South Sudan

Sudan War Planes Cited In Fall of Bentiu

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Just a few days back, unidentified planes hovered over Yida, South Sudan, and masterminded an expansive aerial bombing.


“[We are] concerned about the safety of refugees from Sudan and aid workers in Yida, after unidentified aircraft circled over the settlement several times on 9 April,” said Melissa Fleming, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).


Ms. Fleming said that Yida is located in the north of Unity state, close to the highly militarised Jau corridor, and that the plane sighting raised fears that the refugee settlement might soon come under direct or indirect military attack.


Further, the overflights came just two days after the aerial bombardment of Neem, a community 26 kilometres north of Yida, and close to the disputed border area of Jau.


Ms. Fleming said that local authorities reported that on April 7, a suspected military aircraft had dropped more than five bombs over Neem, which is along the road used by refugees fleeing the war-torn Nuba Mountains in Sudan.


While observers are sceptical about Sudan’s alliance to President Salva Kiir, rebel leader Riek Machar was quoted at the fall of Bentiu as saying: “I will share the oil with Khartoum fifty-fifty.”


It is possibly too early to conclude that President Omar Al-Bashir is arming South Sudan rebels with the hope of getting oil but all indicators of such a development are clear before us.


Meanwhile, an SPLA Maj Gen Puljang reportedly deserted his position leading to the capture of Bentiu although no evidence points to his desertion.


In the aftermath of Unity States capital’s capture, Safinat, a Russian company building a refinery for South Sudan suspended operations citing a possible rebel attack on the refinery.


This followed a gradual close down of all oil wells on orders of the rebel High Command.


At the same time, three Dinka Ngok musicians; Monybang Wal, Bul Miyom and Miaker Deng were reportedly executed at Bentiu Hospital in a mass hunt down of Dinka civilians.


In Upper Nile States, things are a bit different; multiple sources say SPLA crashed a rebel attack in Doleib, South of Malakal halting their advance on the capital.

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