South Sudan says the North is at risk of breaking a fragile 2005 peace deal that ended two decades of civil war.
Stuart Price/ Reuters
Juba, South Sudan
The growing possibility of civil war over Sudan's most disputed border zone was confirmed Monday when the South Sudanese army said it would retaliate if the North's army continued to move south.
"Our mission is to protect the borders … any step south of this [North-South] border will not be tolerated," says South Sudan's military spokesman Philip Aguer.
On Saturday, northern forces seized the strategic, contested border town of Abyei and Mr. Aguer is warning the North that it is at risk of shattering the fragile 2005 peace deal that ended two decades of war.
With a UN Security Council delegation currently in the country, South Sudanese officials have appealed to the international community to force the withdrawal of the North's army from Abyei.
The Security Council called for the North's withdrawal at a press conference in Khartoum yesterday, but the North has struck a defensive tone and top officials refused to meet with the delegation. Mr. Bashir, who is wanted for war crimes for his role in the unresolved Darfur conflict, was not invited to meet with the delegation.