Posts Tagged ‘border clashes’

By Michelle Nichols

UNITED NATIONS | Tue Apr 17, 2012 

(Reuters) – The U.N. Security Council discussed on Tuesday possibly imposing sanctions on Sudan and South Sudan if the African neighbors did not stop border clashes that were threatening to spiral into full-scale war, said the U.S. envoy to the United Nations.

Fighting along the ill-defined border between the former civil-war foes has led to a standoff over the Heglig oil field after it was seized a week ago by troops from South Sudan, which declared independence last year.

The 15-nation Security Council reiterated its call for a “complete, immediate, unconditional” end to all fighting and for Sudan to stop air strikes and South Sudan to withdraw troops from the vital oil field.

“Council members discussed ways to leverage the influence of the council to press the parties to take these steps, and included in that a discussion potentially of sanctions,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice told reporters.

Rice, who is the Security Council president for April, gave no further details on possible sanctions that could be imposed.

“Members expressed grave concern over the situation and committed to make every effort to convince the parties to cease hostilities and return to the negotiating table,” she said.

South Sudan’s envoy in New York expressed the hope that diplomacy could help prevent a war but warned that her country would not give up its territory.

“We believe that the current crisis can be resolved through negotiated and agreed upon solutions,” South Sudan’s U.N. envoy Agnes Oswaha told reporters.

“We are not going to go for the offense because we are for peace,” she said. “However, we will stand on the defense and defend our territory.”

Distrust runs deep between the neighbors, who are at loggerheads over the position of their border, how much the landlocked south should pay to transport its oil through Sudan, and the division of national debt, among other issues.

South Sudan has accused Sudan of launching air strikes on some of its major oilfields. Sudan has denied launching air strikes but said its ground forces had attacked southern artillery positions that had fired on the north.

South Sudan seceded from Sudan in July, six months after a referendum agreed under a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war that killed more than 2 million people.

(Editing by Eric Beech)

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

6749th Meeting (PM)

As Violence between Sudan, South Sudan Threatens Return to ‘Full-Scale War’,

Security Council Demands End to Cross-Border Clashes, Force Redeployment

Alarmed by escalating conflict between Sudan and South Sudan — as manifested most recently by the seizure of oil fields in Sudan — the Security Council this afternoon demanded that both sides immediately end cross-border violence and support to armed proxies and redeploy their forces from forward positions.

“The recent violence threatens to return both countries to full-scale war and the period of tragic loss of life and suffering, destroyed infrastructure, and economic devastation, which they have worked so hard and long to overcome”, the Council said in a statement delivered by Susan Rice of the United States.

To defuse the situation, immediate actions demanded by the Council include withdrawal of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) from the oil-rich area of Heglig in Sudan, an end to aerial bombardments by Sudan’s air force and redeployment of the forces of both sides 10 kilometres outside the North-South borderline specified in their agreements of 29 June and 30 July 2011.

The Council also reiterated its demand that both parties redeploy their forces immediately from the disputed Abyei area.  In addition, both sides were urged to take immediate steps to establish a demilitarized border zone and activate the border monitoring mechanism already agreed upon, with the support of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNIFSA).

Towards lasting peace, the Council called on the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan to “urgently and peacefully” resolve issues regarding Southern Kordofan, Blue Nile and Abyei and all other outstanding matters of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which ended their decades-long conflict.  For that purpose, the Council called on the leaders of both States to hold a summit, as previously planned, and to work with the related African Union high-level panel.

The meeting began at 3:05 p.m. and ended at 3:12 p.m.

Presidential Statement

The full text of the statement contained in document S/PRST/2012/12 reads as follows:

“The Security Council expresses its deep and growing alarm by the escalating conflict between Sudan and South Sudan, as manifested most recently by the seizure and occupation of the town of Heglig and its oil fields in Sudan by the SPLA.  The recent violence threatens to return both countries to full scale war and the period of tragic loss of life and suffering, destroyed infrastructure, and economic devastation, which they have worked so hard and long to overcome.  The Security Council demands a complete, immediate, and unconditional:  end to all fighting; withdrawal of the SPLA from Heglig; end to SAF aerial bombardments; end to repeated incidents of cross-border violence between Sudan and South Sudan; and an end to support by both sides to proxies in the other country.

“The Security Council affirms its strong commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of both Sudan and South Sudan.  It recalls the importance of the principles of good neighbourliness, non-interference and regional cooperation.

