It has been announced by a spokesman for Sudan’s military, Colonel Khalid Sawarmi, that soldiers from South Sudan “Are inside Heglig city, and the oiflield, they conquered the Sudanese army outside of Heglig. The Sudanese government has publicly claimed that it will use “all legitimate means” to return the town and oilfield to its possession.
Sudan’s ministry of information claimed that “areas of South Kordofan state, most notably Heglig were brutally attacked by the SPLA, supported by the state of South Sudan, using mercenary forces and rebel groups.” South Sudan has said the opposite however, claiming that their forces were repulsing a Sudanese attack, which led to Sudanese troops being pursued to Heglig.
The Heglig oilfield is seen as vital to the Sudanese economy as some estimates show it accounting for approximately half of all of the country’s 115 000 bpd of output.
This most recent escalation of violence comes as part of a continuing dispute over oil. The two nations have a long history of violence, although South Sudan has only been officially independent since July 2011. Earlier this year, South Sudan raised concerns that Sudan was stealing oil transported through its territory and in response completely shut down its oil production, which represented approximately 98% of the state’s revenue.
In a bid to reduce its dependence on Sudanese pipelines, South Sudan has inked several agreements for alternative pipelines through other neighbouring countries.
Edited from various sources by David Bizley
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