* First such accusation since September deal
* Border bombing likely to further delay oil exports
* Rebels shell Sudanese border city in oil region
JUBA/KHARTOUM, Nov 21 Sudan and South Sudan
accused one another of incursions in disputed border zones on
Wednesday, jeopardising plans to secure the boundary and resume
cross-border oil flows vital to their economies.
The two former civil war foes agreed in September to end
hostilities and restart oil exports from the south through Sudan
after coming close to war again in April, the worst violence
since the south became independent in July 2011.
But relations have soured again in the past few days after
both sides failed to agree on how to move their forces back from
the unmarked joint border, something both had said must happen
before oil exports resume.
South Sudan's army said Sudanese warplanes had bombed its
side of the border, killing a civilian and wounding four others,
- the first such accusation since the September deal.
"Sudan bombed our people in Northern Bahr al Ghazal. The
bombing happened yesterday at 2 p.m.," army spokesman Philip
Aguer said. "We were caught by surprise."
Sudan denied the accusation, saying its forces had attacked
a camp some 40 km (25 miles) inside Sudanese territory used by
rebels who are fighting the Khartoum government.
"The armed forces conducted an internal battle deep in its
territory," Sudanese military spokesman Al-Sawarmi Khalid said
in a statement on Wednesday.
"The presence of South Sudan's army in the area ...
represents aggression and blatant military intervention on our
land, and we have the full right to respond by dealing with them
as enemy forces," he said.
Khartoum has long accused South Sudan of backing rebels of
the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-North)
fighting the Sudanese government, something analysts find
credible despite denials from Juba.
MUTUAL STAKES IN OIL
Sudan benefits from South Sudan's oil exports because Juba
has to pay a fee for using northern pipelines and a Red Sea
port. Juba halted production in January because of disputes over
pipeline fees with Sudan.
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir said on Tuesday the
resumption of oil production had been delayed after Sudan had
made further demands.
Concerns about delays to reopening the oil pipeline pushed
the Sudanese pound to a historic low at the start of the week,
highlighting the need to restart oil flows, the main source of
state revenues and dollars for both countries.
Fighting between Sudan and rebels in its southern border
states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile has hampered the plan to
set up a secure border zone.
On Monday, Sudanese state news agency SUNA said rebels from
the Darfur region had set up camp in a contested border region.
Khalid said then that the rebels had been positioned just 10
km from the border in a disputed strip of land called Samaha, or
Miles-14, that was a major obstacle during the September talks.
On another front, the SPLM-North, which seeks to topple
Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, shelled Kadugli,
capital of South Kordofan, which has most of Sudan's oil
In a statement, the SPLM-North said it had attacked army
positions inside Kadugli in self-defence after Sudan used
Antonov planes to bomb rebel positions and villages.
"Five rockets landed in the city in the evening," one
Kadugli resident told Reuters, asking not to be named. "People
In another setback to the peace process, the United Nations
said in a report that both countries had not yet opened the land
border for trade, despite an agreement in September.
Analysts say while both Juba and Khartoum need the lucrative
returns from oil, they also want to be seen as tough on the
other side to shore up domestic support.