The African Union deeply alarmed b y the escalating conflict between Sudan and South Sudan
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, April 11, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The African U nion (AU) ex presses grave concern at the escalating armed c onflict on th e border b etween Sudan and Sou th Sudan an d calls upo n both parties to exercise utmost restraint and to respect the territorial integrity of the other St ate. In parti cular, the Afric an Union notes with alarm the occupation of Heglig b y the arm ed forces of the Republic of South Sudan, and calls for their immediate a nd unconditional withdrawal.
The Afri can Union recalls the M emorandu m of Under standing (M oU) on No n‐Aggression and Cooperation signed by the Gove rnment of the Republic of the Sud an and the R epublic of S outh Sudan in Addis Ab aba on 10 February 2012, and calls upon b oth Parties to respect the provision s contained therein, in cluding respect for the territorial int egrity of th e other Stat e and the proh ibition on either State from sup porting opposition arm ed groups and movem ents within th e other Stat e.
The Afric an Union also affirms t hat, consona nt with the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agree ment, that the border between Suda n and Sout h Sudan sha ll be the boundary of 1 January 1956, taking into account the agreed d isputed areas.
The Afri can Union c alls upon e ach Party to withdraw any armed forces that may be i n the territory of the othe r State to i ts own territory with im mediate effect. The A U also calls upon the Parties to cease aerial bombardment and the harbouring and s upporting of rebel forces and movements from th e other Stat e.
The Afri can Union c alls upon Sudan and South Sudan to implement without delay the tasks detailed in the 18 September 2011 Decision of the J oint Politic al and Secu rity Mechanism, which inter alia establishes the Joint Border Verificatio n and Monitoring Missi on (JBVMM), and to implement the provisions of UN Secur ity Resolution 2024 of 14 Decem ber 2012 which mandate s the UN In erim Security Force for Abyei to su pport the JBVMM.
The Afric an Union c ommends t he efforts o f the AU Hig h Level Imp lementation Panel and calls upon the Parties t o meet und er the auspices of the AUHIP to resolve th is and all other outstand ing issues i n a peaceful way in acc ordance wit h the overriding principle of establishing two viable states in Sudan and South Sudan.