Military Clashes Erupt on Sudan-South Sudan Border

Military clashes have erupted in the border region of Sudan and South Sudan.

Media reports say South Sudan accused Sudan of sending warplanes to bomb two border areas.

Meanwhile, Sudan accused the southern army of attacking the oil-producing Heglig region wherein parts of which are claimed by both warring nations.

The military clashes prompted Sudan’s President Omar Al-Bashir to suspend plans to attend a meeting with his South Sudanese counterpart Salva Kiir on 3 April.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today expressed deep concern about the military clashes in the border region of both countries.

Citizens celebrate in the streets as the Republic of South Sudan proclaims its independence.UN Photo/Tim McKulka

Mr. Ban calls on their Governments to fully respect and implement the agreements they have already reached on security, border monitoring and the disputed area of Abyei

Mr. Ban urges the parties to utilize to the fullest extent existing political and security mechanisms to peacefully address their differences.

The Governments of Sudan and South Sudan have been in talks aimed at resolving post-independence issues, including agreements reached on the status of citizens of each State and the demarcation of the border.

Mr. Ban’s spokesperson says he welcomes the spirit of cooperation recently shown by the two Governments in addressing outstanding post-secession issues.

The UN chief urged leaders of the two states to meet as planned on 3 April.

In addition, the members of the Security Council are deeply alarmed by the military clashes in the region bordering Sudan and South Sudan. The Council says the recent clashes may threaten to precipitate a resumption of conflict between the two countries, worsen the humanitarian situation and lead to further civilian casualties.

The members of the Security Council call upon the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan to exercise maximum restraint and sustain purposeful dialogue in order to address peacefully the issues that are fuelling the mistrust between the two countries, including oil issues, violence in the border region, citizenship and Abyei.

The Security Council calls upon Sudan and South Sudan to respect the letter and spirit of their 10 February Memorandum of Understanding on Non-Aggression and Cooperation.

The members urge both countries to utilize the upcoming session of the Joint Political and Security Mechanism to defuse tensions along the border and take appropriate steps to operationalize the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism.

On July 2011, South Sudan, Africa’s 54th nation was born. Millions of people celebrated a new national identity and new national promise. For more than two decades, Sudan has been riven by intense fighting over land and resources.

However, the security situation in the disputed area of Abyei remains fragile, with both South Sudan and Sudan failing to withdraw their armed forces as agreed under a demilitarization pact reached in June 2011.

South Sudan became independent from Sudan on 9 July. A referendum on the status of the Abyei area on the border was to have been held in January this year, but never took place amid disagreement on voter eligibility.

Dozens of people have been killed this year as a result of clashes in Abyei and surrounding areas and tens of thousands of have been forced to flee their homes.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.