Hereward Holland and Ulf Laessing ReutersMarch 31, 2012
JUBA/KHARTOUM (Reuters) – South Sudan said on Saturday the Sudanese army had bombed its positions in the oil-producing border area, resuming a conflict that had eased earlier this week, just hours ahead of new talks.
Trading accusations, Khartoum said South Sudan had supported a rebel attack on a border town in South Kordofan state and was building up troops at the poorly-marked frontier where fighting flared on Monday and Tuesday.
Those skirmishes ended when southern troops moved out of the disputed Heglig oil field, on the Sudan side of the border, where they had gone in response to what they said was Khartoum’s bombing of southern oil fields.
It was the worst direct confrontation between the neighbors since South Sudan became independent in July under a 2005 agreement that ended decades of civil war.
Both sides are to resume talks in Addis Ababa on Saturday but diplomats see no breakthrough after Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir called off a summit with his southern counterpart Salva Kiir due to the violence.
Philip Aguer, spokesman for South Sudan’s army, the SPLA, said on Saturday the Sudanese army had bombed SPLA border positions.
“They have been bombing our positions since yesterday at 5 p.m. Their target seems to be to invade Unity (state) oil fields. They are the ones bombing our forces in different places and pushing southwards,” he said.
South Sudan’s Information Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin said the clashes were “minor” and did not amount to an escalation.
Sudanese army spokesman Sawarmi Khaled Saad accused the SPLA of helping rebels of the SPLM-North conducting an assault on the border town of Talodi in South Kordofan.
“South Sudan supported the rebels with tanks and artillery,” he told state news agency SUNA late on Friday, adding that rebels had failed to take the town and had fled to regroup.
He also said the SPLA army was amassing troops at the border south of Heglig. “The goal is to attack the Heglig area another time,” Saad said.
Aguer denied the SPLA had supported the rebel attack.
The Heglig field is key to Sudan’s economy because it produces around half of the country’s oil output of 115,000 barrels a day.
The field was awarded to Sudan by the Permanent Arbitration Court in 2009 but some southern officials have laid claim on it.
The border states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile are home to populations which sided with the south during the civil war but were left on the Sudan side of the border. The Sudanese army has been fighting SPLM-North in both states since last year.
(Writing by Uf Laessing; Additional reporting by Khaled Abdelaziz; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)
Sudan and South Sudan accuse each other of border attacks
By Hereward Holland and Aaron Maasho | Reuters
JUBA/ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Sudan and South Sudan have accused each of launching further attacks in the oil-producing area straddling their border, dashing hopes for a new round of talks designed to end the dispute.
Clashes first broke out on Monday in the worst direct confrontation between the two since South Sudan became independent in July 2011 but died down two days later when South Sudanese troops moved out of the disputed Heglig area, inside Sudan.
But on Friday Sudan launched an aerial bombardment on South Sudanese army border positions, according to South Sudan’s army. A Sudanese army spokesman in Khartoum said it attacked with artillery, not aircraft, and only in response to an earlier South Sudanese artillery attack on Heglig.
The United Nations and the United States have both warned that the clashes could reignite a civil war that stretched for decades between the mainly Muslim north and the Christian and animist South.
The Heglig field is key to Sudan’s economy because it accounts for around half of the 115,000 barrels of oil Sudan produces each day. The field was awarded to Sudan by the Permanent Arbitration Court in 2009 but some southern officials have laid claim on it.
At the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, the first set of talks since violence erupted were due to begin on Saturday but would now not take place until at least Sunday, diplomats there said.
“We are here and we are ready to talk,” Idris Abdelgadir, head of Sudan’s negotiation team, told Reuters as he arrived, but his counterpart accused Khartoum of delaying.
“We are still waiting for talks but they never showed up,” Juba’s top negotiator Pagan Amum told Reuters. “That’s because they are planning to carry out more attacks on South Sudan.”
Diplomats see no breakthrough after Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir called off an April 3 summit with his southern counterpart Salva Kiir, due to the violence.
A diplomat and Sudanese source said Khartoum was ready to talk about rescheduling the presidents’ summit but nothing had been decided yet.
Sudanese army spokesman Sawarmi Khaled Saad said the SPLA, South Sudan’s army, was also supporting rebels of the SPLM-North in an attack on the town of Talodi in South Kordofan by covertly slipping regular soldiers over the border.
Philip Aguer, spokesman for the SPLA denied it was supporting the rebel attack.
The Sudanese states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile are home to populations which sided with the south during the civil war but were included in Sudan when the border was drawn. The Sudanese army has been fighting SPLM-North rebels in both states since last year.
Sudan holds air superiority over South Sudan and has greater land firepower than the SPLA – an army drawn from former rebel militias created during the civil war.
(Writing by Ulf Laessing; Additional reporting by Khaled Abdelaziz; Editing by Ben Harding)
South Sudan keen to strengthen ties with Angola: minister
People’s Daily Online
LUANDA, March 30 (Xinhua) — Visiting South Sudanese Minister of Cabinet Affairs Deng Alor Koul said here on Friday his newly independent country hoped to strengthen ties with Angola in various fields, and the oil sector in particular…
|South Sudan says clashes with Sudan ahead of talks
By Hereward Holland and Ulf Laessing JUBA/KHARTOUM (Reuters) – South Sudan said on Saturday the Sudanese army had bombed its positions in the oil-producing border area, resuming a conflict that had eased earlier this week, just hours ahead of new talks …
Fierce battles erupt at key town in Sudan’s South Kordofan state
A source inside Teludi told Sudan Tribune today that SPLM-N briefly entered Teludi but were pushed back later in the evening. The SPLM-N has made a number of attempts to capture Teludi since the conflict in South Kordofan broke out in June last year…
Sudan Accuses South Over Rebel Attack in Oil-Rich State
Sudan’s army accused South Sudan of supporting a rebel attack on a town in the oil-rich border state of Southern Kordofan and amassing troops. Clashes between Sudanese insurgents and government soldiers erupted on March 29 for control of Taludi, …
BancABC Targets Angola, Uganda, South Sudan
Oil-rich but under-banked Angola and South Sudan, together with Uganda, are among Munatsi’s targets. BancABC, which turned over 659 million Pula during the review period from 546 million Pula in 2010, is listed on the Botswana and Zimbabwe stock …
South Sudan Closer to Being Polio-Free
Voice of America
March 30, 2012 South Sudan Closer to Being Polio-Free Andrew Green | Juba South Sudan officials are hopeful the country will soon be declared polio-free, as the latest round of nationwide polio immunizations wraps up. On the brink of being polio-free …
South Sudan says clashes with Sudan ahead of talks
JUBA/KHARTOUM (Reuters) – South Sudan said on Saturday the Sudanese army had bombed its positions in the oil-producing border area, resuming a conflict that had eased earlier this week, just hours ahead of new talks. Trading accusations, Khartoum said …
South Sudan’s Kiir orders public mobilization
March 30, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit, has instructed governors of the country’s five states bordering northern neighbor Sudan to mobilize the public for defense. In an address he delivered at the final session …
South Sudan boy’s journey from refugee camp to Yale
New Straits Times
By Nicholas D Kristof 0 comments A girl collecting water in South Sudan. Chronic poverty and unrest is denying thousands of children education. AFP pic PAUL Lorem epitomises a blunt truth about the world: talent is universal, but opportunity is not…
Sudan, South Sudan to resume talks, don’t want war
By Hereward Holland and Ulf Laessing JUBA/KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Sudan and South Sudan are expected to resume talks on Saturday, with leaders of the former civil war foes playing down the risks of a war after the most violent border clashes since the …