Pretoria ‘concerned’ by Sudan violence

2011-05-25 08:41

South Africa today expressed “deep concern” about violence in Sudan, where Khartoum troops have seized the volatile border district of Abyei.

“The increased tensions over Abyei between the two parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and the use of violence threaten to derail the post-referendum negotiations and introduce a dire period of uncertainty as South Sudan prepares for independence,” the international relations and co-operation department (Dirco) said in a statement.

“The government of the Republic of South Africa expresses deep concern over the escalation of violence.”

The Dirco said it was imperative that the two parties addressed “the contentious post-referendum issues, including the border demarcation, the status of Abyei, the sharing of resources”.

“The South African government calls on the Sudanese government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement to cease hostilities, while also reaffirming and honouring their commitments to the CPA protocol on Abyei and the Kadugli agreement.”

AFP reported that more than 15 000 people had fled Abyei to find refuge.

South Sudan is set to become an independent state in July.

The Khartoum government has declared Abyei a northern town, dismissing calls to pull its troops from the district, which is also being claimed by the south. 

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