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Sudan hails 'victory' as South Sudan pulls out of oil zone

Sudan hails 'victory' as South Sudan pulls out of oil zone
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Sudan has declared victory in a border crisis with the newly-independent south that brought the two nations to the brink of all-out war.

Khartoum celebrated South Sudan’s announcement that it was withdrawing its troops from a disputed oil region seized from Sudan more than a week ago.

The South’s troops were in fact forced out, says the Sudanese leadership, now envisaging economic reprisals against its southern neighbour.

Addressing a ‘victory’ rally, President Omar al-Bashir threatened to keep Sudan’s oil pipelines closed to the South’s crude exports.

The South says its withdrawal from Heglig was in response to appeals from world leaders but that it still considers the oil zone to be part of its territory.

The countries are at loggerheads over their border and other disputes had already halted nearly all the oil production underpinning both economies.

After decades of civil war, South Sudan split from Sudan last July, under a 2005 peace deal, taking with it most of the country’s known oil reserves.