Despite South Sudan’s decision to pull troops out of a disputed, oil-rich border town last week, reports say that Sudan warplanes began conducting airstrikes in South Sudan Monday, leaping one step closer to a full-scale war.
According to witnesses, the neighboring towns of Bentiu and Rubkona came under attack Monday as two fighter jets fired four missiles at the towns, hitting an open air market and killing at least one person, CNN reports.
"They are trying to drag us back into a war, and that's what the Security Council didn't want," said Barnaba Marial Benjamin, South Sudan's minister of information, according to CNN. "They must tell them to stop these attacks."
The European Union Council condemned the attacks, calling for both sides to put down weapons and return to the negotiating table.
"The EU urges both to return to the existing negotiating process under the auspices of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel and renew their efforts in good faith to reach agreement through peaceful dialogue," the EU Council said.
Sudan has denied responsibility for the attacks, and President Omar al-Bashir announced today, Monday, that he will not negotiate with South Sudan over the dispute.
"We will not negotiate with the South's government, because they don't understand anything but the language of the gun and ammunition," he told Sudanese troops, according to Reuters.
General Kamal Abdul Maarouf, a Sudanese army commander, said the army killed 1,200 South Sudanese troops in fighting in the Heglig area, Reuters reports. South Sudan denies the count.
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(Photo: AP Photo/Abd Raouf)
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