Air raids kill 2 as units deploy from Sudan
RUBKONA, South Sudan (AP) -- Sudanese warplanes bombed a market and an oil field in South Sudan on Monday, killing at least two people after Sudanese ground forces had reportedly crossed into South Sudan with tanks and artillery, elevating the risk of all-out war between the two old enemies.
The international community urged Sudan and South Sudan to talk out their disputes, which include quarrels over where the border lies and over ownership of oil resources.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the Sudanese bombings and called on the government in Khartoum "to cease all hostilities immediately."
Ban stressed again that the dispute cannot be solved militarily and urged Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and South Sudanese President Salva Kiir "to stop the slide toward further confrontation and return to dialogue as a matter of urgency," the spokesman said.
South Sudan broke away from Sudan in July last year after an independence vote, the culmination of a 2005 peace treaty ending decades of war that killed more than 2 million people.
Dozens killed in Hama despite U.N. presence
BEIRUT (AP) -- Syrian troops armed with heavy machine guns killed dozens in the central city of Hama on Monday, activists said, a day after chanting protesters welcomed a visit by a U.N. team sent to observe a shaky cease-fire.
The day's violence, the city's worst in months, added a dangerous new aspect to the U.N. team's work: that the Syrian regime might exact deadly revenge against opponents who feel empowered by the observers' presence to spill into the streets.
Observance of the truce, which was supposed to begin April 12, has been spotty at best. The main manifestation has been a temporary halt to fighting between President Bashar Assad's troops and rebel forces in locations where observers are present.
Skepticism about the cease-fire remains high, but world leaders say the current plan to stop more than a year of hostilities might be the last chance.
Rami Abdul-Rahman, the head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said troops stormed Hama, firing assault rifles and heavy machine guns, killing at least 33 people.