Sudan crisis `major threat` to peace: UN`s Ban

South Sudan split from Khartoum in July after decades of war, but key issues remain unresolved.

Addis Ababa: UN chief Ban Ki-moon said Sunday
a crisis between former enemies Sudan and South Sudan has
become a major threat to regional peace and security.

"The situation in Sudan and South Sudan has reached a
critical point, it has become a major threat to peace and
security across the region," Ban said at an African Union
summit meeting in the Ethiopian capital.

South Sudan split from Khartoum in July after decades of
war, but key issues remain unresolved, including a furious row
over pipeline transit fees to transport the South`s oil to
port in the rump state of Sudan.

In addition, tensions have been raised by their still
undemarcated border -- cutting through oil fields -- as well
as allegations by each side that the other backs proxy rebel
forces against the other.

"The international community needs to act, and it needs
to act now," Ban added. "As long as these issues remain
unresolved, tensions will only grow."

Asked by reporters if he feared war could break out
again, Ban replied: "That is also a great concern for me as
Secretary General. That is why I`m meeting as many African
leaders as possible."

South Sudan has also demanded the handover of the
contested border region of Abyei, claimed by both sides, but
which the northern army has controlled since storming the
region last year, after a planned referendum there was

Ban accused both Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir of "a lack of political

However, in rare singling out, the UN chief specifically
urged Bashir to cooperate in resolving the crisis.
"I urge him (Bashir) again to fully cooperate with the
United Nations," Ban said.


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