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Sudan Retakes Disputed Oil-Rich Region

RIA Novosti

20:41 20/04/2012 KHARTOUM, April 20 (RIA Novosti) - The Sudanese Army has retaken Heglig, the main city in the eponymous disputed oil district, a week after the South Sudanese Army entered the area, the SUNA news agency said on Friday.

“Armed forces today freed the city of Heglig from invaders of the South Sudanese Army units,” the agency quoted Defense Minister Abdel Rahim Muhammed Hussein as saying.

Earlier on Friday, South Sudan's Information Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin said his country’s troops were withdrawing from Heglig and will complete the withdrawal in three days.

He added that South Sudan, which won independence in 2011 in a referendum, will seek to determine the border region’s status in an international court.

South Sudan’s independence, which followed decades of civil war, has failed to resolve all issues between Khartoum and Juba and fighting still rages in disputed territories along the border.

South Sudan forces entered the oil-producing border region of Heglig, which the 2009 ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague included into Sudan’s Southern Kordofan state. Clashes between armed forces of Sudan and South Sudan left about 330 servicemen dead on both sides.

Heglig accounts for 60,000 out of 115,000 barrels of oil produced in Sudan daily.

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