UN Chief Calls On Sudan, South Sudan to End Fighting Immediately

Published April 17, 2012

United Nations, All Africa, 17 April 2012

Addis Ababa — UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday voiced his “deep concern over continued hostilities” between Sudan and South Sudan, and called on both parties to “end the fighting immediately.”

A statement, issued here by Ban’s spokesman, said, “The secretary-general reiterates his deep concern over continued hostilities between Sudan and South Sudan, including its impact on innocent civilians.”

“He calls on both parties to end the fighting immediately and to respect international humanitarian law and the protection of civilians,” the statement said.

“He calls on the government of Sudan to cease immediately all aerial bombardment of South Sudan territory,” the statement said. “He also calls on the government of South Sudan to withdraw immediately from Higlig and to use legal and diplomatic instruments to address its arguments on the status of Higlig.”

Clashes have spread along the border between Sudan and South Sudan, reports said on Monday. The conflict is the closest the two countries have come to a full-scale war since the south seceded from the north in July 2011.

South Sudan and Sudan have been locked in disputes with the alarming situation being manifested most recently by the seizure and occupation of the town of Higlig and its oil fields in Sudan by South Sudan’s army, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA).

The United Nations and the African Union have called on South Sudan to withdraw from the town of Higlig, but Juba insists it has a claim to the territory. Sudan has threatened to retaliate.

“The secretary-general is alarmed over reports received this weekend of the build-up of armed militia in the Abyei Area, which is in violation of the 20 June Agreement in which the parties committed themselves to the immediate withdrawal of all armed elements from the Abyei Area,” the statement said.

“The secretary-general calls on the government of Sudan to ensure the full and immediate withdrawal of these elements from the Area,” the statement said.

“The secretary-general urges President (Omar) Bashir and President (Salva) Kiir (Mayardit) to fulfill their responsibilities to maintain peace and stability in Sudan and South Sudan and urges them to recommit to resolve all outstanding issues through peaceful dialogue and to convene the planned presidential summit as soon as possible,” the statement said.

See original article published here: http://allafrica.com/stories/201204170900.html

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