South Sudan Accuses Sudan of Air Attack

Posted November 21st, 2012 at 2:30 pm (UTC-5)
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South Sudan says Sudanese warplanes have bombed its territory, but Sudan has denied doing so, saying it targeted rebels on its own soil.

Southern army spokesman Philip Aguer told reporters Wednesday that Sudanese planes bombed the Bahr al Ghazal area of South Sudan, near the countries' shared border, on Tuesday. The Reuters news agency cites him as saying one civilian was killed and four others wounded.

Sudan's army acknowledged an attack, but a spokesman said the action targeted a compound set up by Darfur rebels in al-Regaibat, 40 kilometers north of the border.

The attack comes amid delays in implementing security and oil deals the two Sudans signed in September, after fighting along their disputed border earlier in the year.

The deals call for the resumption of southern oil exports through the north, a move that would greatly benefit both economies.

South Sudan shut down all oil production in January after a dispute with Khartoum over how much it pays to use Sudan's pipelines and a port.

The September deal, mediated by the African Union, includes a demilitarized buffer zone at the shared border. But the two nations have not agreed on a way to move their forces back from the unmarked border.

Sudan and South Sudan went to the brink of war in April after the south occupied a northern oilfield. Relations between the two countries have been mostly rocky since the South declared independence last year.