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South Sudan News: Khartoum blamed for recent raid attack

Officials in Juba blame Khartoum for the raid attack that has killed dozens in South Sudan.
South sudan raid attack khartoum blamed 2012 1 30Enlarge
A herdsman stands among his cattle at a cattle-camp near South Sudan's central town of Rumbek. One of Africa's longest-running wars left this land in ruins and battling a bitter legacy that threatens prospects for peace — a stockpile of weapons spurring cattle raids and banditry. (Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty Images)

NAIROBI, Kenya — A raid has killed dozens of people in South Sudan, close to the border with its northern neighbor. Officials in Juba were quick to blame Khartoum for the attack, as they always are.

Sometimes there is truth in the accusations, sometimes there is not.

This example of the Sudanese blame game is more ridiculous than usual with South Sudan's interior minister unable to say who the attackers were even as he is adamant that Khartoum armed them.

More from GlobalPost: Sudan and South Sudan are on the brink, again

Whatever the facts of this particular attack it serves to underscore the parlous state of relations between North and South which are steadily deteriorating to a point of near non-existence.

Right now oil is the issue — specifically a row over the amount the South should pay to the north for transporting southern oil along northern pipelines for export — but if it wasn't it would be something else: debt, border demarcation, citizenship, support to rebels, Abyei ... the list goes on.

More from GlobalPost: Khartoum regime keeps squeezing South Sudan

It's hard to believe that full-blown civil war is on the cards.

After all these two nations know very well what war costs in lives and cash having fought for the best part of half a century.

But the impact of this diplomatic rupture will be felt in the border areas between North and South where proxy fighting, aerial bombing and failed crops add up to a humanitarian disaster in the making.

More from GlobalPost: South Sudan halts oil production as talks falter

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/africa/south-sudan-news-South Sudan-blames-Khartoum-recent-raid