South Sudan accuses Khartoum of truce-breaking airstrikes | News | DW | 10.05.2012
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South Sudan accuses Khartoum of truce-breaking airstrikes

South Sudan has claimed that Sudan has resumed a campaign of aerial bombardment against it, violating a UN cease-fire. Meanwhile, Khartoum accuses its neighbor of supporting rebels in the region of Darfur.

A soldier handles his rifle

A soldier handles his rifle

A military spokesman for South Sudan alleged on Wednesday that Sudan had launched a series of air attacks, violating a UN cease-fire.

Colonel Kella Dual Kueth told reporters that Sudanese forces had been "randomly bombarding civilian areas," on Monday and Tuesday using jet fighters, bombers and ground shelling.

"Of course, automatically this is a violation (of the cease-fire). If we have a compromise and we are at peace and then I go and knife you in the back, what does that mean?" said Kueth. Sudan has repeatedly denied mounting air attacks across the border.

However, the Sudanese army on Wednesday said it had expelled troops from the South - along with rebel allies - from two areas of Darfur.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on both countries "to disengage and resume post-independence negotiations."

"It is imperative that both sides stop any and all warfare by proxy, before it becomes too late," he said.

Alleged links to Darfur rebels

South Sudan seceded from its northern neighbor in July under a 2005 settlement that ended two decades of civil war. Since then, Sudan claims that the government in the South's capital Juba has been backing rebels fighting under the banner of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF).

The SRF on Tuesday seized the South Darfur town of Giradya. The official Sudanese Media Center claimed on Wednesday that the Sudanese army had regained control of the town and surrounding area, with nine government soldiers dying in the effort.

Khartoum and Juba have both pledged to seek peace according to the terms of a UN Security Council resolution. The document threatened to impose sanctions if the cease-fire deadline, set from Friday evening last week, were violated.

rc/jm (AP, AFP, Reuters)