, BRUSSELS, Mar 28 – The European Union on Wednesday expressed fears that border clashes between former civil war foes Sudan and South Sudan could escalate into a wider conflict and urged restraint from both sides.
“Further cross-border military activity could result in a wider military confrontation,” an EU statement said after the worst flare-up since the two neighbours split last year.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton “is gravely concerned about the military clashes in the border region between Sudan and South Sudan,” it said.
“Recent cross-border attacks and continued aerial bombing represent a dangerous escalation of an already tense situation,” the statement said, after three days of violence in disputed oil-rich border regions.
Ashton “calls on both Sudan and South Sudan to exercise maximum restraint, cease military operations in the border area and respect” a pact of non-aggression they signed on February 10, it said.
The latest clashes have brought the two neighbours back to the brink of full blown war, less than a year after the south broke away, capping the protracted peace process that ended one of Africa’s longest and deadliest wars.