News

    On Ground in Heglig, Threat of War Persists

    SPLA troops stationed at Unity Oil Field, near front lines, Heglig, Sudan, April 14, 2012.
    SPLA troops stationed at Unity Oil Field, near front lines, Heglig, Sudan, April 14, 2012.
    Gabe Joselow

    Amid South Sudanese President Salva Kiir's announcement of military withdrawal from Heglig, a border town in the disputed oil-producing region of Abyei, about 100 soldiers lay around the shaded grounds of a military hospital, nursing injuries sustained on the frontlines.

    Despite the past week's conflicting claims from Khartoum and Juba -- Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir has threatened all-out war, while diplomats on both sides have intermittently denied claims of ongoing battle and even expressed a desire for peaceful arbitration -- these troops of the South Sudanese military (SPLA) say they have been actively battling for two weeks. Some have been badly burned in Sudanese bombing raids, while others have been blinded.

    They say the fighting had intensified in recent days as Khartoum vowed to reclaim Heglig from the South, and described constant bombardment from Mig and Antonov aircraft.

    The SPLA, which has no air force, fought back by using troops on the ground, which, officials say, advanced 40 kilometers beyond Heglig earlier this week, traversing a region claimed by both sides since the south separated from the north last year.

    Sudan controlled Heglig until South Sudanese forces seized the territory about two weeks ago. Oil fields in Heglig produced about half of Sudan's total oil output, and the South says northern forces were using the area to launch attack on southern territory, including here in Unity State.

    NGO's operating in the capital of Unity State, Bentiu, have pulled out non-essential staff after Sudanese bombs struck parts of town, including a market along the Nile River and close to a bridge that leads to Heglig.

    It appears battle may not be over yet. The SPLA has previously withdrawn from Heglig only to retake control of the town a few days later.

    What is clear on the ground, however, is that any goodwill between the two sides following separation has all but dried up, and the threat of a return to war is real.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: James Ruei Majok
    April 21, 2012 4:15 AM
    If The sudanes troop take a full control of oil field Hegliy again it mean south sudan does n.t have good decision from his militray .why president of Republic of South sudan announce the removable of the troop from the oil field Hegliy.this is totaly wrong from salva kiir mayardit plus his cabinet ministeries of Republic of south sudan.

    by: Maaka zool yiimaakaan
    April 20, 2012 1:12 PM
    The withdrawal of spla in Heglig is unfair the to south sudanese because Heglig is apart of south Sudan according to the 1956 border.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    NATO to Target Migrant Smugglersi
    X
    Jeff Custer
    February 11, 2016 4:35 PM
    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.