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Sudanese Army Attacks South, Southern Leader Says

Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Southern Sudan’s ruling party accused the Sudanese army today of bombing positions in the semi-autonomous region.

The air attacks occurred yesterday and today in the states of Northern Bahr Al Gazal and Western Bahr Al Gazal, Pagan Amum, secretary-general of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, told reporters in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital. He called for a United Nations Security Council investigation “to rescue the situation.”

Sudanese President Umar al-Bashir’s ruling National Congress Party is trying to undermine a five-year-old peace agreement that ended a 21-year civil war, Amum said.

“The National Congress Party with this action is trying to drag Sudan into a new war, aiming to evade and backtrack from the peace agreement,” he said.

Southern Sudan is scheduled to hold an independence referendum on Jan. 9, the climax of the peace accord between the nation’s Muslim north and the oil-producing south, where Christianity and traditional beliefs dominate. About 2 million people died in the conflict and more than 4 million were displaced.

Today’s accusation was the third by the SPLM in two months. It said the Sudanese army attacked positions in Northern Bahr Al Gazal on Nov. 24, wounding four soldiers and two civilians. A separate bombing on Nov. 12 by northern forces in Northern Bahr Al Gazal was accidental, the SPLM said.

Sudanese army spokesman Al-Sawarmi Khaled did not answer calls seeking comment.

Southern Sudan accounts for as much as 80 percent of Sudan’s 490,000 barrels of daily oil production. Sudan is sub-Saharan Africa’s third-largest producer, according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy.

To contact the reporter on this story: Maram Mazen in Khartoum at mmazen@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Hirschberg at phirschberg@bloomberg.net.

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