African Union voices concern at Sudan border clashes


Article taken from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa 
The African Union has expressed deep concern at the recent outbreak of fighting between Sudan and South Sudan.

Following two days of clashes, AU chief Jean Ping urged the two countries to respect a commitment to withdraw their forces to 10km from their border.

Unconfirmed reports say fighting on the ground has stopped, but that Sudan carried out air strikes on South Sudanese territory overnight.

The countries fought a long civil war before the South seceded from Sudan.

The violence, which began on Monday, centres on the major oil field of Heglig and the South Sudanese state of Unity.

Gideon Gatpan, the information minister for Unity, said on Wednesday that Sudanese planes had bombed an area 35km from the state capital, Bentiu, in the night, but had halted all ground assaults.

Sudan has postponed a planned visit next week by President Omar al-Bashir to South Sudan, where he was to attend a summit with his counterpart, Salva Kiir.

But officials from the two countries are expected to meet in the Ethiopian capital later this week for talks aimed at easing tensions.

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