[Dehai-WN] (Reuters): S. Sudan says Sudan air raids kill 17 civilians

From: Berhane Habtemariam <Berhane.Habtemariam_at_gmx.de_at_dehai.org>
Date: Thu, 29 Dec 2011 22:21:49 +0100

S. Sudan says Sudan air raids kill 17 civilians

Thu Dec 29, 2011 7:08pm GMT

KHARTOUM Dec 29 (Reuters) - South Sudan's armed forces accused Sudan of
killing 17 southern civilians in airstrikes on Thursday, and said it had put
its troops in the disputed border region on "maximum alert".

Sudan's military spokesman denied the accusation, saying the armed forces
had not carried out any bombings in South Sudan.

South Sudan seceded in July under a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of
civil war between north and south, but the two have remained at loggerheads
over unresolved issues including oil, the disputed Abyei region and the
location of the border.

The two sides have traded accusations of backing rebels on either side of
the border. Their armed forces clashed in a rare direct confrontation in a
disputed region this month.

South Sudan's military spokesman Philip Aguer said Sudanese forces continued
to bomb on Thursday, in what he said was the second day of intensified

"Seventeen people have been reported killed" in the Western Bahr el-Ghazal
state, he said. "These were cattle herders."

"Since there are signs of ground movement by ground forces, we have alerted
our forces to be on maximum alert."

Al-Sawarmi Khalid, Sudan's military spokesman, said the report had "no basis
in truth."

"We have not entered or bombed any place in South Sudan and we have no
targets inside South Sudan," he said.

Separately, Khartoum said on Thursday it had filed a complaint against South
Sudan to the United Nations Security Council, saying some 350 rebel fighters
from the western Darfur region had crossed the border into South Sudan.

"Sudan has asked the international organisation to help it apply pressure on
South Sudan to prevent it from giving aid to this force, to disarm it, and
deliver the ones who are wanted to justice in Sudan," El-Obeid Morawah,
spokesman for Sudan's foreign ministry, said in a statement.

Some 2 million people died in Sudan's civil war, waged for all but a few
years between 1955 and 2005 over ideology, ethnicity, religion and oil.
Under the peace deal that ended the war, the south held a referendum and
voted overwhelmingly for independence. (Reporting by Alexander Dziadosz and
Khalid Abdelaziz; Editing by Peter Graff)

C Thomson Reuters 2011 All rights reserved


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