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.

  • Phl, US defense chiefs to meet on sea dispute
    Phl, US defense chiefs to meet on sea dispute

    As US aircraft carrier USS Ronald Regan began its journey to Asian waters amid China’s power flexing in the region, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin would try to hear directly from his US counterpart how far America is willing to go to aid its long-time ally against China’s threatening moves in disputed waters. Gazmin flew to Hawaii last Monday to attend ceremonies for the turnover of leadership of the United States Pacific Command (USPACOM) from Admiral Samuel Locklear to Admiral Harry …

  • Water in Angat Dam falls below critical level
    Water in Angat Dam falls below critical level

    The water level of Angat Dam in Bulacan yesterday fell below the 180-meter critical level for irrigation, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said. PAGASA said the dam’s water level further dropped to 179.98 meters as of 6 a.m. yesterday from 180.2 meters on Monday. The priority is the domestic consumption in Metro Manila, according to PAGASA. …

  • PCSO gets P3-B fund for medical aid
    PCSO gets P3-B fund for medical aid

    The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) reported yesterday that an estimated P3-billion charity fund has been allocated by Congress to the agency to provide medical assistance to indigent patients and also give funds to other government offices including the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Crop Insurance Program. …

  • Image of Asia: Tearing down squatters' homes near Manila
    Image of Asia: Tearing down squatters' homes near Manila

    In this photo by Bullit Marquez, a demolition crew begins to tear down a squatters' community at suburban Caloocan city, north of Manila, Philippines. Population growth and the lack of economic opportunities in rural areas have driven millions of Filipinos into the squatters' colonies that dot the sprawling metropolitan area in and around Manila. Most of the land they occupy is privately owned, and clearing the dwellings often results in violence. The landowner had offered about $1,344 in …

  • SE Asia Stocks - Mostly down; Thai shares near 2-week low

    BANGKOK, May 26 (Reuters) - Most sharemarkets in Southeast Asia fell on Tuesday with the Thai index ending at a near two-week low and the Philippines touching a near four-week low after trade data while ... …

  • China breaks ground on lighthouse project in South China Sea

    China hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the building of two lighthouses in the disputed South China Sea, state media said on Tuesday, a move that is likely to escalate tensions in a region already jittery about Beijing's maritime ambitions. China's Ministry of Transport hosted the ceremony for the construction of two multi-functional lighthouses on Huayang Reef and Chigua Reef on the disputed Spratly islands, state news agency Xinhua said, defying calls from the United States and the …

  • SE Asia Stocks - Thai, Philippine indexes weak after trade data

    BANGKOK, May 26 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose in line with the rest of Asia on Tuesday but the Thai index pared early gains after weak trade data in April, while the Philippine benchmark ... …

  • Is your home on top of a faultline?
    Is your home on top of a faultline?

    The Philippine Institute of Volcanoly and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) recently issued an updated and high-resolution "atlas" of the East Valley Fault and West Valley Fault, two major faultlines that run through sections of Metro Manila. Metro Manila may be due for a 7.2-magnitude earthquake within this lifetime, say experts from the institute, among them PHIVOLCS director Dr. Renato Solidum, Jr. According to records, the last major earthquake caused by the West Valley Fault took place 357 years …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options