Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir said there will be "no return to war" in his country, despite rising tensions between the north and south as a vote on southern independence draws near. State media quoted Mr. Bashir as saying Wednesday his government is working to maintain peace all over the country.
The north and south have accused each other of building up troops along their shared border ahead of the south's referendum, set for January 9.
Tension rose further on Tuesday when Sudan's defense minister said the referendum may have to be delayed. Abdel Rahim Hussein said issues, such as border demarcation and control of the oil-producing Abyei region, must be resolved - in his words - within the framework of one nation.
Political disputes and logistical issues have held up preparations for the south's referendum and a separate vote on whether Abyei becomes part of the north or the south. Northern officials have called for postponement of the Abyei vote, as well. Southern leaders have insisted that both referendums go ahead as scheduled.
The two votes are key parts of the 2005 peace deal that concluded Sudan's 21-year north-south civil war.
The Bashir government is pushing for Sudan to remain unified. However, most analysts believe the south will vote for independence.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP.