South accused of attacking disputed Sudanese region

Sudan on Wednesday accused its southern neighbour of repeatedly attacking a disputed region it claimed to have captured from rebels last week, amid heightened tensions along the volatile border.

South Sudan’s army, the SPLA, has attacked the region of Jau six times since Tuesday, the foreign ministry in Khartoum said in a statement, adding the region lay within Sudan’s South Kordofan state and that its army had repulsed the assault.

“The foreign ministry condemns this blatant attack on Sudan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, by a state that does not respect its neighbours and wants to make itself an element of instability in the region,” it added.

SPLA spokesperson Philip Aguer confirmed there has been fighting in Jau since Saturday but insisted the area was south of the disputed border.

“The SPLA has been trying to defend the area and the Sudanese armed forces have been attacking it and bombarding with Antonovs, MiGs, long range ground artilleries and all military powers,” he said.

Strategic victory
Neither side were able to give details of casualties from the fighting.

Sudan’s army said on Saturday it had captured camps around Jau belonging to South Kordofan rebels aligned to the SPLA, in what it described as a strategic victory, adding the area was a key supply route for the rebels.

A rebel spokesperson backed Aguer’s statement that Jau was located south of the border and insisted they had had no presence there since the south gained independence in July.

“Before secession, some of our troops had a presence there. But after secession, in accordance with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, we had to leave the south, and this is what we did,” Gamar Delman said.

“The troops in Jau belong to the state of South Sudan. We are fighting in the Nuba Mountains,” he added.

No sign of abating
The conflict in the Sudanese border state, which first erupted in June between the army and Nuba militia who fought alongside the ex-southern rebels during their 22-year conflict with the north, has shown no sign of abating.

Similar fighting has raged since September in nearby Blue Nile state, another peripheral area where Khartoum has moved to assert its authority in the wake of southern secession.

In addition to the violence in Sudan’s embattled southern states, there has been evidence of cross-border attacks in recent weeks, badly fraying bilateral relations.

Witnesses said the Sudanese army bombed a refugee camp last month in South Sudan’s Unity state, just south of Jau.

Analysts do not expect the former civil war enemies to resume all-out hostilities for now.

But they warn of the two sides continuing to supply rebel groups within each other’s territories and the negative impact this will have on negotiations to resolve the complicated post-secession issues. — AFP

Staff Reporter
Guest Author

Hlophe complaint is an eerie echo

But the new complaint against the Western Cape judge president is also unprecedented

Mabuza contract grows by R10m

Eskom’s negotiators in a R100-million maintenance contract came back with a proposal to push up the costs

‘There were no marks on his neck’, Neil Aggett inquest...

The trade unionist’s partner at the time he was detained at John Vorster Square says she now believes his death was not a suicide

Press Releases

Boosting safety for cargo and drivers

The use of a telematics system for fleet vehicles has proved to be an important tool in helping to drive down costs and improve efficiency, says MiX Telematics Africa.

Silencing the guns and firearms amnesty

Silencing the guns and firearms amnesty

Gender-based violence is an affront to our humanity

Gender-based violence is an affront to our humanity

UK-Africa investment summit 2020: Think Africa Invest SA

UK-Africa investment summit 2020: Think Africa Invest SA

MTN unveils TikTok bundles

Customised MTN TikTok data bundles are available to all prepaid customers on *136*2#.

Marketers need to reinvent themselves

Marketing is an exciting discipline, offering the perfect fit for individuals who are equally interested in business, human dynamics and strategic thinking. But the...

Upskill yourself to land your dream job in 2020

If you received admission to an IIE Higher Certificate qualification, once you have graduated, you can articulate to an IIE Diploma and then IIE Bachelor's degree at IIE Rosebank College.

South Africans unsure of what to expect in 2020

Almost half (49%) of South Africans, 15 years and older, agree or strongly agree that they view 2020 with optimism.