“The Security Council demands that both sides redeploy their forces 10 kilometres outside the North/South 1/1/1956 borderline in accordance with their Agreements of 29 June and 30 July 2011.  It urges Sudan and South Sudan to take immediate steps to establish a Safe Demilitarized Border Zone and activate the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism, and reiterates its readiness to continue to support the parties in implementing this Agreement with the support of UNISFA, in accordance with resolution 2024 (2011).  The Security Council calls on Sudan and South Sudan to respect the letter and spirit of the Memorandum of Understanding on Non-Aggression and Cooperation of 10 February 2012.

“The Security Council reiterates its demand that Sudan and South Sudan urgently redeploy their security forces immediately from the Abyei Area in accordance with their Agreement of 20 June 2011 and resolution 1990 (2011).

“The Security Council calls upon the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan urgently and peacefully to resolve the fundamental issues of security and border management, the situations in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, and Abyei and all outstanding CPA issues that are fuelling the mistrust between the two countries.  It further calls on the leaders of Sudan and South Sudan to meet immediately in a summit as previously planned in order to advance the issues that stand in the way of achieving lasting peace.

“The Security Council underscores its support for the continuing efforts of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel to assist Sudan and South Sudan to reach agreement on all outstanding issues, and encourages continuing partnership with the United Nations in this regard.

“The Security Council views the current situation as a serious threat to international peace and security.  It will continue to follow the situation closely, and will take further steps as necessary.  The Security Council looks forward to receiving a briefing from the AUHIP and Special Envoy [Haile] Menkerios in the coming days.”

Obama urges South Sudan restraint

(AFP) – 

WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama on Monday urged South Sudan in a telephone call with the young nation’s leader to show restraint following heavy border fighting with Khartoum’s forces.

In a call to US-backed South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir, Obama “expressed concern about the growing tensions” between the two nations including border clashes and bloodshed in Sudan’s Southern Kordofan state.

“President Obama underscored the importance of avoiding unilateral actions, and asked President Kiir to ensure that South Sudan’s military exercises maximum restraint and is not involved in or supporting fighting along the border, particularly in Southern Kordofan,” a White House statement said.

Obama pressed the two nations to reach an agreement on oil production. South Sudan took the drastic decision to halt its production in January after Sudan started to seize crude due to a payment dispute.

Obama also voiced hope that Kiir would soon meet with Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir after last week’s clashes prompted Khartoum to call off a summit.

“President Obama welcomed President Kiir’s commitment to moving forward with a summit and to finding peaceful solutions for Sudan and South Sudan,” the White House said.

Bloody clashes including airstrikes, tanks and heavy artillery — the worst violence since South Sudan’s independence in July — had raised international concerns the former civil war foes could return to all-out war.

Fears are also growing about food shortages in Southern Kordofan, where humanitarian groups say a relentless bombing campaign by Khartoum has severely hampered agriculture.

Sudan has pinned the blame for the crisis on South Sudan, saying that it is arming ethnic insurgents in Southern Kordofan who are affiliated to what is now Juba’s leadership.

South Sudan: Sudan’s bombing of South Sudan scares away US, Chinese oil investors

 By Associated Press, Monday, April 2
NAIROBI, Kenya— A South Sudan official said Monday that Sudan is bombing oil-rich regions of South Sudan in order to scare away American and Chinese investors.South Sudan government spokesman Barnaba Marial Benjamin said Sudan is bombarding disputed areas in South Sudan despite a Feb. 10 nonaggression and cooperation pact signed by both countries in African Union-led negotiations in Ethiopia.
“As we speak today they are continuing bombing villages,” Benjamin said.Benjamin linked the bombings in the Upper Nile, Unity and Western Bahr Al Ghazal states to South Sudan’s shutting down of its oil sector earlier this year. Landlocked South Sudan shut down oil production in January saying that its northern neighbor had stolen its oil which was meant to be exported through Sudan.Benjamin said since South Sudan stopped production, Sudan increased aerial bombardment of the disputed areas and organized ground attacks in late March which were repulsed by the South Sudanese troops.Sudan and South Sudan have previously blamed each other for starting the conflict in the disputed regions.Benjamin accused Sudan of trying scare away investors, including American and Chinese companies, in the oil-rich regions where there are plans to build oil refineries which he said will be operational in six to seven months. The oil refineries will help South Sudan process some oil to help meet local demand for the commodity, he said.Echoing the words of South Sudan’s president, Benjamin said South Sudan remains committed to peace and would fight back only to defend its territorial integrity.

