International powers have called on Juba to pull back its forces, but Juba had resisted those calls, insisting it would do so only after Khartoum withdrew its troops from the neighboring contested Abyei region.
On Thursday United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon condemned the South’s taking of Heglig as an “illegal act,” but Juba still maintained Friday that Heglig — which it calls Panthou in the local Dinka language — was its territory.
“The decision to pull out of Panthou (Heglig) is without prejudice to our stand that Panthou remains an integral part of the Republic of South Sudan,” the statement added.
“We therefore expect that the final status of Panthou-Heglig, and other disputed border areas, will be referred for international arbitration.”
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has called for the destruction of the “insect” Juba government, and has launched waves of air strikes against the former civil war foe.
Kiir’s statement said that that Khartoum had to end its “air bombardments and ground incursions” into South Sudan.
The rival armies clashed heavily late Thursday, as Khartoum’s troops sought to oust entrenched Southern soldiers from positions in Heglig, Southern army spokesman Philip Aguer said.
“There was fighting on Thursday evening, SAF (Sudan’s army) was advancing and they
Category: South Sudan News