Obama urges South Sudan to exercise restraint

Obama urges South Sudan to exercise restraint
# 02 April 2012 23:59 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday urged South Sudan to avoid unilateral actions and exercise maximum restraint in its border clashes with Sudan, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

In his phone conversation with South Sudan President Salva Kiir, Obama voiced concern about the growing tensions between the two African neighbors, especially the violent clashes along their shared border and renewed fighting in Sudan’s South Kordofan state.

"President Obama underscored the importance of avoiding unilateral actions, and asked President Kiir to ensure that South Sudan’s military exercises maximum restraint and is not involved in or supporting fighting along the border, particularly in South Kordofan," the White House said.

Sudan and South Sudan clashed for two days last week in the disputed oil-rich border region, the worst direct fighting since the latter won independence in July last year under a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war with Sudan.

The pair have left a number of issues unresolved between them, including the demarcation of border, citizenship and the division of oil revenue. They have resumed negotiations in Ethiopia’s capital of Addis Ababa following the border clashes, but there is no word on a rescheduled summit between Kiir and his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir, which was originally scheduled for Tuesday but put on hold by Sudan following the border conflicts.

In their phone talks, Obama urged Kiir to build on the recent achievements of the nationality and citizenship agreements between South Sudan and Sudan, and reach an agreement on oil.

Obama expressed hope that Kiir and al-Bashir would soon have a summit meeting.

"President Obama welcomed President Kiir’s commitment to moving forward with a summit and to finding peaceful solutions for Sudan and South Sudan," the White House said.