JUBA, Apr 16 – Sudanese warplanes bombed a UN peacekeepers’ camp damaging the base but causing no casualties, the first such attack since a recent spike in violence between the rival states, officials said Monday.
Bombing raids on Sunday also killed nine civilians elsewhere in South Sudan’s Unity border state, the area’s information minister Gideon Gatpan said.
“They launched another bombardment here yesterday, they bombed Mayom county and Bentiu,” Gatpan said.
“In Mayom… it killed seven civilians and wounded 14, two bombs fell inside the UN camp in Mayom and destroyed a generator and a radio.”
Kouider Zerrouk, spokesman for the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), confirmed the attack.
“There were no casualties, no one was wounded,” Zerrouk said.
Bombs were also dropped near the state capital Bentiu.
“Two fighter jets released eight bombs east of Bentiu… others fell in villages around Bentiu, where two people were killed including a pregnant woman, and eight people were wounded,” Gatpan said.
Fighting broke out between the rival armies of Khartoum and Juba last month, but escalated last week as Southern troops seized the contested Heglig oil field, and Sudan launched counter-attacks and waves of air strikes across the border.
The hostilities are the worst since South Sudan’s independence from Sudan in July.
The most intense fighting has been centred on Heglig, which contributed about half of Sudan’s total oil production.