South Sudan accuses Khartoum of fresh bombings
Published Saturday, July 21, 2012
South Sudan on Saturday accused Sudan of launching a new air raid on its territory and queried if Khartoum was trying to derail fragile peace talks which resumed recently.
"There was bombing yesterday morning at a place called Rubaker," in northern Bahr el Ghazal, South Sudan's military spokesman Philip Aguer told AFP, adding that "this might have implications because maybe that is the intention of Sudan to bomb us and to stop talking".
Aguer said eight bombs were dropped by Sudanese army Antonov planes.
"Two civilians were wounded – a man and a woman. They were sleeping in their houses in the villages of Wuer Kil and Wuer Puech", he said, warning of consequences for the peace talks.
"Last time they wanted to break off talks in (the Ethiopian capital) Addis Ababa, they bombed us...that was on March 26" at a military base in oil-producing Unity state, he added.
The Sudanese government denied the bombings, saying it had only targeted Darfuri rebels inside northern territory.
"What happened is the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) rebels tried to attack Sudan by coming through South Sudanese territory and SAF (Sudanese Armed Forces) responded to them, but inside Sudan," the official SUNA news agency quoted one of Khartoum's negotiators to the African Union-led talks as saying.
"SAF didn't violate South Sudanese territory," said the negotiator, Omar Dahab.
The fighting in March led to a new escalation of violence between the two sides and fears of renewed full-blown war.
Decades of fighting between the mainly Arab and Muslim north and the black African south has left millions dead.
Because of the unrest, talks to settle the conflict stalled in April in spite of the South's independence in July last year. They resumed in May.
The African Union's Peace and Security Council Saturday has urged Khartoum and Juba to settle their differences on oil and border demarcation before an August 2 deadline set by the United Nations.