•Speaks out on Bashir’s indictment
A visiting delegation of Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) has joined its voice in condemning the recent attacks on the United Nations Mission in Darfur that claimed five Rwanda peacekeepers.
Speaking at RDF headquarters in Kimihurura, Maj Gen Kuol Arob who is heading the SPLA delegation that is in the country for a study tour said that SPLA has joined the international community in condemning the recent attacks which claimed seven lives.
Five Rwandan peacekeepers and two police officers from Ghana and Uganda were killed early this month when a convoy they were escorting was ambushed in Shangiya Tobaya, 40km south of El-Fasher in the troubled Sudanese region of Darfur.
“We strongly condemn the attack and send our condolences to the families of the fallen soldiers,” said Gen. Arob.
Asked to comment about the recent indictment by the International Criminal Court of Sudanese President Omar-el-Bashir, Gen. Arob said, “Despite the fact that the issue of indictments is political and not in anyway related to the army, in our view, we believe that no one is above the law.”
Recently the ICC chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo filed for an arrest warrant against Bashir whom he accuses of Genocide and crimes against humanity on the people of Darfur.
In a separate development speaking about their visit to Rwanda after meeting with the Chief of General Staff, Gen James Kabarebe Gen.
Arob said that the main purpose of their visit to Rwanda is to gain experience of how the country (Rwanda) managed to transform its army from a guerrilla force into a professional army.
Arob also said that SPLA had deployed similar teams in different African countries for similar study tours.
The Rwandan Military Spokesman, Maj. Jill Rutaremara said that all the nine SPLA army Commanders are students at the Dr. Garang Memorial Military Academy. The academy was started in 2000 by SPLA as the Institute for Strategic Studies (ISS).
In July 2006, the ISS was renamed Dr. Garang Memorial Military Academy by Lt. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit, the 1st Vice President of the Republic of Sudan and President of the Government of Southern Sudan, in memory of the late Dr. John Garang De Mabior.
The SPLA officers visited Gisozi Memorial site before heading to the RDF headquarters where they met with the RDF High Command and several officials from the Ministry of Defence.
The team will also meet with officials from the Rwanda National Demobilization and Reintegration Commission, officials of Rwanda National Unity and Reconciliation Commission, the Office in charge of National Parks and Tourism in Rwanda (ORTPN), Military Medical Insurance (MMI) and Zigama – Credit and Savings Scheme (CSS).