KHARTOUM, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir said Tuesday that the realization of comprehensive peace is the government's strategic goal in the coming phase, reiterating that the operations being launched by the Sudanese army in South Kordofan and Darfur come in support of peace.
"We are living in a peaceful homeland which has succeeded in achieving what other countries have failed to achieve, even though the rebel movements which did not respond to the peace call are deducting from this peace at the outskirts of Sudan," said al- Bashir in an address to the nation on the occasion of Sudan's independence anniversary on Tuesday.
"We are resolved to ensure completion of security and stability at every inch of the homeland via the determination of men and development of the armed forces and all the security organs to protect the country and integrity of its territories," he added.
He said "peace shall remain a lofty goal and a principle that guides our internal and external policies. It is a strategic goal that we are working to achieve and ensure its sustainability to guarantee security and stability and complete development. It is a peace for strength, justice and social freedom."
Meanwhile, the Sudanese president noted that the operations being launched by the Sudanese army were meant to support the peace process, saying that "they are operations against those who stood against the state and worked to terrorize the citizens, and not against our Nuba people at the area who are the victims of the war."
Al-Bashir also urged the Sudanese political parties and forces to agree on a national program to reach a common ground, and commit to the democratic method that respects the other opinion away from violence and in commitment to the law and respect of others' rights.
"Brothers and sisters, we want the coming elections to reflect our ability to commit to that method in a free competition, and to accept the results in a positive spirit," noted al-Bashir.
In the meantime, al-Bashir reiterated his country's support for South Sudan which is witnessing violent clashes that claimed the lives of thousands of civilians.
"We stand with the stability of the situations in South Sudan as we are keen to implement the agreements signed between the two countries," said al-Bashir.
"We reiterate our support for the important decisions of the extraordinary summit of the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD), held Friday in Nairobi, to end the war in South Sudan," he said.
KHARTOUM, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- South Sudan on Tuesday admitted that the rebels have controlled many parts of the strategic town of Bor, the capital city of Jonglei state, which has seen clashes for days, Sudan's Ashrouq net reported.
"Forces led by former vice-president Riek Machar have controlled parts of the strategic town of Bor," South Sudan Information Minister Michael Makuei was quoted as saying, adding: "the rebels advanced to the middle of the town and the fighting is still continuing." Full story
UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- The UN Security Council on Monday urged all parties in South Sudan to immediately cease hostilities and engage in "direct talks without preconditions" to peacefully resolve the ongoing crisis.
"The members of the Security Council expressed their deep concern at the situation in South Sudan, in particular the devastating impact of the crisis on South Sudan's civilian population and the continuing threat to civilians," said a press statement issued here by the 15-nation body. Full story