Sudan, S. Sudan march toward war

April 11, 2012 at 10:10 AM
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KHARTOUM, Sudan, April 11 (UPI) -- The Sudanese government said it was walking away from the negotiating table with South Sudan as the countries inch toward all-out war.

The Sudanese Parliament voted Wednesday to withdraw from peace talks mediated by members of the African Union and declare a "general mobilization" following clashes in oil-rich regions along the shared border with South Sudan, the independent Sudan Tribune reports.

Sudanese Defense Minister Abdel-Rahim Hussein vowed to repel South Sudanese forces he accuses of launching the attacks. The countries, the newspaper reports, are in a de facto arms race and residents in Khartoum described the situation as charged and on a war footing.

A peace summit planned for April in the South Sudanese capital has been suspended because of the fighting. The African Union said it was calling on South Sudan to pull its forces from disputed oil fields along the shared border.

The Sudanese government, in a statement published by the BBC, said South Sudan should brace for "destruction."

"The government of Sudan announces after this attack that it will react by all means," the government statement read.

South Sudan gained independence in July as part of a comprehensive peace agreement brokered in 2005 with Washington's help. Issues like oil, disputed borders and ethnic conflicts have since threatened to unravel the peace.

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