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NOTING ANNOUNCED WITHDRAWAL OF SOUTH SUDAN FROM HEGLIG, SECRETARY-GENERAL URGES IMMEDIATE RESUMPTION OF NEGOTIATIONS WITH SUDANESE GOVERNMENT

By United Nations - Office of the Spokesperson of the Secretary-General
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NEW YORK, April 23, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

The Secretary-General takes note of the announcement by the Government of South Sudan that it is withdrawing from Heglig and urges the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan to resume negotiations immediately under the auspices of the African Union High-level Panel to resolve the outstanding issues between them.

The Secretary-General also calls upon both Governments to activate the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism to help ensure the security of their common border. All measures have been taken to ensure that United Nations Interim Security Force in Abyei (UNISFA) monitors are ready to be deployed.

The Secretary-General reiterates his call on the Government of Sudan to stop the bombing of South Sudanese territory and urges both Governments to cease their support to each other's rebel groups.