South Sudan accused Khartoum April 5 both of bombing an oil pipeline near the town of Heglig, in South Kordofan state, and of trying to build an “illegal” pipeline crossing the border towards the South’s oil fields. “This is oil piracy,” military spokesman Philip Aguer charged, adding that a “foreign company” was involved. South Sudan also said it had shot down a Sudanese MiG-29 aircraft over South Sudan’s oil-producing Unity state. The claims were denied by Khartoum. Heglig was taken by South Sudanese forces late last month, with the South’s Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), saying it was responding to incursions by Khartoum’s Sudan Armed Forces (SAF). (Reuters, AlJazeera, April 5; Sudan Tribune, March 28)
Sudan’s al-Intiba newspaper reported April 5 that Israel is backing South Sudanese forces with logistical and military equipment. The report claimed jets have been witnessed making daily wee-hour landings at a location in South Sudan, unloading missiles, military equipment and African mercenaries. (YNet, April 5)
AlJAzeera this week aired footage of Ahmad Haroun, the governor of South Kordofan—already indicted for crimes against humanity at the Hague—apparently urging SAF troops: “You must hand over the place clean. Rub it, crush it and sweep it. Don’t bring them back alive. We have no space for them.” An army commander standing near Haroun then says: “Don’t bring them back, eat them alive” amid laughter by the group in the video. SAF forces in the state are fighting the local insurgency of the Sudan People Liberation Movement North (SPLMN). Although an interior minister official later told AlJazeera in an interview that the governor’s position was “absolutely correct,” Haroun accused AlJazeera of doctoring the video clip and said he intends to sue. (Sudan Tribune, AllAfrica, April 3)
See our last post on Sudan.
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