South Sudan’s Salva Kiir says Sudan has declared war

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir says Sudan has “declared war” on his country, following weeks of fighting along their common border.

Mr Kiir was speaking in China, which is a major buyer of oil from both countries, but has long been an ally of Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir.

On Monday, UN chief Ban Ki-moon condemned Sudan for bombing a border town in the South.

South Sudan became independent last year, following decades of conflict.

There have been tense relations since then, primarily over the division of oil reserves and the full definition of borders.

At least one civilian was killed and many others wounded on Monday as Sudanese forces bombed a market on the outskirts of the town of Bentiu.

There have been more bombings on Tuesday morning in three different locations, the local governor has said.

Mr Kiir was speaking as he met Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao in Beijing, after arriving there on Monday for a five-day visit.

Mr Kiir said his visit came “at a very critical moment for the Republic of South Sudan because our neighbour in Khartoum has declared war on the Republic of South Sudan”.

He called China one of his country’s “economic and strategic partners”.

Chinese state television quoted Mr Hu as urging calm and restraint on both Sudans.

Sudan has made no formal declaration of war, but analysts say Mr Kiir is clearly escalating the war of words.

Beijing has urged an end to the recent hostilities, during which Southern forces occupied Sudan’s most important oil field, in the Heglig area, saying it belonged to the South.

South Sudan says its forces withdrew from Heglig after two weeks, but Sudan says it expelled them, killing 1,000 soldiers.


BBC has the full article

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