The African Union (AU) demanded that Sudan stop bombing South Sudanese targets near the border, media reports said.
Sudanese warplanes have bombed several towns in South Sudan’s Unity State over the past several days. Earlier, South Sudanese and Sudanese forces battled near the oil-rich area of Heglig.
The AU in a statement called on both countries to withdraw their forces from the disputed border region and keep their soldiers within their borders, The Associated Press reported on Wednesday. The organization said Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and South Sudanese President Salva Kiir need to put an end to making inflammatory statements against one another.
Kiir on Tuesday said Sudan has essentially declared war against his country by carrying out aerial bombardment missions on towns in Unity State. Several days earlier, Bashir referred to the South Sudan government as “insects” and vowed to “liberate” the country’s people, adding that there is no room for negotiation.
International bodies including the United Nations have condemned the airstrikes and have expressed worry that the conflict will turn into a full-scale war. The two sides fought in a bloody, decades-long civil war that left around 2 million dead.
South Sudan on Tuesday laid out a plan to mobilize the country on the conflict with its northern neighbor, reported the Sudan Tribune. The country plans to recruit “army youth volunteers and ex-combatants” to help deal with a potential all-out war, the publication said.