By The Global Journal | April 11, 2012 - 16:00 GMT
The Sudanese military today (11 April) continued its aerial bombardment of territory on the border with South Sudan. The increasingly violent attacks have targeted oil-rich land forming the focus of a new dispute between the two countries.
Following the offensive in the South Sudanese state Unity, South Sudanese troop movement was reported at the border. Deputy Director of Military Intelligence, Mac Paul, explained that South Sudanese troops were “holding their positions in Heglig, and the bombardment continues... there was bombing all night long". The city has been a recurrent theatre of fighting between the two armies. According to authorities in Khartoum, it was seized in March by South Sudanese forces that later retreated in the face of a counter-attack.
Since South Sudan split from Sudan last July, the two countries have failed to settle key issues left unresolved during formal secession negotiations, especially those linked to security and oil. Despite several mediation attempts by the international community, the African Union and neighboring Ethiopia, no solutions have been identified to successfully address these sources of tension and violence. Both governments are also suspected of funding and arming cross-border militia groups. The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) reported yesterday that grave violations had occurred while it monitored the disarmament process.
The potential for renewed conflict has added to the insecurity already faced by more than 500,000 people, with a deadline passing over the weekend for Southerners living in the North and Northerners in the South to formalize their respective statuses.
(Photo © UN)
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