President Barack Obama is urging north and south Sudan to agree to an immediate cease fire in the state of Southern Kordofan.
In a statement, Obama says the situation there is dire, especially given deeply disturbing reports of attacks based on ethnicity. The U.S. says Sudanese forces have shelled and bombed the area and there are reports forces aligned with the government are arresting and allegedly executing southern Sudanese forces and sympathizers.
Obama says he also backs an agreement between the north and south to demilitarize the disputed central region of Abyei and allow an Ethiopian peacekeeping force to move in.
The president says unless the cease fire in Southern Kordofan is agreed to and peacekeepers are allowed in Abyei, Sudan's isolation in the international community will only deepen.