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Sudan says Juba pleaded with mediators to prevent bombardment of its troops in Heglig

April 21, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s presidential assistant, Nafie Ali Nafie, has accused South Sudan’s government of deceiving its people by saying that its army withdrew from Heglig.

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FILE PHOTO - Nafie Ali Nafie

Oil-producing area of Heglig, claimed by both Sudan and South Sudan, was occupied by the latter’s army last week before it was reclaimed by the former on Friday.

Khartoum alleges that Sudan’s army (SAF) had defeated its South Sudanese counterpart, the SPLA, in taking control of the area while Juba insists that its troops withdrew voluntarily.

Addressing a mobilisation rally of Sufi groups in the capital Khartoum on Saturday, Nafie claimed that Juba had in fact pleaded with international mediators to stop Khartoum from shelling SPLA troops inside Heglig.

However, he added, the leadership in Khartoum rejected the entreatment and “vanquished” SPLA forces.

Likewise, Nafie accused Western media of backing allegations of SPLA’s withdrawal in order to “please” South Sudan’s government.

Nafie also asserted that Khartoum will not heed any calls for stopping the war against Juba, accusing Sudanese political parties who make such calls of being “soft” and undermining the state.

Separately, the second vice-president of Sudan, Al-Haj Adam Youssef, has announced that his country will demand that South Sudan pays reparations for damaged oil facilities in Heglig.

Khartoum has accused South Sudan’s army of committing large-scale damage of oil infrastructure inside Heglig during its occupation.

Speaking at a rally in Khartoum on Saturday, Youssef threatened that Khartoum will not forget about the damages inflicted on Heglig’s oil facilities.

Youssef further called on Juba to stop providing sanctuary to Darfur rebel groups and sever its ties with the SPLA’s ninth and tenth divisions which, according to Khartoum, make up the army of the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) that is fighting Sudanese forces in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.

He further reiterated Khartoum’s intention to change the SPLM government in Juba, accusing South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir of being “bereft of will” and receiving orders from his “masters” in the West and the United States.

Addressing the same rally, Khartoum’s governor Abdel-Rahman al-Khidir revealed that his state had opened 15 camps to train whoever is able to carry arms and fight.

(ST)