Home | News    Saturday 14 April 2012

International peacekeepers prerequisite to withdraw South Sudan troops - Kiir


April 13, 2012 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir Mayardit demanded Sunday that United Nations peacekeepers be deployed on the border with Sudan before to withdraw its troops from Heglig.

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South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir addresses Souh Sudanese parliament on April 12, 2012 (AFP)

The SPLA’s occupation of Heglig on Tuesday 10 April has surprised many observers including Khartoum, who have vowed to retake the area, which accounts for over half of its oil production.

South Sudan has come under immense pressure to withdraw from the area, which was not one of the five main disputed areas on the 1,800km largely demarcated border under negotiation in African Union (AU) chaired in Addis Ababa. Heglig is internationally recognised as being in Sudan’s South Kordofan State as per a ruling if the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in 2009.

Since the SPLA took Heglig the UN, AU, European Union and individual nations that have been string supporters of South Sudan’s independence; the United States, United Kingdom and Norway have all called for the SPLA’s immediate withdrawal. Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) has also been asked to stop its bombing South Sudanese territory and both sides to cease assisting rebels either side of the border.

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir in a statement released Friday outlined the circumstances under which he would withdraw the SPLA. He asked for "a clear mechanism and guarantee [...] that Heglig will not be used to launch another attack against South Sudan."

Kiir further pointed out that the SPLA troops will be pulled out of Heglig 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."

In a press conference held in the Kenyan capital South Sudan top negotiator on the outstanding issue Pagan Amum echoed the content of the presidential statement and urged the deployment of an international forces before the SPLA withdrawal.

"We are ready to withdraw from Heglig as a contested area ... provided that the United Nations deploy a U.N. force in these contested areas and the U.N. also establish a monitoring mechanism to monitor the implementation of the cessation of hostilities agreement," Pagan said.

In Khartoum, where the government rejects any South Sudanese claims on Heglig, SAF spokesperson al-Sawarmi Khaled on Friday announced that the army had launched a counter-offensive that would force the SPLA out of the area. The outcome of the SAF offensive was unclear on Friday evening.

Juba said the capture of Heglig came as result of repeat air and ground attacks on Unity State by the Sudanese army units based in the area. However, Salva Kiir two days after the attack invoked before the parliament the unresolved situation in Abyei and linked it with the seizure of Heglig.


Bordering Heglig in Abyei a UN force is deployed with a mandate to oversee the withdrawal of SAF and SPLA forces after the north took Abyei town by force in May last year. However, Abyei is recognised as being a disputed territory internationally unlike Heglig, which South Sudanese refer to as Panthou.

"We remind the international community that SAF-forces still occupies Abyei despite repeated calls for withdrawal of all armed forces from the area" said the statement. South Sudan accuses the international community of moral equivalence over Abyei - an oil producing are that border Heglig - and believes Khartoum should receive more pressure to withdraw as per an agreement last year.

A recent UN Security Council report found that both countries has unauthorised forces in the area, whose self-determination referendum did not take place in January 2011 as the two sides could not agree on who should be allowed to vote.

"South Sudan has not and will not use force to resolve these issues", the release from Kiir’s office said.


The SPLA’s decision to take and hold Heglig is the second bold move Juba has made this year. In January it announced that it would halt oil production over a transit fee dispute with Khartoum. It had widely been assumed that Juba’s threat to turn off the pumps was brinkmanship.

When South Sudan seceded it took with it 75% of the country’s oil production but the two sides have not been able to agree how much the new landlocked should pay to transport its crude to the Red Sea.

On Thursday South Sudan announced it had shut down the Heglig oil fields meaning that Sudan lost over half of its 110,000 barrels per day oil production. Queues were reported at petrol stations in the capital as fears grew of a fuel shortage, but this has been dismissed by the government.

As well as at the pump the ripple effect has reached Khartoum politically with newspapers being warned over what they report and threats to limit the activities of political parties the government says are aligned to rebel groups in South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur.


Officials in Unity State have claimed that SAF have dropped numerous bombs on the area targeting its oil fields as well as civilians. Despite evidence of large craters and remnants of shells being reported, Khartoum denies it has bombed South Sudanese territory.

Sudan and South Sudan launched recently large scale campaigns to mobilise civilians’ support to the army but also to recruit new soldiers and militias.

On Friday South Sudan’s Vice President, Riek Machar Teny, urged citizens of the new country, which became independent in July 2011, to support the army in repulsing what he said was an unprovoked invasion of South Sudan’s territory by Sudan.

The commander of the SPLA Division Four in Unity State, Major General James Gatduel Gatluak, who briefed Machar, on Tuesday in the Unity State’s capital, Bentiu, said his forces only responded to the “provocative” assault by SAF and repulsed the invading forces, pursuing them into Heglig town and capturing it.

Machar has been based in Bentiu for the last week on an inter-communal peace mission touring counties of Unity and Warrap states. He called on the citizens of the bordering states to materially and morally support the SPLA in defending the territorial integrity of South Sudan.

The Vice President also urged the communities in the three states of Warrap, Lakes and Unity to stop cross-border cattle raiding and reconcile in order to face the challenges ahead of the nation.

Communities and civil society organizations in Unity State have contributed hundreds of bulls and other consumable commodities to the SPLA forces on the frontline.


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Statament by S. Sudan’s President Salva Kiir on Heglig crisis
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  • 14 April 2012 06:54, by Dinkawarrior

    Breaking news!!!!!!!
    According to the SPLA commander in charge in the Superior Center of Comments (SSSCC)” The fighting of Pathou(Hegglig)has no where to be found, they’re busy lying on TVs and on internets but there is no fighting here. May be they’re on the ways but we are ready more than before"

    SPLA-Oyeeeeeee! SPLA-Oyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

    repondre message

    • 14 April 2012 07:03, by Hardball

      Who is writing these bogus reports, president Kiir made it clear that, Panthou/Heglig is part of south Sudan and therefore he is not going to withdraw.

