South Sudan says to withdraw from Heglig within three days

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 20, 2012 7:30 AM
South Sudan says to withdraw from Heglig within three days

JUBA (Reuters) - South Sudan will pull its armed forces (SPLA) out of the contested Heglig oil region within three days, a government spokesman said on Friday, following the worst border violence between Sudan and the South since secession last July.

"The Republic of South Sudan announces that SPLA troops have been ordered to withdraw from Panthou (Heglig)," South Sudan's Information Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin told reporters, citing orders from President Salva Kiir.

"An orderly withdrawal will commence immediately, and shall be completed within three days," he said.

South Sudan wants the status of Heglig to be determined by international arbitration, he said.

(Reporting by Ulf Laessing; Writing by Alexander Dziadosz; Editing by Louise Ireland)