North Sudan Troops Get 'Green Light' to Attack South
Gunman also fire on UN helicopters
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2011 11:30 AM CDT
In this photo released by the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), homes are seen burning in the town of Abyei, Sudan, Monday, May 23, 2011.   (AP Photo/UNMIS, Stuart Price)
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(Newser) – Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has given Northern Sudan troops the “green light” to attack their southern counterparts at will if they feel threatened, as the dispute over the Abyei border region threatens to balloon into a full-scale civil war in the soon-to-be-divided nation. Northern tanks rolled into the fertile and oil-rich region on Saturday, after an attack on a northern army convoy, the AP reports. In his remarks, Bashir criticized the US for condemning Saturday’s incursion, but not the convoy attack.

Southern Sudan is set to declare its independence in July, and if that goes smoothly, the US has promised to take the Bashir’s government off the state sponsors of terror list. But Bashir now says he doesn’t care. “We no longer fear the American stock, nor do we desire its carrots,” he said. President Obama responded by calling for the rapid deployment of more UN peacekeeping troops in Abyei. UN helicopters there came under fire yesterday from tribal gunman near a UN compound.
 

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