Home | News    Thursday 19 April 2012

W. Equatoria protests against SAF bombing, backs SPLA


April 17, 2012 (JUBA) - Thousands of citizens in South Sudan’s Western Equatoria State took to the streets of Yambio on Tuesday in support of the country’s armed forces as the border war with Sudan continues over the disputed oil region of Heglig.

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Protestors in Yambio, Western Equatoria State, South Sudan. (Photo: Mbugo Phillip William)

Youth groups and civil society organisations protested at what they describe as encroachment and occupations “deeply inside” the territory of the nine-month-old nation by the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF).

South Sudan says that it was an attack by SAF on Unity State that triggered their occupation of Heglig a strategic oil field vital for Sudan’s economy. Juba has attracted international condemnation for the move and Khartoum has vowed to retake the area militarily.

Speaking to Sudan Tribune from the Western Equatoria capital Yambio, state governor, Colonel Joseph Bangasi Bakosoro, said the demonstration was intended to send a strong messages to the internationally community.

He said that the international community, particularly the United Nations and the African Union are wrong to perceive South Sudan as the aggressor in the conflict.

"Our forces have not crossed international boundaries into Sudanese territory. They were attacked within our territory and repulsed the attackers and followed them into the place where Sudanese Armed Forces use to launch periodic attack within our territory."

South Sudan maintains that Heglig is called Panthou and is part of Unity State, whereas Sudan claims the area is part of South Kordofan. Most of the 1,800 km border between the two countries has not been demarcated.

The governor also said that the protest was "to stand in solidarity with our forces and congratulate them for living up to their constitutional duties to protect [the] territorial integrity of the republic of South Sudan".

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Citizens in Yambio protest against ’UN discrimination’ over Heglig, SAF bombing, Abyei. Western Equatoria State, South Sudan. (Photo: Mbugo Phillip William)

For over a week the SPLA have managed to hold onto Heglig, which until the SPLA stopped took the area, supplied Khartoum with half its oil production.

Bakosoro also accused the international community of bias.

"They did not bother to know the root cause of our reactions. They just reacted blindly simply because they see Sudan as [a] strong nation that would just wake up one night and crush us."

He said the other nations new that South Sudan was in the right but their interests in Sudan had led them to condemn Juba’s actions. "Integrity is killed by interests", he said.

Governor Bakosoro further complained that the bombing of South Sudan by the Sudan Armed Forces had brought about less condemnation than the SPLA’s occupation of Heglig.

He also drew comparisons with Abyei another oil-rich disputed area, which SAF has occupied since May last year. The United Nations Security Council has called for both SAF and southern-aligned forces to withdraw from the region.

Bakosoro said that SAF was "still bombing our civilian settlements in the border states of Warrap, Western Upper Nile and recently in Upper Nile State. The United Nations and the African Union do not see this as violation of the international humanitarian law”, said Governor Bakosoro.

Khartoum denies bombing South Sudan despite it being reported by the United Nations and mounting evidence on the ground including civilian casualties.


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  • 19 April 2012 07:01, by equtoria helped

    we south Sudanese are united against the main enemy

    repondre message

  • 19 April 2012 07:18, by Daniel Buolmawei

    "They did not bother to know the root cause of our reactions. They just reacted blindly simply because they see Sudan as [a] strong nation that would just wake up one night and crush us."

    Exactly, my governor. That what they thought. They just scared from jahdist empty rhtorics of Khartoum and thought the bravest people of South Sudan would be crushed like what the Khartoum empty rhtoric sugges

    repondre message

  • 19 April 2012 07:42, by Madina Tonj

    There is no doubt in my mind that, the whole AU have been bribes fully otherwise such a speech made by AU would have not been mention after all. AU, UN and International body knew nothing about South Sudan’s border with North Sudan. Just when they hear Sudan name then, they thinks like the time Sudan was one but they all failed to understand Khartoum have left 1956 border behind to claim oil

    repondre message

    • 19 April 2012 08:00, by Dinkawarrior

      All the money mouth people must shut up otherwise God will punish them like Malawi President usually protect the criminal Bashit!

      repondre message

      • 19 April 2012 08:04, by Dinkawarrior

        Let’s protest and let’s take action too by joining the SPLA! No running away at this time, our people must united behind our troops to defeat the long time enemy of our people!

        repondre message

    • 19 April 2012 08:56, by Ruach

      All South Sudanese are bitter except those who always talk of land being occupied in Juba.Bari should be the first pple to fight against Arabs occupying our land now.South Sudan Oyee!

      repondre message

      • 19 April 2012 15:45, by Ruach

        Arabs are noisy neighbours.What a noisy neighbours!!

        repondre message

  • 19 April 2012 09:30, by E. Defense Forces
  • 19 April 2012 10:48, by Agor

    You are 100% Hon. Governor for all you have said. UNSC should first go to British museum to get the ownership of Heglig from the very map of 1/1/1956 before condemning the Republic of South Sudan

    repondre message

  • 19 April 2012 23:54, by Lok T Simon

    Dear W. Equartoria society,

    You are very right to protest against SAF atacks to Southern Sudan, but mind you our protesting against SAF is nothing to Bashir, as per now Bashir still saying that Southern Sudanese are insects. So the only way solution for us is to pick up guns and go to front line for our nation defend rather than protesting.

    repondre message

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