South Sudan launches complaint at UNSC against SAF aerial bombardment
July 21, 2012 (WAU) – South Sudan on Saturday launched a formal complaint at the United Nations Security Council after neighbouring Sudan dropped bombs on its territory near South Darfur, according to senior officials.
South Sudan Minister of Information, Barnaba Marial Benjamin (AP)
The bombing, which Juba says occurred in its Northern Bahr El Ghazal State, led to South Sudan announcing that it was suspending negotiations currently taking place Ethiopia with Sudan over their disputed border and other issues.
Sudan’s military spokesperson has denied the attack. Al-Sawarmi Khaled said SAF did not carry any attack on the South Sudanese army despite the presence of SPLA troops in Tomsaha area in East Darfur state.
Barnaba Marial Benjamin, South Sudan’s Minister of Information stated to Sudan Tribune on Saturday that his government “strongly condemned this unwanted wanton attack on the innocent people by the Sudanese armed forces”.
“We have brought this behaviour of the Sudanese government to the attention of the international community through mediating team. We have officially notified AU and Security Council of the United Nations of this act. A formal complaint has already been launched by our representative to the united nation”, he stated.
He said the attack “is not only a violation of the African Union Peace and Security Council Roadmap and the United Nations Security Council resolution number 2046 but a clear betrayal of commitment to resolving dispute by the President Salva Kiir Mayardit and President [Omer al-]Bashir.”
After a border war in April over a disputed oil area of Heglig, the UNSC ordered the two sides to reach an agreement on key issues before August 2 or face sanctions. The UNSC has previously expressed concern over delays in the talks.
South Sudan says that over 80 bombs have been dropped on its territory since it seceded from Sudan a year ago during the repeated air attacks carried out by the Sudanese army. But Khartoum’s denials argue that they are acting within its territory despite some bombs landing well inside South Sudan, such as the bombing of Bentui in Unity State in April..
Omer Dahab, the spokesperson of Sudanese negotiating delegation said that the recent bombing occurred in South Darfur State and was directed at a convoy of Darfuri rebels the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) that Khartoum says it is based in South Sudan.
He further told Al-Jazeera TV on Saturday that the attack on the rebels who were heading to Darfur region from South Sudan proves that Juba continue to support the rebels, urging the international community to condemn “the continued violations of UN resolution and bilateral agreements”.
From his side, Minister Benjamin described the attack as “scornful slap” in the face of the international community adding they have launched a formal complaint against what he considers as “provocative behaviour”.
“They have carried out attacks in three different places in Northern Bahr el Ghazal. These are areas which are inside territorial integrity of South Sudan. These attacks took place on 19 and 20″, Benjamin explained.
SPLM CONDEMN ATTACK
Jackline Nyibol Benjamin Ajonga, a state minister of information in Northern Bahr el Ghazal on Saturday told Sudan Tribune that the Sudanese armed forces carried out attacks in the counties of Aweil East and Aweil North, killing at least one civilian and injuring nine others, causing panic among the local population.
“Eight bombs have been dropped, killing a man and injuring his wife in Kiir adem. The attack was carried while they were sleeping in their house. Seven other people are also wounded in another attack on Warlang and Warpac villages.
Speaking from Aweil town, the capital of Northern Bahr el Ghazal on Saturday, Ajonga told Sudan Tribune that a team been sent “to assess the damage and assure local population of the commitment of the government to provide protection.”
Bol Makueng, Secretary of information at the secretariat of the country’s governing Sudan People’s Liberation Movement said in a release that “SPLM strongly condemns this barbaric act and asks the international community to bear witness to the aggression and to register this as a violation to the African Road Map and the United Nations Security Council resolution 2046”.
“The international community should hold the Sudan government for any escalation of war between the two countries if such repeated war provocation results in retaliation by the Sudan People Liberation Army (SPLA) forces to protect the innocent South Sudan citizens. We cannot afford being attacked and expected to fold our arms”, Makueng said.
The official states that the SPLM also asks the Sudanese people to take note that their National Congress Party does not want peace between the two countries.
“The Sudanese delegation went to Ethiopia for a meeting with the South Sudanese delegation just to deceive the UN and the AU that they were for peace. President Omer Bashir went to Ethiopia to meet President Salva Kiir Mayardit so as to misinform and mislead the world”, the statement reads in part.