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Sudan announces acceptance to halt hostilities with South Sudan

05-04-2012 09:14 BJT

KHARTOUM, May 3 (Xinhua) -- The Sudanese government on Thursday announced its acceptance to halt all hostilities with South Sudan in response to a resolution issued by the UN Security Council ( UNSC) a day earlier.

"The Sudanese government will commit to what has been mentioned in the resolution regarding the cessation of hostilities with South Sudan," said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement, a copy of which was obtained by Xinhua.

However, the statement reiterated that Sudan maintains the right to respond to any aggression targeting its lands.

"Under the repeated attacks and aggressions which have been launched by South Sudan's army against the Sudanese territories until today, the Sudanese Armed Forces will find themselves forced to exercise the right of self-defense," the statement said.

The statement further noted that South Sudan is still continuing its aggression against the Sudanese territories in the areas of "Um Dafouq, Taloudy and Samaha" in addition to occupying disputed areas, in this case "Kafia Kanji and Kafia Debi," not to mention its threat to attack Heglig once again.

The statement expressed the Sudanese government's hope that the South would commit to a full cessation of hostilities and withdrawal of its forces from the disputed areas so that the Sudanese army would not be forced to exercise the right of self- defense.

The UNSC on Wednesday asked Sudan and South Sudan to immediately halt all hostilities and withdraw their armies without conditions.

In a resolution that was unanimously approved by its members, the UNSC said that Sudan and South Sudan should "immediately cease all hostilities, including aerial bombardments, with the parties formally conveying their commitment in this respect to the chief of the African Union commission and the president of the Security Council no later than 48 hours from the adoption of this resolution."

The resolution further asked Sudan and South Sudan to " unconditionally withdraw all of their armed forces to their side of the border, in accordance with previously adopted agreements."

The UNSC on Tuesday started the discussion of the resolution, which was proposed by the United States with the aim to support the demands of the African Union.

The African Union Peace and Security Council on Tuesday issued a resolution, asking the UNSC to support its demands for Sudan and South Sudan to stop hostilities within 48 hours, resume negotiations within two weeks and complete the peace agreement in three months.

On April 10, South Sudan army advanced to disputed Heglig and took control the oil-rich town, which heightened tensions between the two neighbors and prompted world-wide condemnation.

However, on April 20, the Sudanese army managed to regain Heglig, where Sudan's biggest oil fields are located, after bloody confrontations with South Sudan's army.

Editor:Wang Lingfei |Source: Xinhua

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