Two oil fields bombed in South Sudan

01 March 2012, Sweetcrude, KHARTOUM – South Sudan’s government spokesman, Barnaba Marial Benjamin, said Thursday two MiG aircraft dropped six bombs on oilfields in the country’s Unity State on Wednesday.

The South Sudan government is accusing its northern neighbour (Sudan) of responsibility for the bombing of the oil wells in its northern part and of moving troops and weaponry close to an army base near their poorly defined oil-rich northern border.

Benjamin said the development is a violation of a non-aggression pact signed with Sudan last month.

It marks a further escalation in the frosty relationship between the two countries already at each others’ throat over oil.

“We will launch a very strong protest to the (United Nations) Security Council and we condemn this warlike attitude on the part of Sudan,” Benjamin said.

There were no casualties in the attack roughly 74 kilometres from the border that destroyed two wellheads and flowlines as well as two cars, according to him.

He said a Chinese-Malaysian-Indian-owned consortium, The Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company, runs the oilfields that were hit.

But Khartoum denies responsibility for the bombing. Sudan’s military spokesman, Al-Sawarmi Khalid, said Sudanese forces had not been involved in any bombing inside the south.

South Sudan has accused the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) of bombing several areas of its territory since it gained independence in July last year, including two refugee camps.

“They would like to drag the republic of South Sudan into war, a war we are not interested in,” Benjamin said.

South Sudan voted overwhelmingly to secede last year, the culmination of a 2005 peace agreement that ended decades of civil war.

At partition, three-quarters of Sudan’s known oil reserves fell in South Sudan’s territory but the two did not agree on how much the South Sudan government should pay to use oil export and processing facilities in Sudan.

South Sudan’s army spokesman Philip Aguer said Sudanese forces were assembling near a base in an area close to the disputed border in Unity State.

“Yesterday evening SAF have been moving forces, heavy machine guns and vehicles to within 500 metres of an (army) base in Peshwien, very close to the border which we are waiting to be demarcated,” he said. Sawarmi dismissed the report.

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