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Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir/AFP


Foreign ministry says Sudan will not bomb South

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir/AFP

HARTOUM, Mar 28 – Sudan will not bomb South Sudanese territory and does not seek war with its neighbour, the foreign ministry said on Wednesday after the South alleged new air strikes.

“We are not going to make any sort of shelling or any sort of bombing in South Sudanese territory,” ministry spokesman Al-Obeid Meruh told AFP.

“We are not for the war now and we are not going to widen the war area,” he said, adding Sudan is only on the “defensive.”

Gideon Gatpan, information minister for the South’s Unity state, said there was bombing by Sudan overnight in Panakwach, 35 kilometres (22 miles) from Bentiu, state capital of the oil-rich area.

The South alleged Sudan began bombing its territory on Monday, followed by a ground incursion, but Khartoum said Southern troops had pushed into Sudan before being repulsed.

Meruh said the army cleared all Sudanese territory of Southern troops by about 8:00 pm Tuesday (1700 GMT) and if any shelling had occurred it was related to those final clashes.

“We blame them for initiating the war in this area,” Meruh said, adding Sudan’s position is that oil-producing regions on either side of the border are “supposed to be outside of the war zone.”

Gatpan, the southern official, said fighting on the ground had ceased.

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