Home | News    Thursday 12 August 2010

Ambush in Unity State kills 23

August 12, 2010 (KHARTOUM) – An ambush by unidentified gunmen in south Sudan’s oil rich Unity State has killed 23 people an spokesman from SPLA - the southern Sudanese army - told Reuters on Wednesday.

The attack, which occurred on Sunday but was not reported until yesterday, killed 17 soldiers and 6 civilians.

It is not clear who carried on the attacks.

SPLA spokesman, Malaak Ayuen Ajok, told Reuters:

"Bandits are active around that area, but lately it has been peaceful. This attack comes as a big surprise."

The south is due to hold a referendum on whether it will split or remain united with the north in January next year.

Agreeing post-referendum arrangements for the division of oil between north and south has been a major sticking point in negotiations between the SPLM the political branch of the SPLA and Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party.

Under the existing agreement, which expires in January, both sides receive half of all oil revenues from south Sudan.

Reuters reported yesterday that Ajok, ‘dismissed any connection between the oil dispute and the latest attacks in Unity State.’