South Sudan is not at war with Khartoum despite Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir‘s vow to teach its rival neighbour ‘a lesson by force’, a minister said on Thursday.
‘The Republic of South Sudan is not in the state of war, nor is it interested in war with Sudan,’ but in peaceful relations and two viable states, South Sudan‘s Information Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin told reporters.
‘The Republic of South Sudan considers Sudan as a neighbour and friendly nation, not an enemy.’
Bashir has upped war rhetoric in the wake of clashes that erupted last month with Juba’s seizure of the disputed Heglig oilfield on April 10, and escalated last week with waves of aerial bombardment hitting the South.
Sudan‘s parliament has voted to declare Juba an ‘enemy’ and Bashir has called the Southern government ‘insects.’
‘The resolution of Sudan‘s national assembly declaring the Republic of South Sudan as an enemy is unfortunate, and amounts to a declaration of war,’ Benjamin added.
Southern troops are entrenched in positions around the contested oil field, which provided half of Sudan‘s crude before its loss, a huge blow to Khartoum’s already faltering economy.
Sudan has vowed to recapture