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Excerpt: "Fighting has broken out on the border between Sudan and South Sudan, shortly after the South pulled out of a disputed border town."

Sudanese soldiers pose on a seized tank for the Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA) in the oil region of Heglig, 04/23/12. (photo: Ashraf Shazly/AFP/Getty Images)
Sudanese soldiers pose on a seized tank for the Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA) in the oil region of Heglig, 04/23/12. (photo: Ashraf Shazly/AFP/Getty Images)

Renewed Fighting on Sudan Border Near Disputed Oilfield

By BBC News

23 April 12


ighting has broken out on the border between Sudan and South Sudan, shortly after the South pulled out of a disputed border town.

South Sudanese military officials say they repulsed ground and air attacks.

Sudan confirmed there had been clashes, which come after 10 days of fighting over the oilfield town of Heglig.

On Monday, a Sudanese warplane dropped bombs near the South Sudanese border town of Bentiu, killing at least one person, eyewitnesses said.

Satellite pictures of the Heglig area released on Sunday suggest key oil installations were badly damaged in the fighting and are no longer operating.

The pictures were analysed by the US-funded Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP), which says it is impossible to know who was responsible for the damage.

Sudan and South Sudan have accused each other of attacking oil facilities. On Friday, South Sudan said it was withdrawing from Heglig, while Sudan said it forced out the South Sudanese troops.

Access to the disputed border region around Heglig is limited, making it difficult to verify what is happening in the area.

The renewed fighting has been taking place to the south of the Heglig oilfields, although it is unclear which side of the disputed border it is happening.

Sudan military officials said its forces had repulsed a major rebel attack.

The BBC's James Copnall, who is in Bentiu, says the fighting makes it clear that tension has not eased, and also underlines that all-out war is still a possibility.

He says South Sudan is building up its troops near the border, and is assuming that Sudan is doing the same.

Monday's reported bombing raid by Sudanese planes targeted a bridge between Bentiu and the nearby town of Rubkona.

Eyewitnesses said one child had died and market stalls were on fire.

South Sudan's deputy head of military intelligence, Mac Paul, described the bombing as a "serious escalation" and a "provocation".

'Runway Lengthened'

The satellite pictures provided by SSP suggest that the oil industry has been deliberately targeted in the earlier fighting. Before and after pictures of a manifold in Heglig oil field, 7 February and 15 April 2102 Before and after satellite pictures apparently show an oil installation badly damaged at Heglig.

One picture appears to show an oil collection point at the end of two pipelines has been destroyed, leaving charred wreckage over a wide area.

SSP says it is impossible to know whether the damage was done by aerial bombing or ground attacks.

Others show tanks, smoke rising from explosions that are consistent with aerial bombing, and cratering.

There are also pictures showing that the Sudan Air Force runway in South Kordofan has been paved and lengthened to allow Antonov bombers to land there.

SSP, which was set up to campaign against the return to full-scale civil war between the two countries, used pictures from DigitalGlobe satellites, which were analysed by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative.

SSP receives funding from the Not on Our Watch project, founded by US activists including the actors George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon.

On Friday, South Sudan said it would withdraw from Heglig, while Sudan said its forces had re-taken control of the area.

The area north of the disputed border provides most of of Sudan's oil output, and is a crucial part of its economy.

Meanwhile on Monday the South Sudan President Salva Kiir is travelling to China for an official visit, the AFP news agency reports. your social media marketing partner


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+1 # RMDC 2012-04-23 19:29
Of course there is fighting. the US has used Southern Sudanese as a proxy army against Sudan for more than 20 years. The fighting will never stop until Sudan is destroyed and becomes a colony of the US. All of Africa is being recolonized at an astonishing rate. These wars are not started by Africans. All the weapons come from the US, Europe, and Israel. All the mercenaries, proxy armies, and terrorists are paid and armed by the US, Europe, and Israel.

These wars amount to genocide. The millions killed in the new "scramble for Africa" are just like them millions killed in the old "scramble for Africa." White people don't change. They kill for your natural resources. They've been doing it since the white people invaded Europe. Malcolm X was right -- they are white devils.
+1 # Dion Giles 2012-04-23 23:57
[quote name="RMDC"]

Firstly, who were the victims of the "invasion of Europe" by "white people"?

Secondly, do the people of South Sudan wish independence, or is their secession no more than an American plot?

Thirdly, can the right of peoples to self-determinat ion be declared relevant or irrelevant depending on geostrategy?

Here are my own answers:

Q1: Suggestions of a “white” invasion of Europe arise from an excess of racist zeal.
Q2: They voted almost unanimously (>98%) for independence in a referendum just over a year ago.
Q3: Nothing invalidates the right of peoples to self-determinat ion provided right of passage and rights of minorities are respected.
+2 # Valleyboy 2012-04-24 05:20
The more I read of the corporate media - and I include the BBC in that, they had the least dissenting voices in the lead-up to the Iraq war then any other channel in the UK - the more confused I get!

These events are described as unfortunate conflicts between dark skinned people in far off lands. We are meant to feel helpless.

There is never any hint that Western oil corporations, weapon corporation and the IMF are at the heart of the problem.

Neither is there acknowledgement of the West's devastating, and ongoing, role in Africa.

You wonder if the reporter is actively hiding these facts, or if they actually do have their head up their own ar$e!
+2 # MidwestTom 2012-04-24 06:31
The oil in South Sudan was discovered by Arakis Oil Co. a Kentucky oil company, but it was 800 miles from a coast. The Chinese came in and built a pipeline to the north, the battle now is over which side gets paid how much. The Chinese have leased more than 60% of Nigeria, and they are now the largest funders of Zimbabwe. When the British colonized a country they installed clean water systems and sewers. The French and Spanish installed nothing.

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