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Sudan signals possibility of military options against South Sudan

(Xinhua)

08:54, February 28, 2012

KHARTOUM, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- Sudan on Monday indicated a possibility of using military options against South Sudan in response to what Khartoum terms as "repeated aggressions" by the south on Sudan's territories.

"Sudan maintains military and security options that can be used to respond to South Sudan's attack on Buhairat Al-Abiyad in South Kordofan State," Mustafa Osman Ismail, the Sudanese presidential adviser, told reporters Monday.

Ismail held South Sudan government responsible of the attack on Buhairat Al-Abiyad area, reiterating that all options, including the military and security ones, were open before Sudan to respond to the "aggression."

"South Sudan bears the full responsibility in this attack. South Sudan government should stop refuting and lying. It should acknowledge if it has enough courage to bear the responsibility and its consequences," said Ismail.

"We were attacked and we will no doubt respond to this aggression to defend our land. We will adopt all steps and there is no closed course for us. We will file complaints to the UN Security Council, the African Union and the committee supposed to monitor the security agreement recently signed between the two countries on refraining from attacking the border."

Sudanese army said Sunday that armed clashes broke out between its forces and South Sudan forces at Jao area on the border.

"An alliance bringing together South Sudan's army and rebels from South Kordofan and Darfur on Sunday morning attacked Buhairat Abiyad at Jao town," said Sudanese army in a statement.

The statement accused South Sudan of planning a full attack against the area, pointing out that the fighting was still continuing.

However, South Sudan's Foreign Minister Nhial Deng on Monday refuted Sudan's accusations that South Sudan was supporting the armed movements in Sudan.

"South Sudan has nothing to do with what is going on in Sudan," Deng told reporters in Juba, adding that South Sudan, after gaining its independence, was willing for peaceful coexistence with neighboring countries.

Sudan and South Sudan signed a security agreement on Feb. 10 to avoid armed conflicts between the two sides.

The agreement, which was reached under the mediation of the African Union in Addis Ababa, stipulated that the two sides should respect sovereignty and territorial integrity of each other, avoid intervention in each other's internal affairs, reject the use of force and observe common interests and peaceful coexistence.

Sudan and South Sudan have so far failed to demarcate their joint borders, including the affiliation of border areas such as Jao.

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