Sudan denies bombing oil centre
16 April 2012, 13:02
Khartoum - Sudan on Sunday warned South Sudan against damaging oil
facilities in the Heglig region it has occupied, after the South accused
Khartoum's air force of bombing the area.
"If the South Sudanese
army affects the oil infrastructure it means it is keen on taking the
conflict to a new level," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Al-Obeid Meruh
said in a statement.
South Sudan's army spokesperson Colonel
Philip Aguer told reporters earlier on Sunday that Sudanese planes were
bombing the Heglig area "indiscriminately" but had not managed to oust
his country's forces.
Sudan's army claimed on Saturday to be
"kilometres" from the main town of Heglig after beginning a
counterattack. The army spokesperson did not answer phone calls on
"We deny that Sudan bombed the oil infrastructure in
Heglig," Information Minister Abdullah Ali Massar said in a statement on
the official SUNA news agency.
He said his country also had no wish to bomb oil facilities in South Sudan.
tightly restricts the movement of journalists, aid workers and
diplomats in South Kordofan state, of which Heglig is a part, making
verification of the situation on the ground difficult.
powers have urged restraint after heavy fighting began with waves of
aerial bombardment hitting the South, whose troops on Tuesday seized
Heglig from Khartoum's army.
It is the
most serious fighting since last July when South Sudan separated after
an overwhelming "yes" vote under a peace deal that ended 22 years of
When the South became independent Khartoum lost about
75% of its oil production and billions of dollars in revenue, leaving
the Heglig area as its main oil centre.
Tuesday's attack caused a total production shutdown, said Ahmed Haroun, the South Kordofan governor.
The latest fighting follows clashes around Heglig that began on March 26.
that unrest a Sudanese oil engineer said the area's normal daily output
of 60 000 barrels - about half Sudan's total - had fallen to 40 000
because some wells were affected by the fighting. Sudan's oil minister
denied there was any damage.
South Sudan disputes that Heglig is part of the north's territory.