On April 10, 2012, the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) launched another attack against the Republic of South Sudan from Heglig. In early April, SPLA-forces repulsed SAF and withdrew to their original position in the hope of finding a peaceful solution.
On April 3, 2012, we stated that “the armed forces of the Republic of South Sudan are ready to defend their country, but will not go on the offensive”. We kept our promise until we were once again attacked by SAF ground forces from the same area. For several weeks the territory of South Sudan has also repeatedly been subject to aerial bombardments from SAF-forces.
The Republic of South Sudan is prepared to withdraw its forces from Heglig if a clear mechanism and guarantee can be provided that Heglig will not be used to launch another attack against South Sudan. We want to prevent another round of violence. Alternatively, such withdrawal would happen if the United nations could commit to deploying neutral forces to Heglig which could be present in the area until a settlement between the two parties is reached.
We remind the international community that SAF-forces still occupies Abyei despite repeated calls for withdrawal of all armed forces from the area, and call for a withdrawal from all disputed areas. South Sudan has not and will not use force to resolve these issues.
The Republic of South Sudan intends to respect the Memorandum of Understanding on Non-Aggression and Cooperation of February 10, 2012 and the Agreements of June 29 and July 30, 2011, which commits the two parties to redeploy their forces 10 kilometers outside the North/South 1/1/1956 borderline.
The Government of the Republic of South Sudan is committed to peace with the Republic of Sudan, and is willing to resume negotiations immediately in order to resolve all outstanding issues. We would like to remind the international community that it was the Republic of Sudan team walked out of the talks in Ethiopia in early April.
From: The Office Of The President