Security Council threatens sanctions if Sudan-South Sudan fighting continues

3 May 2012

Security Council threatens sanctions if Sudan-South Sudan fighting continues

2 May 2012 - The Security Council has called on Sudan and South Sudan to immediately end hostilities and resume negotiations within two weeks to resolve all outstanding issues under threat of sanctions.

In a unanimously adopted resolution on 2 May, the 15-member world body said the parties must formally convey their commitments to end hostilities, including aerial bombardments, to the African Union and Security Council no later than 48 hours after the resolution was adopted.

The prevailing situation along the border between Sudan and South Sudan constituted "a serious threat to international peace and security", the resolution stated.

South Sudan became independent from Sudan in July 2011, but peace between the two countries has been threatened by recent clashes along their common border and outstanding post-independence issues that have yet to be resolved.

Tensions increased in recent weeks with Sudan bombarding South Sudanese territory and South Sudanese forces moving into the oil-producing region of Heglig in Sudan's Southern Kordofan State before eventually departing.

The Council decided that the two countries must immediately cease all hostilities; unconditionally withdraw armed forces to their sides of the border; activate, within one week, necessary border security mechanisms; and immediately cease hostile propaganda and inflammatory statements in the media.

It also decided that Sudan and South Sudan must unconditionally resume negotiations – to be concluded within three months – to reach agreement on arrangements concerning oil and associated payments, the status of nationals of one country resident in the other, resolving the status of disputed and claimed border areas and border demarcation, and the final status of the contested Abyei area.

The Council "expresses its intention, in the event that any or all of the parties have not complied with the decisions set forth in this resolution, to take appropriate additional measures...", according to the resolution.

These may include complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations.