Communist World News

Sudan and South Sudan Clash Again

In Africa on April 23, 2012 at 6:05 am

Heglig, Sudan —Sudan and newly-independent South Sudan accused each other of launching fresh attacks on their territories on Sunday as neither side showed any sign of bowing to global pressure to return to the negotiating table.

South Sudan said Sudanese troops attacked settlements about 10km (6 miles) on its side of the border and carried out air raids in a range of areas including its oil-producing Unity state.

“We are building up troops because we think that the Sudanese army is also building up,” Mac Paul, deputy director of South Sudan’s military intelligence, told reporters in the southern border town of Bentiu.

Sudan confirmed there had been clashes, which come after 10 days of fighting over the oilfield town of Heglig.

Satellite pictures of the Heglig area released on Sunday suggest key oil installations were badly damaged in the fighting and are no longer operating.

Sudan and South Sudan have accused each other of attacking oil facilities. On Friday South Sudan said it was withdrawing from Heglig, while Sudan said it forced out the South’s troops.

Access to the disputed border region around Heglig is limited, making it difficult to verify what is happening in the area.

The 10-day occupation by the world’s newest nation met widespread criticism, including from United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon, who called it illegal.

Foreign powers have also called for an end to Sudan’s cross-border air raids.

Sudan’s oil minister Ishaq Adam Gamaa said the chance of the sides reaching a settlement soon was now “very remote” and said Khartoum would probably demand compensation for damage to Heglig before returning to talks.

– Viktor

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