Nairobi – Three people died following an aerial bombing by the north on a village in South Sudan, an official said Friday, as tensions between the two regions continued to escalate days before the south's independence in July.
Col. Philip Aguer said the north used Antonov bombers and MiG jets to bomb the fishing village of Jau in Unity State on Thursday.
Aguer said the bombing is part of wider attempts by the northern government to occupy border territories in the south ahead of South Sudan's independence on 9 July. The south voted in January to secede from the north.
Aguer said the north wants to annex the oil-rich areas in the south. The current north-south tensions in border regions threaten to unravel a 2005 peace deal that ended two decades of war that killed more than 2 million people.
Meanwhile, the United Nations and aid agencies reported Friday that up to 146,000 people had fled their homes after fighting in disputed border regions between the North and South Sudan
The UN aid coordination office said some 30-40,000 people have fled Kadugli, the capital of South Kordofan state in the north, where the north's Sudan Armed Forces clashed with elements of the south's Sudan People's Liberation Army on Thursday.
The fighting included aerial bombardments by the SAF, said UN spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs. Aid agency offices in Kadugli have been looted and most local and international aid staff have fled the area, she said.
Meanwhile, the International Organization for Migration says a further 106,000 people are displaced around the disputed border region of Abyei, to the southwest of Kadugli.
Humanitarian agencies working in the region warned that delivering aid will become significantly harder once the rainy season starts, as many roads and airstrips will become unusable.