UN asks Sudan, South Sudan to cease fighting and negotiate
The UN Security Council voted unanimously Wednesday to adopt a strong resolution urging Sudan and South Sudan to cease hostilities, pull troops back from the border region and achieve a peace agreement within three months, dpa reported.
It said the withdrawal of troops from both sides from the contested border region of Abyei and the resumption of negotiations must be unconditional.
The resolution lists a number of steps, which Khartoum and Juba must take immediately, including stop fighting within 48 hours from Wednesday's adoption of the resolution.
The two sides are asked to activate within a week measures dealing with security over the ill-defined border between the two countries, cease harbouring and supporting of rebel groups on each side and hostile propaganda.
The negotiations should resolve the status of border and the final status of the oil-rich Abyei region.
South Sudan seceded from the rest of Sudan last year after holding popular referendum to become a new state. The Abyei region failed to hold such a vote.
Both sides have allowed an escalation in border tensions in recent weeks, including kidnappings, oil plant seizures and allegations of espionage - forcing US President Barack Obama to last week issue a YouTube video message appealing for calm.