Sudanese aerial bombing killed three civilians and wounded 21 in Blue Nile state bordering South Sudan, rebels said on Monday, four days before a U.N. deadline for the Sudan’s to make peace.
The air strikes on Friday and Saturday left three people dead and 11 wounded in Ora-Balila while four others were hurt in Magaf, said Arnu Ngutulu Lodi, spokesman for the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N).
Six other people were wounded and more than two dozen head of cattle killed in a bombing at Wadaka Nellei, he added in a statement.
Access to Blue Nile is severely restricted, making independent verification of the claims difficult.
Sudan’s army spokesman could not be reached for comment.
The United Nations, in its weekly humanitarian bulletin, said it had earlier received reports of Sudanese aerial bombing on July 22 in Blue Nile but there were no indications of casualties.
About 200,000 refugees have fled from a worsening humanitarian situation in Blue Nile and South Kordofan states since fighting between government and rebel forces began in June last year, the U.N. says.
Ethnic insurgents of the SPLM-N fought alongside southern rebels during Sudan’s 22-year civil war, which ended in a 2005 peace deal and South Sudan’s independence in July last year.
Sudan accuses South Sudan of supporting the SPLM-N, a charge which foreign analysts believe despite denials by the government in Juba, which in turn alleges Khartoum backs insurgents south of its borders.
Both sides must end the practice, the U.N. said in a May Security Council resolution which ordered a ceasefire and gave Sudan and South Sudan until August 2 to settle critical issues after fighting along their undemarcated border.
African Union-led peace talks have been taking place in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa but no comprehensive accord is expected by the deadline.
Although the U.N. has warned of possible sanctions if its resolution is not complied with, diplomats said the Security Council will probably hold back from ordering immediate action.
The resolution also strongly urged SPLM-N and the Sudanese government to accept a United Nations, Arab League and AU plan for humanitarian aid to South Kordofan and Blue Nile.
But the rebels and government have traded accusations over the issue.
Lodi said the latest bombing is part of attempts “to thwart all efforts to reach an agreement” on humanitarian intervention.
Government negotiators on Friday said they had gone to Addis Ababa to discuss the aid plan with SPLM-N but there was “no progress”.