South Sudan vows to stop clash


SOUTH SUDAN has told the United Nations it will pull all police out of a disputed region bordering Sudan and is committed to halting all fighting with its northern neighbour, but Khartoum has declared a state of emergency in some border areas.

The conflicting developments yesterday raised questions whether UN appeals for an end to over three weeks of border clashes between Sudan and South Sudan would bear fruit and avert war in an oil-producing region.

South Sudan, which gained independence from Sudan nine months ago under a 2005 settlement, informed the UN it planned to withdraw all police from the Abyei region, according to a letter from Juba’s mission to the world body.

The letter, dated April 28th, also said South Sudan was committed to an “immediate cessation of all hostilities” after the African Union ordered both parties to stop fighting. The decision to withdraw from Abyei was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by President Salva Kiir on Saturday.

In Khartoum, however, Sudanese president Omar Hassan al- Bashir declared a state of emergency in some areas of South Kordofan, White Nile and Sinnar provinces bordering South Sudan, a state-linked media website said.

The UN has urged Sudan and South Sudan to withdraw troops and police from disputed regions along their 1,800km (1,100 mile) frontier in northeast Africa.

The conflict has halted nearly all oil production in both countries, damaging their shaky economies.

There are 3,800 UN peacekeepers in Abyei after the Security Council authorised the deployment in June last year.– (Reuters)