Omar al-Bashir, Sudan’s president, has pledged not to negotiate with South Sudan amid reports of fresh air attacks on his country’s southern neighbour.
The renewed tensions come as South Sudan’s 10-day occupation of the oil town of Heglig has left parts of the town blood-soaked and in ruins.
“We will not negotiate with the South’s government, because they don’t understand anything but the language of the gun and ammunition,” Bashir told Sudanese troops at a barracks near an oilfield along the two neighbours’ contested border on Monday.
“Our talks with them were with guns and bullets.”
General Kamal Abdul Maarouf, a Sudanese army commander who led the battles in Heglig, said the army had killed 1,200 South Sudanese troops in fighting in the area, an account South Sudan denied.
An AFP news agency correspondent who accompanied Maarouf said he saw piles of corpses bearing South Sudanese military uniforms scattered beneath trees in the border region.
South Sudan’s army said 19 of its soldiers were killed and that 240 Sudanese troops lost their lives.
‘So many bodies’
Early in the occupation, one South Sudanese soldier in Bentiu, capital of the South’s Unity state, said “there are so many bodies at the front line, so many dead”, that it is impossible to bury them or bring them back.
Despite the end of the occupation, Major General Mac Paul, the deputy director of military intelligence for South Sudan, said on Monday that two MiG 29 fighter planes dropped three bombs, two of which landed near a bridge that connected Bentiu and Rubkona.
“This is a serious escalation and violation of the territory of South Sudan. It’s a clear provocation,” he said.