Sudan rejects UN Security Council role in border dispute

AFP , Saturday 28 Apr 2012

Sudanese government turns down UN Security Council involvement to end armed clashes with South Sudan, calls for implementation of African Union's peace plan

Sudan on Saturday rejected UN Security Council involvement in efforts to end weeks of border clashes with South Sudan that have raised fears of a wider war.

"Sudan confirms that it rejects any efforts to disturb the African Union role and take the situation between Sudan and South Sudan to the UN Security Council," Foreign Minister Ali Karti said in a statement.

The African Union itself, in a decision last Tuesday, asked the Security Council to endorse its demand that the two Sudans halt hostilities in 48 hours, start talks within two weeks and complete a peace accord in three months.

But Karti -- while expressing full confidence in the AU's role -- said involvement by the Security Council would "give priority to a political position which was announced before and has a hidden agenda".

He did not elaborate.

The Security Council on Thursday started talks on a resolution that could allow sanctions against Sudan and South Sudan if they do not meet the AU demands to end their clashes which broke out one month ago.

A US-drafted resolution backs the AU demands and calls for the two sides to "immediately" halt hostilities and pull their forces back into their own territory.

The text says the Security Council would review the rivals' implementation of AU demands and could "take appropriate additional measures" under article 41 of Chapter VII of the UN charter that allows for sanctions but not military force.

Despite the AU's demand for an immediate cessation of hostilities, the South's army alleged that Sudanese warplanes staged a cross-border raid on Unity State on Wednesday.

On Saturday, the South said it had repelled an attack by Sudanese-backed rebels outside Malakal, capital of Upper Nile State.

Both nations have denied backing rebels on each other's territory.

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