Khartoum Accuses South of Attack on New Front in Sudan

Posted April 18th, 2012 at 8:45 am (UTC-5)
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Fighting between Sudan and South Sudan has spread to a new town along the border, amid fears the countries will slide into full-scale war.

Forces from both sides engaged in intense clashes from Tuesday night into Wednesday near the town of Meiram.

The area is located inside Sudan's Southern Kordofan state, near the border with the South Sudanese state of Northern Bahr El Gazal.

A Sudanese media report says the Sudan Armed Forces defeated the southern troops, who allegedly attacked to distract Sudanese forces trying to recapture the disputed Heglig region.

The pro-government Sudanese Media Center quotes a local security official who says the southern forces suffered “huge human and material damages.”

There was no immediate response from Juba.

South Sudan seized the Heglig area from Sudanese forces last week. Heglig oil fields produce about half of Sudan's oil, and Khartoum has vowed to recapture the area.

After discussing the Sudan crisis on Tuesday, the United Nations Security Council said it will make “every effort” to get sides to end the conflict and return to negotiations.

The countries are locked in bitter disputes stemming from the south's independence last July. Key issues include borders, the sharing of oil revenue, and the status of nationals in each other's territory.