UN Security Council demands end to violence in Sudanese border areas

March 7, 2012 9:04 am 

UNITED NATIONS, March 7 — The UN Security Council on Tuesday called upon all parties concerned to stop using violence and military action in areas near the border between Sudan and South Sudan.

"The Security Council demands that all parties cease military operations in the border areas and put an end to the cycle of violence," said a presidential statement issued by the 15-nation council.

"It further demands that the governments of Sudan and South Sudan take no action that would undermine the security and stability of the other, including through any direct or indirect form of support to armed groups in the other's territory," said the statement.

The presidential statement was released as the UN body for the maintenance of international peace and security held an open meeting on the topic of Sudan.

Fighting between the Sudanese army and rebels of the Sudanese People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) has occurred since June 2011 in the regions of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, which belong to Khartoum but are located near the border with South Sudan.

In the presidential statement, the Security Council expressed " grave concern" about cross-border violence "including troop movements, support to proxy forces, and aerial bombardments," deeming the situation a "serious threat" to international peace and security.

"The Security Council reiterates that the core objectives of the international community and all stakeholders in Sudan and South Sudan are the peaceful co-existence of two fully viable states, embracing democratic governance, rule of law, accountability, equality, respect for human rights, justice and economic development, in particular the establishment of the conditions for conflict-affected communities to build strong and sustainable livelihoods," said the statement.

Both Sudan and South Sudan, the statement said, should abide by the letter and spirit of their Feb. 10 Memorandum of Understanding on Non-Aggression and Cooperation, negotiated under the auspices of the AU High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP).

The memorandum of understanding stipulated that the two sides should respect sovereignty and territorial integrity of each other, non-intervention in each other's internal affairs, rejecting the use of force and observing common interests and peaceful co- existence.

The presidential statement called on the Sudanese government and the SPLM-N to return to direct talks to resolve all outstanding political and security issues.

"The Security Council urges them to resolve the underlying issues that have fueled the current conflict in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, to end all violence, and to agree to an immediate cessation of hostilities," said the statement. "The Security Council strongly supports the efforts of the AUHIP and the UN to assist in this regard."

According to the statement, the humanitarian situation in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile requires aid in order to avert a crisis.

The council called on all parties to ensure "the safe, unhindered, and immediate access of the United Nations and other humanitarian personnel, as well as the delivery of supplies and equipment in order to allow personnel to efficiently perform their task of assisting conflict-affected civilian populations in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile States." (PNA/Xinhua) RSV/mmg

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