Clashes break out in Sudan's South Kordofan

February 26, 2012 13:15

KHARTOUM - South Sudanese and Sudanese forces clashed in a poorly-defined border area on Sunday, the Sudanese military said, the latest outbreak of violence to put a recently signed non-aggression pact into question.

"Forces from South Sudan and rebels from South Kordofan attacked at 3 a.m. in the area of Baheyret al-Abayd," Sudan's military spokesman Al-Sawarmi Khalid told Reuters.

"Fighting is still going on," he said. "The government in the South is not abiding by the deal."

Khalid was referring to a non-aggression pact signed by both governments earlier this month, brokered by the African Union to allay fears that rising tensions since the South's secession last July could escalate into war.

In a further sign of continued unrest, the Darfur-based rebel Justice and Equality Movement said it had taken control of Jau, a region claimed by both sides, in a joint attack with forces of the South Sudanese Sudan People's Liberation Movement.

Relations between the two countries plunged after talks failed to halt an oil export dispute, end violence in border areas and resolve other issues relating to the secession.

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