World Bulletin / News Desk
The South Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) denied on Monday using cluster bombs in its battles against rebel groups in the country's largest state of Jonglei.
"The SPLA categorically denies this," SPLA spokesman Col. Philip Aguer told reporters in Juba.
"This is the first time we in the SPLA are hearing about cluster bombs. We neither have the capacity to deliver these weapons, transport them nor the will to use them," he said.
"The impact of using these weapons is grave and we and our ally Uganda cannot use them. So these allegations are false."
UN experts claim to have found remnants of the weapons, including intact unexploded sub-munitions or "bomblets" in Bor, the capital of Jonglei, in an area not known to be contaminated by remnants prior to the current conflict.
South Sudan has been shaken by violence since last December, when President Salva Kiir accused sacked vice president Riek Machar of standing behind a failed coup attempt against his regime.
The violence has already claimed more than 10,000 lives. The UN estimates that some 3.7 million South Sudanese are now "severely food insecure," while more than 867,000 have been displaced by the fighting.
"The pictures that have been shown in the UN report are not of South Sudanese. They are Arabs from the Middle East. They are Arabs or Asians from the Mediterranean areas," Aguer claimed.
The army spokesman said the doors are open for the UN to come and verify the reports.
"We call on the UN and Human Rights Watch (HRW) to come and make assessments on where these happened," he added.
The New York-based HRW has called on South Sudan and Uganda to investigate the use of banned cluster bombs in the ongoing conflict.Last Mod: 18 Şubat 2014, 10:27