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Page last updated at 09:09 GMT, Friday, 27 April 2012 10:09 UK

South Sudan: 'Humanitarian catastrophe imminent'


Sudan appears to have bowed to international pressure and halted its attacks on South Sudan after a military incursion and bombardments earlier this week threatened to plunge the two countries into a full-scale war.

A few days ago, South Sudan pulled its own forces out of the Heglig oilfield in the disputed border area, but both sides have continued to trade allegations of attacks and territorial abuses.

Baroness Caroline Cox, who has just returned from a visit to Sudan on behalf of the Humanitarian Relief Trust, told the Today programme's John Humphrys that a humanitarian catastrophe is "imminent" in Sudan and South Sudan.

She firmly placed the blame on Sudan, saying that "Khartoum is the major perpetrator of aggression".

Baroness Cox said that South Sudan needed independence because it has its own huge challenges and "could do without the north creating instability on its border and attacking its own people".

She called on diplomatic sanctions to be imposed on Khartoum by the British government.

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