South Sudan said Saturday it could not have planned face-to-face peace talks with Sudan after accusing Khartoum of launching a new air raid on its territory.
“We were left with no choice but to suspend our direct bilateral talks with Sudan,” the spokesman for Juba’s delegation at the talks in Addis Ababa, Atif Kiir, said.
“You cannot sit with them to negotiate when they are bombing our territory,” he added.
“The only negotiations that will happen now will happen through the panel,” he said, referring to an African Union mediation panel conducting the talks in the Ethiopian capital.
“There was bombing yesterday morning at a place called Rubaker,” in northern Bahr el Ghazal, South Sudan’s military spokesman Philip Aguer told AFP earlier, adding that “this might have implications because maybe that is the intention of Sudan to bomb us and to stop talking.”
A new round of talks is due to begin Sunday at African Union headquarters, Kiir said.