South Sudan accuses Khartoum of bombing oil state

South Sudan Information minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Sudan war planes bombed the border town of Jau in South Sudan’s oil-rich Unity State on Thursday evening, an official said Friday.

The incident came ahead of a planned visit by Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj to the area.

“At 4pm (local time), the Sudan Armed Forces bombed northern part of Jau in Unity State,” Information minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin told reporters.

They want to cause a scare ahead of the visit of the President of Mongolia to Bentiu; he said, adding that; we strongly condemn this belligerent attitude of Sudan of targeting an area where we have a head of state of another country visiting, and especially when we have signed the cooperation agreements that state clearly that we can resolve all issues peacefully.

President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, who arrived in Juba Friday, was scheduled to spend a night in Bentiu, the Unity State capital, some kilometres away from Jau, the scene of the bombing.

President Tsakhiagiin left Juba for Rumbek in Lakes State, from where he was expected to proceed to Bentiu on the same day.

If the plan is to scare off the President of Mongolia from visiting Bentiu area, he will definitely visit because they are here for peace and for promoting good relations between Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan,” Dr Marial said.

The minister said the casualty figures were not immediately available.

The bombing is the latest assault after South Sudan accused her northern neighbour of amassing troops at the border in a bid to stoke fresh skirmishes.

Sudan has denied any deployment of her troops at the border.

However, tensions have been resurging between the two former foes after a series of heated negotiations, mediated by the African Union, failed to strike a breakthrough.

Since South Sudan seceded from Sudan in July 2011, the two parties were yet to resolve a raft of post-secession issues including border demarcation, the status of the disputed Abyei region, oil flow and security. 

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