UN council mulls Sudan, S.Sudan sanctions to end clashes
Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:12pm GMT
* US envoy gives no details of possible sanctions
* South Sudan seized Heglig oil field in Sudan
By Michelle Nichols
UNITED NATIONS, April 17 (Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council discussed on
Tuesday possibly imposing sanctions on Sudan and South Sudan if the African
neighbors did not stop border clashes that were threatening to spiral into
full-scale war, said the U.S. envoy to the United Nations.
Fighting along the ill-defined border between the former civil-war foes has
led to a standoff over the Heglig oil field after it was seized a week ago
by troops from South Sudan, which declared independence last year.
The 15-nation Security Council reiterated its call for a "complete,
immediate, unconditional" end to all fighting and for Sudan to stop air
strikes and South Sudan to withdraw troops from the vital oil field.
"Council members discussed ways to leverage the influence of the council to
press the parties to take these steps, and included in that a discussion
potentially of sanctions," U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice
Rice, who is the Security Council president for April, gave no further
details on possible sanctions that could be imposed.
"Members expressed grave concern over the situation and committed to make
every effort to convince the parties to cease hostilities and return to the
negotiating table," she said.
South Sudan's envoy in New York expressed the hope that diplomacy could help
prevent a war but warned that her country would not give up its territory.
"We believe that the current crisis can be resolved through negotiated and
agreed upon solutions," South Sudan's U.N. envoy Agnes Oswaha told
"We are not going to go for the offense because we are for peace," she said.
"However, we will stand on the defense and defend our territory."
Distrust runs deep between the neighbors, who are at loggerheads over the
position of their border, how much the landlocked south should pay to
transport its oil through Sudan, and the division of national debt, among
South Sudan has accused Sudan of launching air strikes on some of its major
oilfields. Sudan has denied launching air strikes but said its ground forces
had attacked southern artillery positions that had fired on the north.
South Sudan seceded from Sudan in July, six months after a referendum agreed
under a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war that killed more
than 2 million people.
C Thomson Reuters 2012 All rights reserved
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Received on Tue Apr 17 2012 - 17:45:53 EDT