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Bombing Raid Hits Registration Center in South Sudan

Residents of the remote south central Southern Sudan village of Nyal line up to register their names at a local school being used as a voter registration office, 15 Nov 2010. (file photo)

The spokesman for the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, Phillip Aguer, said the Sudan Air Force bombed civilians at a voter registration center in Malual County in Northern Barh el Ghazal state. He claimed four soldiers and two civilians were wounded in the attack.

Aguer told VOA a helicopter gunship bombed an area along the Kiir Adem River near a southern Sudan Referendum Commission Center where voters have been registering for the January 9 referendum on southern independence. He said the two wounded civilians were on their way to register to vote in the referendum.

‘’There is a process of registration for [the] referendum taking place in the area and …the civilians…wounded today, these are people who were just moving along the river going to register in their payam and in their counties at Malual North County.’’

This is the second time authorities in Southern Sudan have reported an attack by Sudanese armed forces in Northern Bahr El Ghazal. Early last week, Northern Bahr el Ghazal Governor Paul Malong said two Sudanese jet fighters attacked a village near the border with Darfur. Eight civilians were injured in that attack.

Aguer blamed Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) for Wedensday’s attack and claimed the bombing is directed at border points between North and South Sudan. He said Sudan’s military is trying to discourage people from registering for the January referendum.

‘’This is the border of the South as from 1956 and the Northerners are disputing the borders and…there is a plan to disrupt the referendum and this is the area they access and attack.’’

Aguer stressed that the SPLA is committed to the security arrangement in the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement which ended 21 years of war between the government in Khartoum and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army.

He added that his office will report the incident to the United Nations Mission in Sudan for further action. He called on the international community to create a suitable environment to allow the people of Southern Sudan exercise their rights to self- determination as stipulated in the CPA.