Rising tensions between Sudan and South Sudan came to a head today when Sudan attacked Southern troops as they were withdrawing from the oil rich region of Heglig.
NewsDay reports the attack squashed all hopes of a peaceful settlement between the two nations and raises the possibility of “all-out war.”
“The Sudan armed forced bombed our positions last … and this morning with Antonovs,” South Sudan’s army spokesman Philip Aguer told Reuters. “Last night we were in full control of Heglig and now we have almost completed our orderly withdrawal,” he added.
There was no immediate response from Sudan’s army which said on Friday it had “liberated” Heglig by force. Tensions have been rising since South Sudan split away from Sudan as an independent country in July, under the terms of a 2005 deal, taking with it most of the country’s known oil reserves. The countries are still at loggerheads over the position of their shared border and other disputes have already halted nearly all the oil production that underpins both economies.
African correspondent for McClatchey in D.C. and Time correspondent Alan Boswell tweets: