UN asks Sudan, South Sudan to de-escalate tensions
The United Nations called Friday for Sudan and South Sudan to recommit to negotiations to settle the flare up in violence after Khartoum bombed a refuge camp of the south, inflicting unknown casualties, dpa reported.
Herve Ladsous, UN undersecretary general for peacekeeping operations, briefed the UN Security Council on the attack, in which Sudanese warplanes bombed the Yida camp, which housed 20,000 refugees near South Sudan's People's Liberation Army.
Ladsous said: "The only course of action available is to recommit to a peaceful negotiated settlement of outstanding issues and to an immediate de-escalation of the current tensions."
"The situation in Sudan and South Sudan is at a difficult juncture, with very low trust between the countries, heightened rhetoric, and mutual accusations of support to insurgencies in the territory of the other," he said.
In Geneva, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, called for an investigation into the bombing on Thursday. Pillay said information available so far suggested that the bombing may amount to an international crime or serious human rights violation.
The Enough Project, a Washington-based human rights group, called on the UN Security Council to impose and "aggressively" enforce a ban on military flights to some areas in Sudan and South Sudan. The UN has imposed such a flight ban over Sudan's Darfur region.
"Sudan has now expanded its aerial bombing across sovereign borders," said John Prendergast, co-founder of the Enough Project. "This is a genuine and immediate threat to international peace and security. This impending crisis was precisely the kind of situation the UN Security Council was created to counter."