Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today expressed deep concern about the escalating tensions between neighbouring Sudan and South Sudan, especially recent incursions into each other’s territory and cross-border support of rebel groups.
In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban condemned Thursday’s aerial bombardment by the Sudanese military against the Yida area of South Sudan’s Unity state, and its impact on civilian lives.
Mr. Ban also condemned the reported establishment of a new military alliance between some rebel movements in the Darfur region and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) that has called for the use of force against the Sudanese Government.
“The Secretary-General calls on all parties to refrain from the use of force and reaffirms that conflict can only be resolved through political dialogue,” the statement stressed.
“He calls on the governments of Sudan and South Sudan to exercise restraint in managing border tensions and to recommit to a negotiated settlement of outstanding post-CPA [2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement] issues.”
The internationally-brokered CPA ended the long-running north-south Sudanese civil war and led to the holding of a referendum in January this year that paved the way for the secession of South Sudan in July.
Today’s statement follows calls from senior UN officials for an investigation into the Yida bombing, which struck a refugee camp, and warnings to the Security Council on Friday of rising tensions in the region.