South Sudan's President said on Thursday that the nation will not withdraw its troops that this week entered a disputed border region with Sudan.
South Sudan President Salva Kiir spoke to Parliament in the midst of escalating clashes along the border with Sudan. He said the country's military would also re-enter another disputed area, Abyei, currently occupied by Sudan if the United Nations does not urge Sudan to withdraw.
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Troops from South Sudan on Wednesday captured the oil-rich border town of Heglig that is claimed by Sudan, whose troops withdrew under the onslaught. Mr. Kiir said South Sudan's military forces, the SPLA, had also advanced past Heglig after occupying it.
Fighting along the north-south border has been near constant over the past two weeks. On Thursday, South Sudan accused Sudan of bombing the capital of Unity State, Bentiu.
The military advance by South Sudan into territory it claims but which is internationally recognised as Sudan's brought swift condemnation from the United States and Britain. “
Fighting erupted in Abyei between Sudan and South Sudan May of last year, just months before South Sudan formally declared independence from Sudan. The region was to hold a referendum in January to decide whether it stays with Sudan or joins a newly independent South. But the vote was postponed indefinitely amid disagreements over who would be eligible to vote.