Ban urges end to conflict in conversation with Sudan

16 Apr 2012

Ban urges end to conflict in conversation with Sudan

14 April 2012 – Emphasizing the need for an immediate de-escalation of ongoing conflict with South Sudan, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told a top Sudanese official today that there could be no military solution to the dispute.

Speaking in a telephone conversation with Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Karti, Mr. Ban urged the Sudanese government to demonstrate maximum restraint and consider holding a presidential summit with the two countries' leaders to resolve the current situation, according to a summary of the discussion released by the Secretary-General's spokesperson.

On Thursday, the Security Council voiced growing alarm at escalating conflict between Sudan and South Sudan, warning that fighting threatened to take both countries to full-scale war, which in the past had brought only death, suffering, destruction of infrastructure, and economic devastation.

The alarming situation was manifested by the recent seizure and occupation of Heglig town and its oil fields in Sudan by South Sudan's army, the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), the Council said in a presidential statement. The Council demanded an immediate and unconditional end to all fighting.

Members of the Council demanded that both sides redeploy their forces to 10 kilometres away from the 1956 north-south borderline, in accordance with agreements reached last year.

Yesterday, General Assembly President Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser also voiced grave concern over the escalation of armed conflict, calling on both parties to exercise maximum restraint and respect the territorial integrity of each other.

Mr. Al-Nasser also expressed alarm over the military occupation of Heglig by South Sudan's armed forces and called for their immediate and unconditional withdrawal.

He urged the governments of the two countries to peacefully resolve the fundamental issues of security and border management through dialogue, and constructively engage in ongoing mediation efforts of the African Union.