Army’s bid to retake key oilfield ‘quelled’

SOUTH SUDAN: The world’s newest country, South Sudan, said yesterday it had repulsed an attempt by the Sudanese army to retake the disputed oil-producing border area of Heglig, which the southern army seized last week.

The fighting between Sudan and South Sudan has brought the two closer to a resumption of full-blown conflict, nine months after the south seceded under a peace deal that ended decades of civil war.

South Sudan seized the Heglig oilfield near the border last Tuesday, prompting widespread condemnation. The African Union denounced the occupation as illegal and urged the two sides to avert a “disastrous” war.

Hide Ad

The Sudanese army said late on Friday that its forces were advancing on Heglig town, an area vital to Sudan’s economy because it has a field accounting for about half of its 115,000-barrel- a-day oil output. The fighting has stopped crude production there.