On the Increased Military Attacks Between Sudan and South Sudan

Press Statement
Victoria Nuland
Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
April 11, 2012

The United States is deeply disturbed by the escalating hostilities between Sudan and South Sudan and condemns offensive military action by either side. We condemn South Sudan’s military involvement in the attack on and seizure of Heglig, an act which goes beyond self-defense and has increased tensions between Sudan and South Sudan to dangerous levels. We also condemn the continued aerial bombardment in South Sudan by the Sudanese Armed Forces. Both governments must agree to an immediate unconditional cessation of hostilities, withdraw all forces that are deployed across the January 1, 1956 border as recognized by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005, and cease all support to armed movements from the other state.

It is critical that both sides avoid unilateral offensive actions and that Sudanese and South Sudanese leadership exercise maximum restraint. We urge both parties to activate without delay the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism through UN Security Council Resolution 2024, authorizing the United Nations Interim Security for Abyei to assist Sudan and South Sudan with investigations and monitoring along the Sudan-South Sudan border.

The continued violence in Southern Kordofan, Blue Nile, and along the border, as well as the continued deployment of Sudan Armed Forces and South Sudan Police Services in Abyei, undermines the progress made through the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP)-facilitated talks toward the creation of two viable states and weakens the prospects of reaching agreements on security, border, nationality, and oil issues. We urge both countries to return without delay to the negotiating table under the auspices of the AUHIP and use peaceful means, not military action, to resolve outstanding issues. We further urge the heads of state of both countries to meet in a summit as previously planned in order to advance negotiations on the issues that stand in the way of achieving true peace.

PRN: 2012/547