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07:58 GMT +3 hours18 December 2014
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Sudan Refuses to Halt Military Operations at Disputed Border

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Khartoum will continue military operations against South Sudan’s troops as long as they remain on Sudan’s territory

Khartoum will continue military operations against South Sudan’s troops as long as they remain on Sudan’s territory, Al-Obeid Murawwah, Sudan's Foreign Ministry spokesman, has said.

“Sudan has declared its commitment to a United Nations resolution calling for an end to military operations, but the other side’s troops still remain on our territory; they have occupied two districts and have not stopped their hostile actions,” Murawwah told journalists on Friday.

A UN Security Council resolution passed on Wednesday gave Sudan and South Sudan 48 hours to stop fighting in the disputed area on the border of Sudan's Darfur region and South Sudan's Western Bahr el-Ghazal state or face potential sanctions.

Sudan welcomed the resolution on Thursday, but said it retained the right to defend itself against “aggression” from the South.

Murawwah said on Friday “the halting of military operations by Khartoum will only be possible if [South Sudan’s] People's Liberation Army withdraws from [Sudan’s] territory.”

The statement came as South Sudan's army accused Sudan of carrying out air raids on its border regions on Thursday.

Clashes between the two countries began in late March, culminating in a 10-day occupation of Sudan's oil-producing border region of Heglig by the South’s army, which sparked fears of a wider war. The occupation ended in late April, but both sides have accused each other of continued cross-border incursions.

South Sudan won independence in 2011 in a referendum that came as part of a peace deal to end decades of civil war.

The Heglig oil field, which a 2009 ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague included in Sudan’s South Kordofan state, accounts for 60,000 out of 115,000 barrels of oil produced in Sudan daily.