Reports on S. Sudanese detention of Egyptian soldiers sparks heated debate
Rebel fighters gather in a village in Upper Nile State, South Sudan - REUTERS

CAIRO: Reports in a number of Sudanese newspapers about the detention of a number of Egyptian soldiers in South Sudan sparked disagreement among Egyptians.

The reports also stated that the Nuer White Army detained and killed a number of the Egyptian soldiers during their participation in the current battle between the ruling regime and opposition in South Sudan.

According to Sudanese Intbaha Newspaper, the opposition White Army detained and killed 14 Egyptian soldiers during their participation in the battle that took place in the Ayod district to support the governmental troops.  However, South Sudan’s Upper Nile Times published on May 3 the names of detained prisoners affiliated to the Egyptian army.

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Wednesday denying what it described as rumors and lies. He added that these rumors were launched on social media networks, and that newspapers published them without making sure of their authenticity.

Political expert Gamal Zahran said that the reports come in the framework of the “international conspiracy against Egypt” prior to the upcoming presidential elections scheduled to be held on May 26 and 27.

He added in a statement to Youm7 that these rumors aim to target the military institution in Egypt, describing them as psychological warfare that should be confronted by the state institutions and media channels.

On the other hand, Dr. Gamal Salama, Professor of Political Science in Suez Canal University, stated that the reports aim to undermine Egypt’s relations with the African states.

He added in a statement to Al-Shorouq news website, “The foreign press performs a major role to undermine these relations and to prevent Egypt from restoring its membership in the African Union.”

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