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December 06, 2010

Ruling Party Denies Involvement in Latest Reported South Sudan Bombing

by Peter Clottey

A prominent member of Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) has described as ridiculous accusations his party was behind the latest bombing attack of semi-autonomous south Sudan that reportedly occurred Monday and Tuesday.

Rabie Abdelati Obeid told VOA it was inappropriate for an official of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) to call for a U.N. investigation into the attack.

“I don’t think that this official announcement (about the bombing) is correct because there is no way to start or continue a war. We are now proceeding to implement peace according to the CPA (Comprehensive Peace Agreement),” said Obeid.

“I think the justification for this allegation by Pagan Amum is only because they are feeling that the situation is not going okay and that the phase of the referendum and the registration of voters are faced with a lot of violations. He wants to cover these violations and (because) they failed to (respect the referendum Act).”

Pagan Amum, secretary-general of the SPLM, said the latest attack is yet another attempt by the NCP to destabilize the south ahead of the 9th January referendum on south Sudan’s independence.

There has been no independent confirmation of the latest bombings in the states of Western and Northern Bahr al-Ghazal.

Obeid said the accusation is the SPLM’s “camouflaging” what he said are the gross violations of the Referendum Act in the ongoing voter registration.

“The SPLM wants 9th January to come and to say that secession is now an option for the south Sudan people, regardless of the system, regardless of the Referendum Act and regardless of the CPA. The SPLM is waiting for the 9th of January to declare secession. But, this is not what is agreed upon.”

Obeid also denied that there have been bombings in the south saying the accusations are meant to embarrass President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and the ruling party.

“He has no right to call for the United Nations to (investigate). Up to now, south Sudan and north Sudan (are) still one country. It is the president and the government that has the authority to do so. I think that this is beyond his (Pagan Amum’s) jurisdiction.”

If confirmed, this would be the third airstrike by northern Sudanese forces in less than a month.

On November 24, southern officials said helicopter gunships from the north attacked a base in Bahr al-Ghazal.

Earlier, northern aircraft bombed the south while fighting rebels from Sudan's Darfur region. Northern officials acknowledged that bombing, calling it an accident.