Sudan: North and south in peace pledge

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North and south Sudan's defence chiefs vowed there would be no return to war, in a rare joint statement yesterday that set out to defuse tensions before a referendum on southern secession.

Both sides have accused each other of building up arms and massing troops on their shared border with less than two months to go before a vote on whether the oil-producing south should declare independence or stay part of Sudan.

Last week, the southern army accused northern soldiers of ambushing troops in the south's Upper Nile state.