What's In Blue

Posted Wed 11 Apr 2012

Draft Presidential Statement on Sudan-South Sudan Violence

Council members met this afternoon (11 April) at expert level to discuss a draft presidential statement circulated following consultations this morning that focused on Abyei and the tensions between Sudan and South Sudan. During the consultations, Edmond Mulet, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, briefed Council members. It seems that the draft presidential statement being negotiated will send a clear message to both parties to exercise restraint and cease military activities across the disputed border.

The draft presidential statement is also likely to address the recent seizure of Heglig by South Sudan. During his briefing Mulet apparently confirmed reports that South Sudan had seized the disputed area of Heglig, which lies over the oil-rich Muglad Basin. South Sudan has said that it took control of the area after repulsing attacks by Sudan across its border.

Council members seem particularly concerned by this recent escalation of violence along the border. Today’s consultations, while focusing on Abyei as originally planned, also included a broader discussion of the escalating violence along the Sudan-South Sudan border in violation of the Memorandum on Non-Aggression and Cooperation that the two countries agreed on 10 February.

As the Council considers an appropriate response to this violence, other international actors have conveyed their concern over the situation. The Secretary-General has called for an immediate de-escalation of the situation between Sudan and South Sudan. The African Union has also issued a press release expressing its “grave concern” at the violence between the two countries along their shared border and calling for the “immediate and unconditional withdrawal” of South Sudan from Heglig.

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