As published today on the Government of South Sudan’s Mission page.
Statement by HE Minister of Information & Broadcasting, Government of the Republic of South Sudan
GOVERNMENT OF SOUTH SUDAN CONDEMNS AERIAL AND GROUND ATTACKS BY SUDANESE ARMED FORCES INTO UNITY STATE, REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN
For immediate release
Juba, 23rd April 2012: The Republic of South Sudan has withdrawn its SPLA troops in Heglig in conformity with the statement of the President of the United Nations Security Council and in response to appeals from world leaders.
This has been done to create an environment for the resumption of dialogue between the Republic of South Sudan and the Republic of Sudan through the initiative of the Africa Union High Implementation Panel.
The SPLA troops completed an orderly withdrawal to its previous positions, however, the Republic of Sudan has continued to conduct aerial and ground attacks within its territory.
These attacks have been conducted from Saturday 21st to Monday 23rd April.
On Sunday 22nd at 9am, Mig and Antinov aircraft bombed the towns of Panakuac, Tor, Unity Oil Fields, Nyapoula (near the bridge) and Ruthriak. This was followed a 1pm by a large ground attack of militia, mujahedeen and SAF troops on SPLA positions. This was repulsed by the SPLA troops and the SAF forces were driven back towards Heglig. The SPLA forces then retreated to their positions.
On Monday 23rd at 8.45am, Mig fighters again attacked Pentiou market and dropped 3 bombs killing 2 civilians, including a 12 year old boy. All those killed and injured were civilians. They then dropped 4 bombs on Abiemnhom but there were no casualties.
The Government of the Republic of South Sudan strongly condemns these senseless bombardments of civilian targets within the territory of South Sudan. We urge the Security Council, the United Nations, the Africa Union and international community to condemn this hostile attitude and urge the Republic of Sudan to desist from their aerial bombardments and ground incursions into the territory of the Republic of South Sudan.
The Government reminds the international community that the Republic of South Sudan withdrew forces from Heglig on a voluntary basis and at the request of the Security Council. The SPLA retains the capacity and capability to repulse these forces and pursue them back to Higlig.
These are acts of provocation on the part of the Government of Sudan. The Government of the Republic of South Sudan retains the right to self defense and to protect the lives of our civilians.
The Security Council must take its responsibility and punish the Republic of Sudan for continuing this aerial bombardment and the violation of the airspace of South Sudan.