Clashes have spread along the border of Sudan and South Sudan, officials said on Monday, with Sudanese officials claiming to have seized an area sympathetic to South Sudan.
A South Sudanese military official said the clashes were a “terrible escalation” of the border conflict that stretches back to before South Sudan broke away from Sudan last year.
Fighting along the north-south border has been near constant over the past two weeks.
Southern army spokesman Colonel Philip Aguer said on Monday that Sudan's Air Force killed five civilians in aerial attacks over the disputed town of Heglig. Troops from South Sudan last Wednesday captured the oil-rich border town of Heglig, claimed by Sudan.
The Sudan Media Centre also reported on Monday that Sudan's Army took control of Mugum, a stronghold of the southern army in Blue Nile State, which is near South Sudan's border.
The government of South Sudan is an enemy, Sudan's Parliament voted unanimously on Monday.
“The government of South Sudan is an enemy and all Sudanese state agencies have to treat her accordingly,” said the Parliament's resolution.
After the vote, the Parliament's Chairman, Ahmed Ibrahim El-Tahir, called in the legislature for the overthrow of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement, which rules the South.
Questions are being raised in Sudan over how easily South Sudanese forces marched in and seized Khartoum's main oilfield, worsening an economy already mired in crisis.
Analysts say the South's invasion of the Heglig area last Wednesday has put Defence Minister Abdelrahim Mohammed Hussein under scrutiny.
The area along the disputed southern border had already been attacked during earlier clashes that began on March 26.
Renewed fighting over the past week, which started with waves of aerial bombardment of the South, is the most serious since last July when South Sudan separated after an overwhelming “yes” vote under a peace deal that ended 22 years of civil war.
When the South became independent Khartoum lost about 75 per cent of its oil production and billions of dollars in revenue, leaving the economy reeling and Heglig as its main remaining oil centre. South Sudan disputes that Heglig is part of the north's territory.
Keywords: Sudan clashes