"The Army was entrusted with protecting Sudan's territory and stability
and the security of its citizens in the south and north," Bashir's ruling
National Congress Party said.
The southern Sudanese government warned that Khartoum's invasion of
Abyei could spark another war. Officials said the southern Sudanese army has
been placed on alert.
"We didn't declare war," southern army spokesman Col. Philip Aguer said.
"The National Congress Party and the Sudan Armed Forces declared war on us."
In late 2010, the United Nations agreed to postpone a referendum on the
future of Abyei. The remaining UN-organized referendum concerned southern
Sudan, in which 95 percent voted for secession in January 2011. Secession
for the south is scheduled for July 9.
Over the last two months, tensions increased steadily in Abyei. On May
19, an estimated 15 Sudanese Army soldiers were killed in an ambush in
Abyei, allegedly conducted by southern units. Hours later, Bashir ordered
air strikes on Abyei.
Bashir's military is said to have conducted two days of air strikes on
Abyei. On May 21, the Sudanese Army, backed by main battle tanks and
mortars, invaded the oil-rich region and drove out southern forces as well
as most civilians. Officials said a division was deployed in Abyei.
"The event is a long-term plan done by the government of Khartoum to
disrupt and carry out an invasion," Southern Sudanese Information Minister