UN calls for end of Sudan border violence

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - 11:05

United Nations: The United Nations Security
Council has demanded that Sudan and South Sudan end violence along their border after a flare-up threatened to plunge the region back into war.

Sudanese warplanes yesterday carried out air raids on
South Sudan, officials in that country said, threatening a
rapprochement between the neighbors.

In a statement yesterday, the 15 Council members said they
"demand that all parties cease military operations in the
border areas and put an end to the cycle of violence."

The statement, read by Britain`s UN envoy Mark Lyall
Grant, also called on the two countries "to exercise maximum
restraint and sustain purposeful dialogue," and to "take no
action that would undermine the security and stability of the
other, including through any direct or indirect form of
support to armed groups in the other`s territory."

The bombing was Khartoum`s response to an attack launched
by the South with heavy weapons on an oil field "inside
Sudanese territory," said Sudanese foreign ministry spokesman
Al-Obeid Meruh.

Sudan suspended an April 3 summit between President Omar
al-Bashir and his southern counterpart Salva Kiir in Juba
following Monday border clashes. Southern officials however
said the invitation still stood.

Council members said they were "deeply alarmed" by the
border violence, "which threatens to precipitate a resumption
of conflict between two countries and worsen the humanitarian
situation."

They also reiterated the "grave urgency to deliver
humanitarian aid ... in order to avert a worsening of the
serious crisis in South Kordofan and Blue Nile."

The UN`s refugee agency warned that the bombings put the
lives of more than 16,000 Sudanese refugees at risk.

Sudan`s UN ambassador, Daff-Alla Elhag Ali Osman, told
reporters that there never was an aerial bombardment, and that
the humanitarian situation in both the Blue Nile and Southern
Kordofan was "very normal."

"There is not any kind of crisis," the ambassador said. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon earlier called on both
countries to end the clashes and respect the agreements on
border security they had already reached.

Border tensions have mounted since South Sudan split from
Sudan in July after an overwhelming vote for secession
following a 20-year civil war that left some two million
people dead.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - 11:05

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