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News roundup

Heavy fighting has erupted between Sudan and South Sudan in the oil-rich border regions while senior officials from both countries meet on Monday for crisis talks. Central to these talks is the continuing dispute over oil transport and border demarcation.

The fighting is the worst since the countries split last year. Both Sudan and South Sudan are accusing the other of initiating the attacks and supporting rebels on each other's territory. The international community has expressed fears that the disputes between the two countries could lead to war.

The president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, told a meeting in the capital, Juba: "It is a war that has been imposed on us again, but it is they (Sudan) who are looking for it". While the Sudanese second Vice President Al-Haj Adam Yousif, commented “These attacks are the responsibility of the SPLA (South Sudanese military) and the South Sudanese government. The SPLA attacks have targeted our oil and our army."

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir was due to make his first visit to South Sudan since independence this week. The visit has now been cancelled.

Footage has also been released that captures the Governor of Southern Kordofan, Ahmed Harun, instructing troops before a battle with rebel fighters to take no prisoners. Harun is quoted as saying “Don’t bring them back alive. We have no space for them”. Ahmed Harun has been criticised for these comments which some believe are directed at civilians in addition to rebel fighters.

News in detail

North-South relations

Reuters: South Sudan says Sudan still bombing, won't be dragged to war 2 April: South Sudan said on Monday Sudanese forces were still bombing regions in the oil-producing area straddling their border, but insisted it would not be dragged into war.Read more

AFP: Sudan, South Sudan meet for crisis talks after fighting 2 April: Senior officials from Sudan and South Sudan met Monday for the first face-to-face talks since heavy fighting between their armies broke out last week in disputed oil-rich border regions. Read more

Economic Times: US welcomes Indian move in Sudan 2 April: The United States has welcomed the recent move by India to send its special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan to broker peace between the two countries, where New Delhi has sizeable oil interest. Read more

AFP: Sudan team in Ethiopia for crisis talks 31 March: Top Sudanese security officials flew to Addis Ababa on Saturday for crisis talks after a delay threw negotiations into uncertainty following fresh fighting allegedly backed by South Sudan. Read more

Reuters: Sudan and South Sudan accuse each other of border attacks 31 March: Sudan and South Sudan have accused each of launching further attacks in the oil-producing area straddling their border, dashing hopes for a new round of talks designed to end the dispute. Read more

The Telegraph: Sudan accuses South Sudan of backing armed rebel groups 31 March: Sudan's army accused South Sudan of backing a rebel attack on the strategic town of Talodi on Friday, the eve of planned crisis talks between the two nations after earlier clashes caused global alarm.Read more.

The Guardian: Sudanese border region sees second day of fighting over oil fields 27 March: South Sudan has accused its neighbour Sudan of waging war against it after a second day of fighting in the oil-rich border region – the worst confrontation since the countries split last year. Read more

Business Week: South Sudan official says Sudan bombs oil field 27 March: Sudan's military bombed an oil field in South Sudan on Tuesday, a South Sudan official said, as a dangerous flare-up in border violence appeared to scuttle plans for a presidential summit between the two countries. Read more.


Reuters: Sudan calls off launch of $1 billion sugar plant 3 April: Sudan has shelved the launch of a $1 billion sugar plant, state media said on Tuesday, delaying a strategic industrial project that was meant to help the government overcome a severe economic crisis. Read more.

Sudan Tribune: South Kordofan governor vows to sue Al-Jazeera TV over ”fabricated” Video 3 April: The governor of Sudan's South Kordofan state has expressed fury over a videotaped footage aired by the Qatar-based al-Jazeera TV showing him instructing troops not take any prisoners in the course of their fighting with rebels.Read more.

Reuters: Sudan inflation rose to 22.4 pct in March 3April:Sudan's annual inflation rate rose to 22.4 percent in March, up from 21.3 percent in February, as costs for food items such as milk and meat rose, official data showed on Tuesday. Read more

Sudan Tribune: Sudanese refugees in Chad deny reports about voluntary return to Darfur 1 April: Sudanese refugees have dismissed reports alleging that thousands have returned voluntarily from camps in eastern Chad camps to Sudan’s western Darfur region since the signing of the Doha Peace Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) in July 2011. Read more

Al Jazeera: Sudan governor to troops: 'Take no prisoners' 1 April: Al Jazeera obtains footage of governor of Southern Kordofan apparently condoning war crimes in orders to Sudanese army.Read more.

AFP: Sudan's Bashir heads to Arab summit despite ICC warrant 28 March: Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes, left on Wednesday for the Arab League summit in Baghdad, official radio reported. Read more.

South Sudan‎

ABC: Obama urges restraint as Sudan fears grow 3 April: United States President Barack Obama has urged South Sudan to show restraint after heavy border fighting with Sudan, as officials voiced alarm over growing hunger, refugees and fears of all-out war. Read more.

Associated Press: South Sudan says it pulls back troops from border area after flare-up with Sudan 28 March: JUBA, South Sudan — South Sudan said Wednesday it has pulled out its troops from a contested area along the border with Sudan shortly after clashes between the two countries’ armies sparked fears of a return to war. Read more