South Sudan says northern army bombed W. Bahr Al-Ghazal

By Ngor Arol Garang

March 23, 2011 (AGOK) — The government of the semi autonomous region of South Sudan on Wednesday accused Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) of aerial attacks at the North- South borders in Upurunas and Timisah in Western Bahr el Ghazal State.

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A Russian-supplied Mi-24 attack helicopter with registration number 928 redeployed to El Geneina airport from Nyala, Darfur (photo Amnesty)

Upurunas is one of the five areas holding north-South border demarcation between the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and the National Congress Party (NCP).

Effesion Kon Uguak, deputy Governor of Western Bahr el Ghazal State, accused the northern Sudanese army SAF of bombing two places he said were deep inside southern territory on Monday 21 and again on Tuesday 22 March 2011.

“The Sudan Armed Forces once again bombed Upuranus and Timisah. Two gunships sequentially bombed the area on Monday and on Tuesday,” he said, adding these (two sites) are in the north west of Raja County in Western Bahr el Ghazal State”.

Uguak went further to say that the Sudanese army had already bombed the area in December 2010. Raja area is one of the counties in Western Bahr al-Ghazal state bordering South Darfur.

The two partners of the 2005 peace agreement, Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and the National Congress, said agreed on 80% of the north-South border demarcation. But they appear unable to reach a compromise over five areas of which Upurunas.

Colonel Phillip Aguer Panyang, spokesperson of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), in a separate interview said received reports confirming that warplanes identified as belonging of the SAF were flying low and subsequently bombed the area on Monday.

The military officer said resumption of the aerial bombardment created panick among the local population, adding there is no reason to justify attack on civilians

“The government in Khartoum needs to advice Sudan Armed forces to stop this provocative act”, further said the SPLA spokesperson.

Khartoum in December accused Juba of collaborating with the Ugandan government in providing logistical support to some of Darfur rebel groups allegedly based in the south. The SPLM denied hosting the rebels or providing them any support.

“There are no Darfur rebels in Western Bahr el Ghazal state or anyplace in the south. We have said this several times. South Sudan President, General Salva Kiir Mayardit, himself, plainly told president Bashir in January when he visited Juba that there were no Darfur rebel operating in South Sudan,” said Aguer.

(ST)

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