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Obama to Sudan, South Sudan: Conflict Is Not Inevitable

Kent Klein

President Barack Obama is appealing to the governments and people of Sudan and South Sudan to avoid a return to war. The president called for peaceful negotiations, in a video message posted Friday on the Internet site YouTube.

After more than a week of military skirmishes along the border between the two Sudans, President Obama called on the people of both nations to turn away from further armed conflict.

"It does not have to be this way.  Conflict is not inevitable.  You still have a choice," he said.  "You still have a chance to avoid being dragged back into war, which only leads to one place: more suffering, more refugees, more death, more lost dreams for you and your children."

Obama said there is no military solution to the conflict.  He called on the presidents of the two countries to have the courage to return to the negotiating table.

"The government of Sudan must stop its military actions, including aerial bombardments.  It must give aid workers the access they need to save lives.  And it must end its support for armed groups inside the South," he said. "Likewise, the government of South Sudan must end its support for armed groups inside Sudan, and it must cease its military actions across the border."

Sudan's government says its military has now taken control of oil fields in the disputed area of Heglig.

South Sudan seized the oil fields on April 10, sparking fears of an all-out war.  The government in Juba says its forces will soon be completely out of Heglig, but the status of the area, and of other contested regions, should be determined by international arbitration.  

President Obama warned that the constant threat of war is hampering development in both countries.

"You will never be at peace if your neighbor feels threatened.  You will never see development and progress if your neighbor refuses to be your partner in trade and commerce," he said.

Sudan and South Sudan have disagreed over borders, oil and citizenship since the South became an independent nation last July.

North and south Sudan fought a 21-year civil war, in which about two million people were killed.




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Comments
     
by: James Ruei Majok
April 22, 2012 12:53 AM
The withdrawal of spla troop from Hegliy oil field it is something which is some thing wrong from Republic of south sudan

by: Richard Young
April 21, 2012 12:07 PM
There is a way to resolve problems of US illegal immigrant by open a new land in africa and send some guys to delevop this land, of course, US citizen can go this land to build a new place, and illegal immigrant will be legal in this land who can not benpermited to go back US. on the other hand, the new investigation stimulates the US manufacture and may resolve many financial problems

by: Richard Young
April 21, 2012 12:05 PM
There is a way to resolve problems of US illegal immigrant by open a new land in africa and send some guys to delevop this land, of course, US citizen can go this land to build a new place, and illegal immigrant will be legal in this land who can not benpermited to go back US. on the other hand, the new investigation stimulates the US manufacture and may resolve many financial problems

by: Sharon Raphael
April 21, 2012 10:53 AM
How does Eritrea play into this situation? It used to be Southern Sudan, right?
What is going on? I know someone who moved to Eritrea so I know a very little bit about how it was created recently.

by: Bob Powelson
April 21, 2012 6:48 AM
It is time that Sudanese Islamic agression be halted. The Israelis might consider arming the south. A You Tube plea for peace is nothing short of ludicrous.

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