Sudan, South both want to avoid 'all-out war': US

Sudan and South Sudan both want to avoid "all-out war", a US envoy said on Thursday, despite the Sudanese president's threat to topple the Southern regime which seized its main oil field.

Princeton Lyman, US special envoy on Sudan and South Sudan, said the two sides wanted a way out and he was pressing the South to withdraw from the Heglig oil field.

Diplomatic efforts to end the deadly standoff and prevent a wider conflict have intensified.

"I can say with confidence that virtually everyone I've talked to has said, look, we don't want to go to all-out war with the other," Lyman told reporters by telephone from Khartoum, after talks in the two countries.

Lyman acknowledged the neighbours were in a "very, very serious crisis" but said both sides were mindful of international pressure.

Keeping up war rhetoric that has sparked concern from Washington, a beret-wearing Bashir told a rally of freshly-trained paramilitary troops, some riding camels, that Sudan will teach the Southern government "a lesson by force."

A day earlier he called the Juba regime an "insect" that Sudan aims to eliminate.

On the battlefield, the Southern army repulsed ground attacks in a widening conflict zone along the border, said the South's military spokesman Philip Aguer.

Ground assaults and air strikes were reported in the Heglig region, as well as three Southern border states, he said, adding the Southern army was "still in its positions".

Sudan has vowed to reclaim Heglig "by hook or crook", but its military has released virtually no information about the situation on the ground.

Rebels from Sudan's Darfur region said they seized two Sudanese military positions 40 kilometres (25 miles) north of Heglig. But the insurgents from the Justice and Equality Movement deny fighting alongside the South Sudanese.

AFP reporters who have visited the Heglig battle zone along the disputed border said dead bodies and destroyed tanks were strewn about.

East Africa's main diplomatic body, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), expressed "grave concern about the escalating conflict".

The IGAD, which mediated peace talks that ended Sudan's 1983-2005 civil war in which about two million people died, said it was ready to provide "all possible assistance to maintain peace and stability."

On Tuesday, the UN Security Council discussed possible sanctions against both Sudan and South Sudan in a bid to halt a wider war.

Clashes escalated last week with waves of air strikes hitting the South, and Juba's seizure of the Heglig oil hub on April 10.

South Sudan's Information Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin said in Juba that his country was not at war with Khartoum and was interested in peaceful relations.

"The Republic of South Sudan considers Sudan as a neighbour and friendly nation, not an enemy," Benjamin told reporters.

China, which has a vested interest in the oil industries of both nations, also reiterated its concern over the escalating conflict and called for a resumption of dialogue.

Khartoum's parliament has declared a "mobilisation and alert" of the population and this week voted unanimously to brand the South Sudanese government an enemy.

Benjamin, the Southern minister, said the move amounted to a "declaration of war". Sudan was using Heglig as a base to launch attacks on his country, he alleged.

The UN, the US and the European Union have criticised the South's occupation of Heglig but have equally denounced Sudan's air strikes against the South.

Lyman said he told President Salva Kiir and other officials in the South's capital, Juba, that they should "note the unanimous reaction of the international community."

The fighting is the worst since South Sudan became independent last July, with strong US support.

Although South Sudan disputes it, Heglig has been internationally regarded as part of Sudan.

Since the invasion, production at Heglig has been shut and facilities there are leaking. The field accounted for about half of Sudan's oil, and its loss has worsened an economic crisis.

The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday forecast that Sudan's economy will shrink 7.3 percent this year, while consumer prices are expected to rise by an average of 23.2 percent.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscars dress stolen from hotel
    Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscars dress stolen from hotel

    The $150,000 pearl-studded, custom-made Calvin Klein dress worn by Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o at this year's Academy Awards has been stolen, police said on Thursday. The gown, embellished with 6,000 natural white pearls, was stolen from Nyong'o's room at the London Hotel in West Hollywood, during the day on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in West Hollywood said. "Ms Nyong'o was not in the room at the time of the theft," Deputy John Mitchell …

  • National Geographic 'Afghan girl' in Pakistan papers probe
    National Geographic 'Afghan girl' in Pakistan papers probe

    Pakistani officials are investigating after the famous green-eyed "Afghan girl" immortalised in a 1985 National Geographic magazine cover was found living in the country on fraudulent identity papers. The haunting image of the then 12-year-old Sharbat Gula, taken in a refugee camp by photographer Steve McCurry, became the most famous cover image in the magazine's history. Now Pakistani officials say that Gula applied for a Pakistani identity card in the northwestern city of Peshawar in April …

  • South Korea decriminalises adultery, condom shares soar
    South Korea decriminalises adultery, condom shares soar

    South Korea's Constitutional Court on Thursday struck down a controversial adultery law which for more than 60 years had criminalised extra-marital sex and jailed violators for up to two years. The decision saw shares in the South Korean firm Unidus Corp., one of the world's largest condom manufacturers, soar by the daily limit of 15 percent on the local stock exchange. "Even if adultery should be condemned as immoral, state power should not intervene in individuals' private lives," said …

  • ‘Noy angered by previous SAF failures to get Marwan’
    ‘Noy angered by previous SAF failures to get Marwan’

    Supt. Raymund Train, who led the SAF team that killed Marwan in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on Jan. 25, recounted in a sworn statement the meeting he and senior SAF officers had with Aquino in Malacañang on Nov. 30. Train said among the senior officers who attended the meeting were then PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima, SAF chief Director Getulio Napeñas, SAF deputy commander Chief Supt. Noli Taliño and intelligence group chief Senior Supt. Fernando Mendez. …

  • U.S. flies most advanced surveillance plane from Philippines

    By Manuel Mogato MANILA (Reuters) - The United States has begun flying its most advanced surveillance aircraft, the P-8A Poseidon, out of the Philippines for patrols over the South China Sea, the U.S. Navy said on Thursday, acknowledging the flights for the first time. The United States, the Philippines' oldest and closest ally, has promised to share "real time" information on what is happening in Philippine waters as China steps up its activities in the South China Sea. China claims most of …

  • NYC, Orthodox Jews reach deal on circumcision suction ritual
    NYC, Orthodox Jews reach deal on circumcision suction ritual

    NEW YORK (AP) — The city said Tuesday it has reached a tentative agreement with members of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community over a tradition known as oral suction circumcision. …

  • US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians
    US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians

    The US-led coalition has carried out air strikes against the Islamic State group in northeastern Syria, where the jihadists have launched a new offensive and kidnapped 220 Assyrian Christians. The raids on Thursday struck areas around the town of Tal Tamr in Hasakeh province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, without giving information on possible casualties. The town remains under the control of Kurdish forces, but at least 10 surrounding villages have been seized by IS, along …

  • Vatican seeks to quell Mexican anger over pope's drug remark
    Vatican seeks to quell Mexican anger over pope's drug remark

    VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican sought Wednesday to defuse a diplomatic tiff with Mexico after Pope Francis referred to the possible "Mexicanization" of his native Argentina from drug trafficking, the latest instance of Francis' casual speaking style getting him into trouble. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options