters recently.

The CPA agreement does give the GoSS executive and legislative powers over military and security forces during the 2005-2011 interim period, but Juba is still subject to another part of the agreement on security arrangements, which states that the Joint Military Board has to determine the issue and submit it to the presidency for approval.

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