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.

  • First China air force drills in 'far offshore' Pacific
    First China air force drills in 'far offshore' Pacific

    China's air force has carried out its first ever military drill over the western Pacific Ocean, state media said, highlighting Beijing's growing military reach. Several aircraft from China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) on Monday flew over the ocean via the Bashi Channel, which runs between Taiwan and the Philippines, the official Xinhua news agency said. "This is the first time that the PLA Air Force conducted such drills in an airspace far offshore from Chinese coastlines," Xinhua cited …

  • Shorter hours for rail lines tomorrow
    Shorter hours for rail lines tomorrow

    The Metro Rail Transit (MRT), Light Rail Transit (LRT) and the Philippine National Railways (PNR) will have shorter hours tomorrow for the replacement of defective railroad tracks during the Holy Week. …

  • Noy increases allowances for cops, soldiers
    Noy increases allowances for cops, soldiers

    President Aquino has signed a joint congressional resolution raising the daily subsistence allowance for both members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP). Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Aquino signed last March 27 the merged Joint Resolution 2 of the Senate and Joint Resolution 26 of the House of Representatives. Speaking to reporters, Lacierda yesterday said the daily allowances of police officers and soldiers were raised from P90 …

  • Oil firms raise gas prices today
    Oil firms raise gas prices today

    This year’s Holy Week break will be accompanied by an increase in local pump prices after oil companies announced yesterday a P1.10 per liter hike for gasoline and P0.60 per liter for diesel effective today. “Phoenix Petroleum Philippines will increase the prices of gasoline by P1.10 per liter and diesel by P0.60 per liter effective 6 a.m. of March 31, 2015 to reflect the movements in the prices of refined petroleum products in the international market,” said Phoenix Petroleum, an independent …

  • DFA denies dropping Phl claim to Sabah
    DFA denies dropping Phl claim to Sabah

    The Philippines has never offered to drop its Sabah claim in exchange for Malaysia’s support for Manila’s arbitration case against China over the West Philippine Sea issue, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said yesterday. “In the context of our friendly bilateral relations, our two countries have been for years exchanging ways on how to address the issue of the extended continental shelf (ECS) in the South China Sea,” Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said in explaining the DFA’s …

  • Pagcor remits record high P5 B to national treasury
    Pagcor remits record high P5 B to national treasury

    The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) has remitted P5 billion in cash dividends to the National Treasury, fully settling all its arrears incurred in the last several years. Pagcor chairman and chief executive officer Cristino Naguiat Jr. said with this year’s remittance, the state-owned gaming firm has fully settled all remaining arrears in cash dividends that were incurred by the previous administration since 2005. Pagcor’s cash dividends to the National Treasury under its …

  • Maysak moves closer to Phl
    Maysak moves closer to Phl

    The typhoon with international name Maysak slightly accelerated as it moved closer to the Philippines yesterday, threatening to dump rains over eastern Luzon this weekend, the state weather bureau said. Rene Paciente, senior weather forecaster of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), said Maysak was spotted at 2,175 kilometers east of Mindanao as of 1 p.m. yesterday. Paciente said based on their latest forecast, Maysak is likely to affect …

  • Phl gets P2-B climate projects from Germany
    Phl gets P2-B climate projects from Germany

    The Philippines is getting 41 million euros or around P2 billion from the International Climate Initiative (ICI) of Germany that will fund 10 bilateral projects to address the impact of climate change. Climate Change Commission (CCC) vice chairman Lucille Sering yesterday met with Norbert Gorissen – head of the International Climate Finance of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety – to discuss the projects, some of which will be …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options