Sudan declares war on South, vows to overthrow its government

Special to WorldTribune.com

CAIRO — Sudan, conducting daily air strikes, has widened its war
against its southern neighbor.

Officials from both countries reported an expansion of the war by the
Khartoum regime against South Sudan. They said the Sudanese Army has sent
thousands of troops to recapture the disputed oil-rich town of Heglig.

This photo of Saturday, April 14, shows the aftermath of a bombing by the Sudanese Air Force in Bentiu, South Sudan. /AP/Michael Onyiego

“This is war,” Sudanese government spokesman Rabie Abdul Ati said. “Our forces want to teach them a lesson.”

Officials said the Sudanese Air Force has also conducted daily strikes
on targets in South Sudan. In one operation, a United Nations refugee camp was bombed.

“Our people are angry,” Abdul Ati said on April 16. “This is not a time
for diplomacy. This is a time for pushing them and letting them know that they are irresponsible.”

On April 16, Sudan’s parliament branded South Sudan an enemy and vowed to overthrow its government, led by the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement. The parliamentary resolution, supported by the regime of President Omar Bashir, called on the military and government to fight Juba.

“We announce that we will clash with SPLM until we end its government in
South Sudan,” Sudanese parliamentary speaker Ahmed El Tahir said.

Officials said the Sudanese Army has recaptured positions held by rebels
aligned with South Sudan. They cited Mugum, located in the Blue Nile state
near the border with South Sudan, in which 25 rebels were killed by the
Sudanese Army’s Fourth Division on April 15.

“There has been continued bombardment by Sudan Armed Forces,” Southern
Army spokesman Col. Philip Aguer said. “Our forces are now on maximum
alert.”

Fighting was also reported in South Sudan’s Unity State as well as
Western Bahr El Ghazal in which at least 19 South Sudanese soldiers were
killed. In many cases, the Sudanese Air Force employed its
Russian-origin An-24 air transport for bombing missions. In March, a
Sudanese MiG-29 fighter-jet was downed by South Sudan’s new air defense
systems.

“We have never been their enemy,” South Sudan Information Minister
Barnaba Marial Benjamin said. “Our position is that we don’t consider them
as our enemy.”

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