S. Sudan refutes claim of President Kiir’s “apology letter” to Obama

By IndepthAfrica
In East Africa
Aug 8th, 2012
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South Sudan on Tuesday strongly refuted reports
that its President, Salva Kiir wrote “an apology letter” to his US
counterpart, Barack Obama denying his alleged support for Sudanese
rebels, SPLM-N.

The report, which appeared in McClatchy, one of US largest newspaper
groups, said the South Sudan leader wrote to Obama, allegedly
explaining why he twice denied that Juba was throwing its weight
behind rebels opposed to the Khartoum government.

The newspaper, in an article published on Thursday last week, further
claimed that President Kiir, in his alleged letter, also accepted
offering support to rebels, but that he could not admit in a meeting
earlier with Obama in September 2011.

But South Sudan’s information minister, Benjamin Barnaba Marial,
strongly dismissed the report, describing it as “untrue” and a mere
“creation” by those behind the publication.

“There is nothing like that. What has happened is that President Obama
wrote a letter to President Salva Kiir which was handed in by the
Secretary of State Clinton, who came here to Juba and I was there
watching. But the contents of the letter have not yet been released by
the President,” Marial said.

The minister, while addressing a press conference on Tuesday, further
stressed that his government remains committed to peaceful relations
with Sudan, adding that supporting rebels fighting its neighbors would
contravene its vision.

Marial, also South Sudan’s government spokesperson said the people of
South Sudan remain sympathetic to situation in South Kordofan and Blue
Nile states, and that explains why President Kiir offered to assist
his Sudanese counterpart, Omer Al-Bashir in finding solutions to end
the conflict.

“President Salva has been saying that we are not supporting the
SPLM-North, but the fact that we are sympathetic to them and that
President Kiir can help to assist President Bashir if he negotiates
peacefully with the SPLM-North as required by the [United Nations] Security Council 2046,” he emphasized.

The minister, however, said the visit of US Secretary of State,
Hillary Clinton was instrumental in improving the relations and
partnership between the two countries, in addition to ensuring
peaceful relations between Sudan and South Sudan

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