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Report: Israelis arming South Sudan with missiles
Sudan daily claims jets sent by unnamed Israeli organizations landing daily at South Sudan airport, unloading weapons meant for army

Sudan's al-Intiba newspaper reported Thursday that Israeli organizations have started transferring logistical and military equipment to South Sudan forces.

 

According to the report, jets have been landing at a Sudan airport at 3 am every day unloading missiles, military equipment and African mercenaries. The paper did not name the organizations behind the alleged deliveries, which, according to the report, began earlier this week.

 

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Border tensions have mounted since South Sudan gained its independence from Sudan in July last year. The dispute has centered on three main issues: The demarcation of the border, oil revenue sharing and refugees.

 

South Sudan accused Sudan of launching air strikes in the border region on Wednesday, hours after the postponement of talks aimed at defusing the worst clashes since the South seceded.

 

The Sudanese army denied any attack.

 

The neighbors have fought repeatedly in the past few days along the poorly marked 1,800-km (1,200-mile) border, the worst direct confrontation since the South split away in July under a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war.

 


חייל דרום סודן שומר על מתקן נפט. הבעלות במחלוקת (צילום: AFP)

South Sudan soldier guards oil facility (Photo: AFP)

 

Western nations fear the clashes could reignite a full-blown war between the mainly Muslim north and the Christian and animist South, with rival claims on oil resources a key part of the conflict.

 

South Sudan's top negotiator, Pagan Amum, said Sudanese MiG-29 jets bombed the garrison town of Panakuach in Unity state after talks sponsored by the African Union had been postponed with no deal signed and no indication of progress.

 

"One (jet) has been shot down in Panakuach. This is very clear, it's war-mongering that made them not to sign," he said.

 

Sudanese army spokesman Sawarmi Khalid Saad denied there had been an air strike or that a plane had been lost.

 

Last week Sudan bombed oil fields in South Sudan a day after skirmishes at a border town led Khartoum to cancel President Omer Hassan al-Bashir's scheduled visit to South Sudan for a meeting with President Salva Kiir.

 

In December 2011 Al-Intiba reported that Israeli aircraft attacked vehicles in South Sudan. The report speculated on whether the targeted vehicles had been serving arms smugglers.

 

The newspaper claimed that the first of two attacks was carried out on December 15. The IAF allegedly bombed two land cruiser vehicles, killing four passengers. The second attack was reportedly carried out on December 18. A car had been bombed and all its passengers killed. It was also reported that an Israeli apache helicopter landed in an area where South Sudanese army radar stations are located.

  

Reuters contributed to the report

 

 

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