Sudanese warplanes bombed two towns in South Sudan’s Unity State as the United States condemned Khartoum’s military assault on its southern neighbor.
Sudan President Omar al-Bashir seemed to take a more hard-line stance against South Sudan on Monday, ruling out talks with Juba, Al-Jazeera reported.
“We will not negotiate with the South’s government, because they don’t understand anything but the language of the gun and ammunition,” he said.
Bashir’s statement comes as Sudan warplanes bombed the towns of Bentiu and Rubkotna in Unity State, reported the Sudan Tribune.
An official with the Sudanese military confirmed Monday’s “ground and aerial bombardments” to the Tribune.
Sudan has launched attacks on South Sudan because of the South’s 10-day occupation of the oil town of Heglig, which lies just across the border. South Sudan last week said that it withdrew from the oil-rich area of Heglig in an attempt to stave off an all-out military assault from Sudan.
However, with Sudan’s recent bombing raids on Sunday and Monday, South Sudan has also stepped up its rhetoric against its northern neighbor.
“The bombing amounts to a declaration of war,” Maj. Gen. Mac Paul, the deputy director of Military Intelligence for South Sudan, was quoted by The Associated Press as saying.
Gen. Kamal Abdul Maarouf, a Sudan army commander, told Al-Jazeera that around 1,200 South Sudanese soldiers were killed in clashes in Heglig. This was denied by South Sudan, which said only 19 of its soldiers had been killed, while 240 Sudanese troops died in battles.
The U.S. State Department issued a statement on Monday that “strongly condemns” Sudan’s recent incursions into South Sudan.
“We recognize the right of South Sudan to self-defense and urge South Sudan to exercise restraint in its reaction to Sudan’s attack in Unity State and to refrain from disproportionate actions, which would only further enflame the hostilities between the parties,” the statement reads.