Sudan President Bashir and South Sudan President Kiir are heaping blame on one another amid first cross-border attacks.
Juba, South Sudan
Editor's note: This piece was originally published on Nov. 10.
Less than two hours after South Sudan's President Salva Kiir Mayardit concluded an address to the media and diplomatic core in Juba today, news broke out of yet another bombing by Sudan Armed Forces, or SAF, on South Sudan territory. SAF aircrafts reportedly bombed Yida refugee camp in South Sudan’s Unity state, which Enough reported on earlier today.
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir’s recent accusations about South Sudan’s support for SPLM-N, as well as the SAF bombardment in Upper Nile state on Tuesday, prompted Kiir’s press conference.
At the briefing, Salva Kiir warned over escalation of conflict in the bordering areas. He denied all allegations of South Sudan’s support for the rebels in the North and reiterated the position of his government for peaceful resolution of the current hostilities.
The countries have exchanged harsh words and accusations in recent weeks. South Sudan has openly accused the Khartoum regime for aiding rebel groups in South Sudan for the purpose of destabilizing the country and ambition of capturing oil fields in the border areas. On the other hand, Omar al-Bashir has accused South Sudan of supporting SPLM-N in the ongoing wars against the government in South Kordofan and Blue Nile.
The bombing of a refugee camp in South Sudan today marks a new low in relations between Sudan and South Sudan. Hostility has been brewing since even before South Sudan’s independence in July 2011, first with the SAF offensive in the disputed area of Abyei, followed by ongoing conflicts in the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile that have triggered a wave of accusations by the Khartoum officials over South Sudan’s involvement in supporting SPLM-N. But until the SAF incursions this week, neither army had launched cross-border attacks.