South Sudan accuses north of new attacks
Posted Saturday, January 5 2013 at 02:00
South Sudan on Thursday accused neighboring Sudan of staging fresh ground and air attacks on her territory ahead of a presidential summit held yesterday. Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) warplanes raided Raja County in Western Bhar al Ghazal State and ground forces also attacked southern army bases on Wednesday, the South Sudan army spokesperson, Col. Philip Aguer, said.
Col. Aguer said the ground fighting took place between Timsa and Balballa localities but said casualty figures were not yet established. “There was fighting yesterday … the planes were bombing our territories,” Mr Aguer said.
Information Minister Benjamin Barnaba Marial said some territories in South Sudan’s northern Bhar al Ghazal were also attacked, but said the ground forces were repulsed.
The fresh accusations come a day ahead of a summit between President Salva Kiir and his Sudanese counterpart, Omar al Bashir in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
The two leaders are expected to discuss the implementation of nine cooperation agreements that were signed in September, but have since then remained on paper. “That is how Khartoum has always behaved. They speak both peace and war. You don’t know which is which,” Marial said.
The Kiir-Bashir summit would not be affected, according to the minister: “That will not stop us. Our president is proceeding to Addis Ababa to meet Bashir.” Marial said, calling on the African Union and the United Nations to condemn “this attitude of war without provocation.”
Since the secession of South Sudan, several post secession issues with Sudan have not been resolved, including oil flow, border demarcations and the status of the disputed Abyei region.
Stakes have been high between the two countries, at times raising fears of return to full-scale war.