      According the voice of America, SPLA forces completed reinforcement around Heglig 15 hours ago in anticipation of advancing SAF to Heglig.

      repondre message

      • 14 April 2012 07:22, by Corrector

        It is very clear by S.Sudan’s offer of conditional withdraw that they know they can not get Heglig without a diplomatic effort. They know they cannot hold heglig indefinitely with military confrontation and they are searching for a less embarrassing exit strategy. The world does not support S.Sudan’s position and is virtually impossible to get support for there aggression in Heglig.

        repondre message

        • 14 April 2012 07:36, by Chol

          Corrector, you were just saying you’ll take Heglig by force! Why are you resorting to diplomatic language? Stop using force language when you know it well that you don’t have any.

          Reinforcement of SPLA forces is now made solid in Heglig and let the dead men walked right into their graves!

          repondre message

          • 14 April 2012 07:39, by Corrector

            Because i am a civil person and diplomacy is civil. That said, heglig is,will and must be taken by force.

            repondre message

      • 14 April 2012 09:42, by zulu

        You are a hard ball, and indeed, what is what is a matter of principle and reality. Where are the damnfools? I am not in the frontline, but sky observer, and cannot see any military movement except cattle which are not armed moving. Where is the NCP?

        repondre message

    • 14 April 2012 10:17, by mohammed ali

      Dinkaworrier, read between the lines! Theif Pagan said " we are ready to pull out" Why, while 24 hrs ago he was saying NO ?! This because he is already out!

      repondre message

  • 14 April 2012 06:55, by Corrector

    In denial much? SAF in Heglig, only a matter of time.

    repondre message

  • 14 April 2012 07:01, by Hardball

    Who is writing these bogus reports, president Kiir made it clear that, Panthou/Heglig is part of south Sudan and therefore he is not going to withdraw.

    According the voice of America, SPLA forces completed reinforcement around Heglig 15 hours ago in anticipation of advancing SAF to Heglig.

    repondre message

  • 14 April 2012 07:04, by E. Defense Forces

    Sudan armed forces in Heglig offensive and SPLA is waiting to destroy them.

    Long live RSS


    repondre message

  • 14 April 2012 07:09, by George Bol

    The international community are not efficiently seeing things in every angles. Khartoum invade Abyei in which they destroy the living of Dinka Ngok and displace them still the international did not let the Khartoum army leave they area. Khartoum keep bombing the South civilians and its territory,the international did not do anything. Khartoum steal oil in the daylight the international did not do

    repondre message

    • 14 April 2012 07:26, by Corrector

      The issue you are facing is an issue of legitamacy. Abeyi is legitamitly contested by both regions, Heglig is not. Sudan does have the right to charge what ever fees it sees fit, S.Sudan does have the right to consider other options. Heglig is an aggression, no doubt about it. Charging 6% ($35 dollars a barrel) is fair, as per the chad aggrement (Chad charges 6% a barrel based on a oil price of

      repondre message

      • 14 April 2012 07:28, by Corrector

        $15 dollars a barrel). S.Sudan has no concept of what is other people’s rights, or there own. They sulk, cry like babies and have a kindergarden-ish outlook into world affairs. They are a crying child who steals other children’s money and cries when the adults want to punish them. You need many years to learn how to approach conflicts, and there answer always seems to be war.

        repondre message

        • 14 April 2012 07:32, by Corrector

          Sudan didn’t want to force the people of the south to be part of the arab muslim north, hence they signed the CPA. Now it seems S.Sudan thinks they can force sudan on oil charges & territory. You seem to forget how reluctant we were to the CPA in itself. You didn’t learn frm our lesson that you cannot force someone to do anything. So you forces this war upon us. We will win this war because we mus

          repondre message

          • 14 April 2012 07:34, by Corrector

            and finally, most sudanese people disagree with NCP. But Heglig isnt part of the NCP. Its part of sudan. Every single sudanese person, NCP or not; is offended and instantly wants to reclaim heglig and now wants to destroy the south. You have created an unnecessary and dangerous enemy.

            repondre message

            • 14 April 2012 07:36, by Corrector

              This is not a new tone from me. I want to try civility with you to see your receptive skills. I have no doubt, that heglig will return to its rightful sudanese owners in a matter of time, hours days weeks months or years, its only a matter of time. Good luck challenging the world.

              repondre message

              • 14 April 2012 09:50, by zulu

                You are a lifeless corpse. Go to hell you idiot. Do it now no brainer. Come with your fools and we will teach you more because Abyei is our next if you start what you think that your are capable of. Just a friendly caution for a low lonely private stick up man looking rediculouse

                repondre message

  • 14 April 2012 07:12, by George Bol

    International did not do anything. The Khartoum bomb unity states-Jau and the surrounding,nothing to warn the Saf/Khartoum. The North has prevent the referendum of Abyei-Dinka Ngok which is very clear in the CPA-the international did not do anything. The Khartoum avoid the border demarcation-the international focus on oil transit which is very clear that the South has their own oil/

    repondre message

  • 14 April 2012 07:16, by George Bol

    The international is focusing on oil transit and they don’t want the SAF-Khartoum to withdraw from the Abyei. Now, we South population understand that the international is fading the Bashier back for so long and this make our South Sudanese said it enough is enough. It’s not our culture to say nasty thing every single day against our innocent population.For me, Let SAF wthdraw from Abyei first!

    repondre message

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