Published on Apr 20, 2012 by whitehouse
The presidents of Sudan and South Sudan “must have the courage” to return to the negotiating table and resolve their differences peacefully, says US President Barack Obama.
He was speaking after South Sudan said it had ordered its troops to withdraw from the Heglig oil field in Sudan.
Within hours of Friday’s announcement, Sudan said it had retaken Heglig town.
South Sudanese forces captured the area last week, accusing Khartoum of using it as a base to launch attacks.
“We know what needs to happen,” said President Obama. “The government of Sudan must stop its military actions including aerial bombardments.
“It must give aid workers the access they need to save lives. And it must end its support for armed groups inside the South.”
Turning to the government of the newly independent South Sudan, Mr Obama said: “Likewise, the government of South Sudan must end its support for armed groups inside Sudan and it must cease its military actions across the border.
The escalating fighting and rhetoric between the two sides over the past week has led to fears of all-out war.