JUBA, South Sudan – South Sudan's military spokesman said Wednesday the south's military shot down a Sudanese fighter jet in its territory after two Sudanese military planes dropped "many" bombs around South Sudanese oil fields.
Col. Philip Aguer said South Sudan's Air Defense Forces shot down a Sudanese MiG-29 jet fighter Wednesday afternoon in South Sudan's Unity State. Aguer said he was present for the confrontation, and that the downed Sudanese MiG was one of two flying over the Naar and Toma South oil fields. He said the two MiGs had dropped "many" bombs since morning.
South Sudanese forces shot down the MiG with an anti-aircraft gun, he said.
The Sudanese "don't know that we have the capacity. They underestimate the SPLA," he said, referring to South Sudan's forces, the Southern People's Liberation Army.
South Sudan split off from Sudan last year after decades of civil war. But the two sides never agreed on where exactly the two countries' border is, and how to share oil revenues. The south now has most of the oil but must pump it through a pipeline that runs through Sudan.
South Sudan says that Sudan stole much of its oil, and the south shut down production earlier this year, depriving both countries of needed government revenue.
Hostilities between the two sides have grown in recent months, even as the south has said it is trying to avoid a return to war. A planned meeting between the presidents of Sudan and South Sudan scheduled for Tuesday was canceled by Sudan.