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Tensions eased in border areas between Sudan, South Sudan after military clash: spokesman

(Xinhua)

10:48, March 29, 2012

UNITED NATIONS, March 28 (Xinhua) -- UN officials on Wednesday reported tensions on the border of Sudan and South Sudan are de- escalating, two days after the military clash between armed forces of the two neighboring countries.

"The deputy spokesperson said that while the exact situation on the ground still needs to be confirmed, at the moment the situation appears to be de-escalating and both parties have stated a willingness to meet in the coming days," UN Spokesman Eduardo del Buey told reporters during the daily news briefing.

As the parties agreed to meet on March 30, South Sudan has agreed to withdraw its forces only if the Sudanese government agreed to withdraw its own forces. In response, the Sudanese government agreed to attend a meeting of the Joint Political and Security Mechanism (JPSM), and stop the bombing if the South Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) withdrew.

Two days after limited clashes between Sudan and South Sudan armies, calmness returned to Higlieg area in Sudan's South Kordofan State, the site of clashes, on the border between the two countries, reports said.

In efforts to rapidly alleviate the situation, the UN special representative in South Sudan, Hilde Johnson, together with the UN secretary-general's special envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, Haile Menkeiros, have been in heavy talks with all parties.

Johnson and Menkeiros together met with the African Union High- Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) as well as other international parties to further address the situation on the border.

As reports of the clashes between the African countries emerged, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed "deep concern about the military clashes," and called for all parties to "fully respect, and implement the agreements they had already reached on security. "

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