Air strike hits S.Sudan, breaking pact

February 14, 2012 8:38 am


Bombing taking place/FILE
JUBA, Feb 14 – Sudanese warplanes dropped several bombs wounding four soldiers in a contested area claimed by South Sudan, two days after agreeing to a non-aggression pact, Juba’s military spokesman said Tuesday.

“Sudanese Armed Forces airplanes bombed the Jau area in Unity state on Sunday, wounding four of our soldiers,” South Sudanese army spokesman Philip Aguer told AFP.

South Sudan — which declared independence from former civil war enemies in north Sudan in July — has accused Khartoum of launching several bombing raids in frontier regions of its territory, claims denied by the northern army.

The bombings took place along the disputed border in north Sudan, which both sides claim as theirs. The Jau area has seen several bombings in recent months, as well as fighting between the two sides.

“There were several bombs launched from Antonov aircraft,” said Aguer.

The region borders Sudan’s Southern Kordofan state, where rebels — once part of the ex-guerrilla turned official South Sudanese army — are battling the government in Khartoum.

Sudan and South Sudan had signed a non-aggression pact late Friday over the disputed border in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, a move praised by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

However, Aguer said the latest bombings showed the deal had not been taken seriously by the government in Khartoum.

“Nothing has changed, it is business as usual for them,” Aguer said.

Gideon Gatpan, minister of information for Unity state, confirmed there had been “several bombings” on Sunday in the Jau area.

According to the pact, the two sides agreed to have “respect for each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity” and to “refrain from launching any attack, including bombardment.”

South Sudan took three quarters of Sudan’s oil when it gained independence, but all pipeline and export facilities are controlled by the north. Last month, the South halted oil production after Juba accused Khartoum of stealing $815 million worth of crude oil.


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