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Sudan clashes raise fears of war

Thursday, April 19, 2012 - 01:18

April 19 - South Sudan forces vow to hold a contested oil field seized from Khartoum, despite air strikes and clashes, raising fears of a return to war. Simon Hanna reports.

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South Sudanese soldiers in the disputed oil field of Heglig vow to maintain their position. The South seized the contested region last week, prompting their northern neighbours to brand them an enemy and call for the recapture of the land. But despite air strikes and a reported counter attack from Khartoum, the South says they are not moving. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF MILITARY INTELLIGENCE, MAJOR GENERAL MAC PAUL: "We have not been fighting Sudan because we did not fight in Heglig because we wanted to fight the government or the people of Sudan. What we wanted was just to retain the piece of land that has been taken." In both capitals, the patriotic war drums are beating. At this rally in Juba, South Sudan, residents say this is the result of a longstanding dispute. (SOUNDBITE) (Enlgish) SOUTH SUDAN CIVIL SERVANT, MAHDI YASSIN: "It was initially part of our land. It was initially part of the South. So, as we have now captured Heglig we are going to bring it back. We are urging the United Nations to come and assist us to demarcate our borders between South and North." South Sudan split away from Khartoum less than a year ago following years of brutal fighting. The dispute over Heglig is now threatening a return to all out war. Simon Hanna, Reuters.

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Sudan clashes raise fears of war

Thursday, April 19, 2012 - 01:18