The Citizen (Juba)

24 April 2012

South Sudan: SAF Carries Out Fresh Aerial Bombardments, Launches Ground Attacks

Juba — The Sudan armed forces has continued to launch ground attacks against the SPLA positions in Teshwin and Panakuac county in Unity State since Sunday up to yesterday the SPLA spokesperson Col Philip Aguer Panyang told The Citizen yesterday on phone.

"Sudanese Armed Forces launched ground and aerial bombardments on SPLA positions in Teshwin and Panakuac County in Unity State on Sunday afternoon," he said adding that SAF have also attacked SPLA positions yesterday in the same areas.

The SPLA spokesperson added that Khartoum is not complying with recent international calls for both sides to refrain from hostility. He added that despite SAF attacks on Sunday by ground and air, SPLA managed to repulse them and to seize a Toyota land cruiser from them.

Aguer also said that the Sudan air force have been bombing civilian areas in the oil fields including the Bentiu town which is the capital of the state and Abiemnom county the whole of yesterday afternoon.

News of the bombing came at the heels of the worst fighting between the armies of the two countries over the oil rich town of Heglig which lies in the border between South Sudan and South Kordofan state in Sudan.

SPLA took over the town from SAF almost two weeks ago before withdrawing last Friday due to pressure from UN, AU and the international community but despite that Khartoum has refused to comply with the appeal from the world leaders to ease the conflicts and since then SAF has been attacking SPLA continually in their old positions in Teshwin and other parts of Unity State.

Reuter's reporter yesterday reported that three people were killed by the Sudan air force bomb on Monday near an oil town and local officials and residents said, days after South Sudan army pulled out of a disputed oilfield.

Bombs targeting the key bridge in the town landed some 50 meters away from an Agence France Presses (AFP) reporter. In the market, stalls were on fire and large plumes of grey smoke rose high into the air, as screaming civilians ran in panic.

The army spokesperson said the SPLA will act responsibly in self-defense if Sudan armed forces and Sudan air force continue with their aggressions in the territory within South Sudan.

The Sudan Tribune website has released photos of destruction caused to Rubkona market by bombs dropped yesterday morning by Sudan armed forces planes. The grim pictures show shelters and makeshifts used by traders for selling their goods completely gutted by fire. Most of the sites were photographed while still burning to expose the indiscriminate bombing of civilian locations by SAF warplanes.

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