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Thu May 3, 2012 1:49AM
Sudanese soldiers ride in a military vehicle in the oil-rich region of Heglig on April 23, 2012.

Sudanese soldiers ride in a military vehicle in the oil-rich region of Heglig on April 23, 2012.

Sudan says it wants peace with South Sudan and expects the South to respond positively to the African Union (AU) and United Nations calling for an immediate end to enmity. "The government of Sudan confirms her own strategic calls to have peace between the two states and it hopes the government of South Sudan gives a positive reaction to the African and UN Security Council resolutions," the Sudanese foreign ministry's spokesman, Al-Obeid Meruh, said in a statement on Thursday, AFP reported. On Wednesday, the UN Security Council unanimously approved a resolution, which calls on Khartoum and Juba to “immediately cease all hostilities" by giving a written commitment to end fighting by the end of 48 hours, and to resume negotiations within two weeks under an AU roadmap to ultimately reach an agreement in the course of three months. "The Minister of Foreign Affairs renews the position of the government of Sudan and her commitment to African solutions to African problems and conflicts," said Meruh. According to the resolution, if either side fails to abide by the terms, “additional measures" under Article 41 of the UN Charter, which obligates non-military sanctions, will be taken. The Security Council condemns repeated cross-border conflicts between the two sides and the South's seizure of Sudan’s main oil-rich town of Heglig last month. On April 24, the AU had also asked the two neighbors to end hostilities and engage in peace talks. Heglig, located in southern Sudan, is internationally regarded as part of Sudan, something South Sudan disputes. Juba’s troops occupied Heglig on April 10. Ten days later, Khartoum announced that the Sudanese Army had forced Southern Sudanese troops out of the town. Earlier on Wednesday, Sudanese officials said they had begun pumping oil from Heglig again after repairing the town’s oilfield. Sudan accuses South Sudan, which seceded from the Republic of Sudan in July 2011, of supporting anti-government rebels operating in the Darfur region and the southern states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan. South Sudan’s independence took place after decades of conflict with the north. The new oil-rich nation is one of the least developed countries in the world, with one in every seven children dying before the age of five. GJH/MAB/AS/HN
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