Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Ashton on behalf of the Commission
The High Representative/Vice-President has followed very closely the recent escalation of conflict between Sudan and South Sudan. On 11 April 2012 she strongly condemned the acts of violence committed by both sides and urged them to immediately end hostilities and return to the negotiation table. President Van Rompuy called on South Sudan's President Salva Kiir to ask for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of South Sudan's forces from the Heglig oil fields.
The Foreign Affairs Council on 23 April 2012 repeated the condemnation of actions by both sides and welcomed South Sudan's withdrawal from Heglig. On 26 April, the High Representative/Vice-President welcomed the adoption by the African Union Peace and Security Council (AU PSC) of a Roadmap to end tensions between the parties. On 5 May 2012, she welcomed UN Security Council Resolution 2046 (2012) backing the AU Roadmap and urged both parties to start implementing it.
The EU supports the implementation of the Roadmap and the UN Security Council Resolution in its bilateral diplomatic contacts, including the possibility of imposing settlements on outstanding issue and non-military sanctions.
The EU continues to support, both politically and financially, the AU High Level Implementation Panel. The implementation of the Roadmap also requires united international engagement. The EU is reaching out to other international players with influence over Khartoum and Juba such as China, Arab and other countries in the region, to ensure a coherent approach.
In addition, humanitarian agencies operating in areas affected by the fighting, many of which receive funding from the EU, have been providing support (shelter, food, water and sanitation) to the displaced, as well as medical assistance to wounded civilians.