“We will not be dragged into a senseless war,” he said.

Benjamin also complained that the African Union is not doing a satisfactory job mediating talks with Sudan. South Sudan is disappointed by an AU report to the U.N. Security Council that Benjamin said portrayed his country as the aggressor in hostilities between the two countries. He suggested that a regional bloc known as IGAD take over.

The seven-nation IGAD — the Inter Governmental Authority for Development — negotiated the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended a decades-long civil war between Sudan and South Sudan. That deal led to South Sudan’s secession from Sudan last year.

Among the unresolved issues from the split is the demarcation of the border and an agreement to share oil revenue.

Benjamin said South Sudan shutdown its oil production because Sudan had stolen million barrels of oil and increased oil transit fee through its pipeline to $36 a barrel. Benjamin said it was better that South Sudan’s oil stay in the ground.

Benjamin said that South Sudan will construct two pipelines — one to Kenya and one across Ethiopia into Djibouti. Benjamin said the South Sudan is also seeking international loans in order to fill in the budget deficit caused by the shutdown in oil production.

He said the despite the bombings South Sudan still would welcome Sudan President Omar al-Bashir to meet with South Sudan President Salva Kiir. A meeting scheduled between the two for Tuesday was canceled by Sudan.

Sudan, South Sudan Agree to Overcome Tension
Sudan and South Sudan negotiators agreed in Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa to overcome the standing tension between the two countries and calm the situation militarily and politically, Sudanese media reported Monday. Khartoum’s Al Ray Al Am daily 
Sudan and South Sudan accuse each other of attacks
Radio Netherlands
Sudan and South Sudan on Sunday accused each other of launching attacks in the oil-producing area straddling their border after talks aimed at ending the worst hostilities since Juba declared its independence were delayed. The United Nations and the 
South Sudan: We are not satisfied with the African Union mediation of disputes 
Washington Post
NAIROBI, Kenya — The government of South Sudan says it is not satisfied with the mediation role of the African Union in resolving its disputes with Sudan. South Sudan government spokesman Barnaba Marial Benjamin said Monday that South Sudan is 

Sudan Proposes AU Monitors On Borders With South As Battles Continue
Khartoum — The military tensions on the borders of north and south Sudan clearly reflected in a failed attempt made today in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to bring delegations from the countries at the negotiating table.

South Sudan rebels kill SPLA general and two colonels
Sudan Tribune
Gatwec Gai because he was a colleague of SSLA operation commanders when they were part ofSouth Sudan Defense Force (SSDF) from 1997 to 2006. Brig. Gen. Gatwec joined the SPLA after Paulino Matip signed Juba Declaration on January, 9, 2006.

S. Sudan says Sudan still bombing, won’t be dragged to war
By Yara Bayoumy | NAIROBI, April 2 (Reuters) – South Sudan said on Monday Sudanese forces were still bombing regions in the oil-producing area straddling their border, but insisted it would not be dragged into war. South Sudan’s Information Minister 

Sudan, South Sudan accuse each other of attacks, talks delayed
Chicago Tribune
ADDIS ABABA/KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Sudan and South Sudan on Sunday accused each other of launching attacks in the oil-producing area straddling their border after talks aimed at ending the worst hostilities since Juba declared its independence were 

Obama urges South Sudan restraint
WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama on Monday urged South Sudan in a telephone call with the young nation’s leader to show restraint following heavy border fighting with Khartoum’s forces. In a call to US-backed South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir, 

South Sudan, Sudan trade new accusations as talks start
Malaysia Star
By Yara Bayoumy and Aaron Maasho NAIROBI/ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – South Sudan and Sudan began talks on Monday aimed at easing military tensions, but both sides’ continued accusations of attacks by the other left little hope for a peaceful outcome.

On refugees and settlers
In the framework of its Passover preparations, the government decided to expel 1000 asylum seekers to South Sudan later this week. The decision was made after the Foreign Ministry ruled that South Sudan is a safe place where the expelled refugees would 

Security Apologies to Newspaper Journalists Expelled From SPLM Meeting
Juba — A senior security officer on Sunday said the expulsion of Sudan Tribune journalist, Ngor Garang, from covering the last day of National Liberation Council (NLC) of South Sudan’s ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) was unintentional