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SPLA accuses Sudan’s army of renewed bombing in Northern Bahr el-Ghazal

Hou Akot Hou
Sudanese Antonovs bombed a town in Aweil East County, according to officials from Northern Bahr el-Ghazal.
23.07.2012  |  Aweil
The Commissioner of Aweil East County, Awet Kiir Awet, briefs reporters about the bombardment, July 20.
The Commissioner of Aweil East County, Awet Kiir Awet, briefs reporters about the bombardment, July 20.

The Commissioner of Aweil East County, Awet Kiir Awet, said on Friday, July 20, that Sudanese Antonovs bombed the area of Rumaker in Northern Bahr el-Ghazal.

The South Sudanese state bordering Sudan was attacked in the early morning hours, around 3:00am.

The planes dropped four bombs only in Rumaker village,” Awet explained and some people have fled their homes”.

Two people were wounded,” according to Awet, whose house was severely damaged by a bomb detonating in close proximity to it.

While initial reports were unclear, Awet said, he received reports from civilians and officials of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) that the bombs were dropped by Sudanese warplanes.

According to Reuters Sudan denied the attack on South Sudan, saying it had targeted rebels inside its own territory.

The Sudanese army forces dealt with them [the rebels] inside the Sudanese territory,” the state news agency SUNA quoted an official.

Awet urges his citizens to remain alert but calm. Be on standby, one can’t run away from the plane. We advise you to dig trenches”, he said, to seek cover in case of further attacks.

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit met with Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on July 14, as part of the ongoing peace talks in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa under the auspices of the African Union (AU).

The Sudanese president called the meeting positive and told reporters he had no interest in continuing the conflict between the two countries.

South Sudan officials announced on Saturday, July 21, the immediate suspension of direct talks with Sudan, as a direct consequence of the attack.

Friday’s bombardment of Northern Bahr el-Ghazal State comes less than two weeks before an African Union and United Nations deadline, demanding Sudan and South Sudan to resolve outstanding post-split issues.

Sudan and South Sudan are yet to resolve several contentious post-independence issues, a dispute over oil revenues and border demarcation being the two most critical ones.

In April the two Sudans came close to all-out war. Clashes between Sudan and South Sudan, along the disputed border of the two neighbours intensified, Heglig and Unity State being two flash points.

The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) reached in Naivasha, Kenya, ended decades of civil war between the Sudanese government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) in January 2005.

The CPA also provided for a referendum on secession which took place in January 2011. People overwhelmingly voted for secession, giving way to South Sudan’s independence on July 9, 2011.