News

South Sudan Claims Downing of Sudanese Warplane

A delegation from South Sudan, headed by Pagan Amum, center, walks with Sudan's Idris Mohamed Abdul-Gadir, right, after their arrival in Khartoum, Sudan, (March 22, 2012 file photo)
A delegation from South Sudan, headed by Pagan Amum, center, walks with Sudan's Idris Mohamed Abdul-Gadir, right, after their arrival in Khartoum, Sudan, (March 22, 2012 file photo)

South Sudan said Wednesday that it had shot down a Sudan warplane carrying out a bombing mission on southern positions along their disputed border.  Security talks between the two sides broke off in a hail of angry rhetoric.

The talks ended with what initially appeared to be signs of progress.  The South Sudanese delegation said it had accepted an African Union proposal on reducing border tensions and was ready to sign.

The Sudanese team leader, Defense Minister Abdel-Rahim Mohammed Hussein, also sounded positive.  Hussein said he was headed back to Khartoum for consultations on the proposal, and indicated the talks would continue in the coming days. "We had very good meetings here.  We think this paper will need more consultation with the capitals.  So we are going back, so we can do more consultation on this paper, and then we come back and continue," he said.

AU mediation panel chief Thabo Mbeki spoke at a news conference of significant progress toward an agreement that could ease tensions and clear the way for a summit between the Sudanese and South Sudanese presidents.

But soon after, the atmosphere turned bitter as South Sudan's chief negotiator, Pagan Amum, announced the downing of a Sudanese MiG-29 fighter jet along the disputed border.  He accused Sudan's defense minister of personally ordering the bombing mission as he left the peace talks.

"The only explanation is that the team led by the minister of defense is a team that is anti-peace, that is for war.  And indeed they have proven that from the time they left, they attacked South Sudan.  The MiG-29 that attacked South Sudan, of which one has been shot down today, cannot attack without the minister of defense ordering them to attack.  Definitely.  This is very clear.  It's warmongering that made them not to sign [the agreement].  Nothing else," he said.

A Sudanese military spokesman in Khartoum denied that a plane had been shot down.  He called the report "completely incorrect."

A member of the AU mediation team said the latest developments would not affect Mr. Mbeki's efforts to ease border tensions that threaten to erupt into all-out war.  But the former South African president acknowledged that the talks are being held in a tense atmosphere.

"The talks were conducted against the background of the escalating armed conflict along the common border and, like the two parties, the panel, of course, was gravely concerned about this fighting," he said.

Mr. Mbeki said his panel would immediately travel to the South Sudanese capital, Juba, to continue mediation efforts.  After talks with President Salva Kiir, the panel is expected to fly to Khartoum to hold similar talks with President Omar al-Bashir.

Mr. Mbeki said the agenda would include the subject of a summit in the coming days at which the two leaders would take up sensitive issues that have stalled in negotiations.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Peter
April 04, 2012 10:55 AM
Your are wrong Mr Optimist!

by: Optimist
April 04, 2012 9:33 AM
Unless the current South Sudanese delegations are changed in favor of smarter group there will always be a problem in negotiating out a deal for the people of the newly independent country.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs