New Fighting Erupts on Sudan’s North-South Border

Posted June 6th, 2011 at 3:05 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

United Nations officials are urging restraint along Sudan's north-south border amid reports of new unrest in the region.

Officials say gunfire erupted Monday in Kadugli, the capital of South Kordofan state. The U.N. mission in Sudan also reported more looting in the Abyei region, an area claimed by both north and south Sudan.

The U.N. mission in Sudan says it is deeply concerned about security in the two areas, and is calling on all parties to prevent an escalation of violence.

Tensions have risen along Sudan's north-south border in the past few weeks, especially in Abyei.

The south is preparing to declare independence from the north on July 9, and the two sides have not agreed on the future of the oil-rich region.

Northern troops seized control of Abyei last month and have rejected calls by the U.N. Security Council to withdraw their forces.

Officials fear the renewed tensions could plunge Sudan into a new civil war.

North and south Sudan fought for 21 years before the conflict ended with a 2005 peace agreement.

In its statement Monday, the U.N. Mission in Sudan called on the north's armed forces to bring the looting in Abyei to a halt, release civilians in their custody, and allow unrestricted and safe access to people in need of humanitarian aid.

The U.N. says tens of thousands of Abyei residents fled the area after the northern takeover, and witnesses have reported widespread destruction of huts and buildings in Abyei's main town.