UK & World News
War Fears As South Sudan Troops Defend Border
There are fears of all-out war as the world's newest nation, South Sudan, prepares for action against its northern neighbour.
Less than a year after getting independence from Sudan, South Sudan is now ready to do battle as a state of emergency is declared on the border.
Thousands of troops from the South have dug into defensive positions along the disputed border region, as more soldiers are dispatched to the area.
The conflict has arisen out of a contest for oil riches and disputed territory, and comes just days after South Sudanese troops withdrew from Sudan's largest oil field, at Heglig.
It gained independence last year and there were hopes that the two countries would remain at peace.
But the South Sudanese troops, who were once answerable to Sudan President Omar Bashir, have now turned their fury towards the Khartoum regime in the North.
"We will fight because no one has the right to take our land from us," one South Sudanese soldier told Sky News.
On the other side, Mr Bashir has cranked up the rhetoric and said his aim was to "liberate" the people in the South.
He described the former rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement government in the southern capital Juba as "insects" that needed to be eliminated.
Witnesses reported bombing raids against southern forces after they took the Heglig oil field, and against the South Sudanese town of Bentui.
Major General James Gaduel told Sky News: "Now is the right time to arrest Omar Bashir. If the international community will not do it, we will do it."
The newly formed southern forces have inferior military capabilities to the North and struggle to protect the disputed border, which exceeds 1,300 miles.
The South Sudanese military, which is also responsible for an area the size as Texas, is sending more weapons to the area by transport aircraft and troops by lorries.
Meanwhile, UK consular staff confirmed that officials are "urgently investigating the arrest of a British national in Sudan" and had requested access to the man.
Sky News visited the Bentui state hospital, around 50 miles inside the border, where injured troops and civilian victims of air raids on the town have received rudimentary treatment.
"Let us leave this war, let us forget what has happened, and let us go to negotiations and not to war again," a doctor at the hospital said.
Tens of thousands of refugees have now gathered in camps in South Sudan after being forced out of their villages by the fighting, with hundreds more making the trek every day.
South Sudan's embassy estimates 350,000 ethnic Southerners remain in the North after an April 8 deadline for them to either formalise their status or leave Sudan.
The World Food Programme has designated the situation a Level Three emergency, giving it the highest priority for deliveries to help starving civilians before seasonal rains make the dirt roads impassable.
:: The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, had earlier made an appeal for more than $145m (£90m) from donors to help stockpile food and house displaced people before the rainy season.