14 February 2012

South Sudan: SAF Bombs Jau in South Sudan, Violates Agreement

Photo: UN
South Sudanese protest against Khartoum (file photo): Within days of the signing of a non-aggression pact, South Sudan officials are accusing Khartoum of bombing a town in Unity State.

The Sudan armed forces launched an aerial bombardment within territories of South Sudan most specifically on the town of Jau in Pariang County of Unity State, said the commissioner over phone interview with The Citizen from the County headquarters.

"There has been air raid on Jau last Friday and yesterday (Sunday) consecutively," said the Commissioner Miabek Lang Miading. In turn, the acting SPLA spokesperson, Col Kella Dual Kueth confirmed the raid to say four SPLA soldiers were critically injured and that there was no loss of life reported so far.

Dual further accused Khartoum of border incursion southward and doubted the recent non-aggression agreement to work.

"This agreement may not work, paper hasn't yet reached to our office for verification whether it was orally or inked understanding," he said.

The attack on Jau came days after Sudan and Republic of South Sudan inked what they both described as "non-aggression agreement" in Addis Ababa.

"Sudan and South Sudan while in the talks in the Ethiopian capital Addis signed non- aggression agreement but it has been violated by Khartoum already," commissioner skeptically told the media. The agreement requires the two sides to respect each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity and to refrain from launching any attacks, including air bombardment.

"Sudan dishonored the Friday agreements," stated Miading. According to the commission the detailed of the causalities of Sudan air raid remain unclear at the time of interview with The Citizen and he was waiting for report from the people on the ground. Miading said five jet fighters on Sunday dropped 25 bombs on the innocent civilians from 2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.He however believed that SAF has been sending in more reinforcement of brigade to launch ground attack on Jau and other towns in the state.

Meanwhile the SPLA spokesperson, Col. Philip Aguer Panyang issued the following statement from the office at the SPLA General headquarters yesterday afternoon.It said Sudan armed forces violated the so-called Memorandum of Understanding on Non- Aggression signed in Addis Ababa before the ink that was used to initialed it could dry.Yesterday the 12th of February 2012 Sudan armed forces used its air force and bombarded SPLA position at Jaw wounding four SPLA soldiers.

This took place only 24 hours after signing of non-aggression agreement between Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan under the good offices of the AU in Addis Ababa, facilitated by Mbeki the former President of South Africa.The Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) hereby informs the public and the team of regional mediators and the UN monitors that on 11th and 12th of this month the Sudan armed forces have moved forces and attacked SPLA locations to Balballa in Raja County of Western Bahr El Ghazal State using 3 battalions and PDF, at the same time SAF has been moving another battalions from Karassana and Heglig toward Jaw in a gross violation and act of aggression to the territories of the Republic of South Sudan.Last month, South Sudan suspended its oil production in retaliation to a decision by Khartoum to seize part of its crude exported through the north's pipeline to satisfy what it claimed to be financial arrears.

Weeks ago elite in Khartoum and Juba have exchanged warnings of possible outbreak of war particularly as the outstanding issue over oil showed no sign of moderation.Friday South Sudan's Intelligence Bureau Chief, Thomas Douth and Sudan's Director of National Intelligence and Security, Mohammed Atta signed the deal for their respective countries. The two nations continue to accuse each other of supporting rebel groups fighting their respective governments.

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