First Published: 2012-05-22

 

No peace between two Sudans: Crisis continues indefinitely

 

South Sudan says Sudanese war planes have launched air strikes against its territory, latest in series of attacks that threaten to scupper peace efforts.

 

Middle East Online

One of Africa's longest wars not over yet

JUBA - South Sudan said Tuesday Sudanese war planes have launched air strikes against its territory, the latest in a series of attacks that threaten to scupper international efforts to restart peace talks.

"South Sudan views the current aerial bombardment... as a serious threat to both regional and international peace and security," South Sudan's Information Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin told reporters.

The former civil war foes fought heavily in contested border regions last month, the worst fighting since the South won independence last July and sparking international concerns of a return to all-out war.

The bombings Monday and Tuesday targeted the Werguet area of Northern Bahr el Ghazal state, a border region close to Sudan's war-torn South Darfur state, Benjamin said.

"South Sudan is watching this crisis very closely... we will be forced also to react to these acts of aggression," he added, without giving further details.

The air strikes could not be independently confirmed, and Sudan's army repeatedly denied Southern claims of air strikes during weeks of bitter border conflict. The last air strike reported by the South was on May 9.

Both sides say they are committed to peace but missed a United Nations Security Council demand that they resume the talks by last Wednesday. The South has said it is ready to talk and accused Khartoum of stalling.

The African Union is working hard to resume talks between the foes, with its chief mediator, former South African president Thabo Mbeki, embarking on rounds of shuttle diplomacy between the two capitals.

Mbeki during a visit to Juba on Monday said he was hopeful the two sides could set a date to restart talks by the end of the week. Mbeki was expected to meet Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir late Tuesday.

However, Benjamin demanded the UN and AU order Khartoum to end its air raids.

"The Sudan government has been dragging its feet trying to set an agenda (at the talks)," Benjamin added. "What do we get with the presence of president Mbeki in Juba? The Sudan government then attacks."

Benjamin also claimed that Sudanese planes flew over the South's capital Juba on Monday.

"There were flights of Antonov planes over Juba that did not respond to our air communication enquiries... a violation of international law," he said.

South Sudan broke away from Sudan in July after a 2005 peace deal ended one of Africa's longest civil wars, which killed about two million people.

But tensions soon flared again over a series of unresolved issues, including the border, the future of disputed territories and oil.

The South separated with about 75 percent of the former united Sudan's oil production, but Juba still depends on the north's pipeline and Red Sea port to export its crude.

A protracted dispute over fees for use of that oil pipeline infrastructure led South Sudan in January to shut its oil production after accusing the north of theft.

The Security Council gave both sides three months to conclude the talks.

 

13 dead, 100 injured in two Spanish seaside city attacks

Saudi Arabia installing cranes at Yemen ports

Saudi Arabia, Iraq draw closer with wary eye on Iran

Iran reform leader ends hunger strike

Civilians stay on frontlines despite dangers in Raqa

Van ploughs through pedestrians in Barcelona terror attack

13 killed in Barcelona van attack

Iraq acknowledges abuses in Mosul campaign

Netanyahu under fire for response to US neo-Nazism

Israel to free high-profile suspects in money laundering probe

Spanish police shut down jet-ski migrant smugglers

Syrian actress, activist Fadwa Suleiman dies in Paris

Israeli court extends detention for Islamic cleric over ‘incitement’

UAE to provide $15 million a month to Gaza

Sudan's Bashir 'satisfied' with Nile dam project

US-backed rebels say American presence in Syria to last ‘decades’

Tunisian clerics oppose equal inheritance rights for women

Israel strikes almost 100 Hezbollah arms convoys in 5 years

UN hopes for eighth round of Syria talks before year’s end

LONG READ: How Syria continues to evade chemical weapons justice

Civilians killed in US-led raids on Raqa

Qatari pilgrims begin flooding into Saudi by land

Turkey arrests 9 more journalists for alleged ‘Gulen links’

Iran’s Karroubi on hunger strike over 6-year house arrest

Saudi Arabia to restart work on Grand Mosque expansion

Algeria reshuffles cabinet, nominates three new ministers

Syria rebels lose heavyweight faction

ICC orders Mali ex-jihadist pay 2.7 m euros for Timbuktu destruction

Libya seeks to ‘organise’ NGOs carrying migrant rescue Ops

More than one million South Sudan refugees in Uganda

Beirut, Damascus pledge to boost economic ties

Two killed on Gaza-Egypt border

Qataris to do hajj on Saudi king expenses

Fire breaks out at UNESCO heritage site in Saudi Arabia

Iran military chief in Turkey for talks on Syrian war

Saudi Electricity announces $1.75b in international loans

Israel to strip Jazeera journalist of press credentials

Bahrain state media accuses Qatar of trying to topple regime

Iran's Khamenei blasts US over Charlottesville

Libyan forces snub ICC over warrant for commander

Iran’s detained opposition leader starts hunger strike

Arab fighters struggle to make impact in battle for Raqa

IS suicide bombers kill seven Iraqi security personnel

Lebanon repeals 'marry your rapist' law

Qatar’s sovereign fund plans new investments despite sanctions