Sudan Declares War on South Sudan Over Oil Fields

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir declared war on South Sudan on Wednesday, vowing to bring down the government of the People’s Liberation Movement Sudan (SPLM) in Juba. He made this announcement as military confrontations have been escalating on the border between the two countries.

“As of today our army will free the citizens of Southern Sudan from SPLM’s reign, and from today it will be eye to eye tooth for a tooth and attack to attack, because it is the initiator (of war) that is most at fault” , said the Sudanese president, speaking before a gathering of members of the National Congress Party (the ruling party) in Khartoum. “We made an historic mistake by allowing the SPLM to rule the South, but we will correct this error, and we have a moral obligation to our citizens in Southern Sudan, which is to save them from SPLM” said Mr. al-Bashir. He has accused the government of South Sudan of not respecting the agreements and treaties that the two countries signed, stating that “these people do not keep their promises and do not respect any document, they are the traitors” .

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After South Sudan seizes Heglig oil fields, which both countries claim, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir declares war. How can international community prevent a regional conflict? Although relations between the two countries started out well, hostilities had been brewing almost from the very beginning, over how the two countries would share revenues from the sale of oil – most of which is now within South Sudan’s territory, and all of which must be transported through Sudan’s oil pipelines to foreign markets. The final spark, though, appears to have been over the borders between the two countries. South Sudan had long banked on receiving the Abyei region, including the oil fields nearby at Heglig. Last week, South Sudanese troops took Heglig by force, prompting Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to proclaim a state of war.

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MORE . . . .

Sudan launches 4 attacks on South Sudan

South Sudan repulsed four attacks from Sudan over a 24-hour period as fighting on the border showed no signs of slowing, a military official said Thursday. South Sudan military spokesman Col. Philip Aguer said three of the attacks were on Wednesday and one was on Thursday. He did not give a death toll.

In a further escalation of rhetoric, Sudan President Omar al-Bashir said South Sudan’s recent military maneuvers have revived the spirit of “jihad” in Sudan. Despite the threats and hostilities, a government spokesman said South Sudan was only defending its territory and considers Sudan a “friendly nation.”(AP)

UPDATE: South Sudan announced that it would withdraw from the border area around the Heglig oil fields. The withdrawal will take place over the next three days (April 19)

Posted in Flashpoint, World

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