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Sudan leader: I'll liberate south

Sudan's president has threatened to topple his rival government to the south as fears grow between an all-out war between the two neighbouring countries.

As the international community pushed for a peaceful solution to the dispute, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir vowed to "liberate" the people of South Sudan, saying it was his country's duty to them.

South Sudan broke away from Sudan in July after decades of civil war, creating the world's newest country.

But the two never agreed on how to share the oil wealth found in the region between the countries and the border was never fully demarcated.

Fighting has intensified in the last several weeks amid fears the two sides could return to an all-out war. On Tuesday, soldiers from Sudan and South Sudan clashed at a river dividing their two countries, leaving 22 dead as fighting spread to a new area of the tense border.

The river battle comes amid wider violence along the shared border around the oil town of Heglig, which South Sudan troops took control of last week. Sudanese aircraft have been bombing South Sudan's Unity State as a part of that fighting.

Speaking to young members of his ruling party in Khartoum, the Sudanese president accused the ruling South Sudan People's Liberation Movement and its army of implementing an "external" agenda that don't serve its own people.

Al-Bashir accused the Juba government, led by the republic's first president Salva Kiir Mayardit, of trying to topple his administration and vowed to retaliate.

"This situation makes it imperative upon Sudan to confront the challenge of the State of South Sudan to topple the government in Khartoum by working to liberate the Southern nationals," from the southern ruling party, he said.

African Union mediator Thabo Mbeki urged the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday to take action to stop the fighting between Sudan and South Sudan, warning that both sides are locked in a "logic of war" with hardliners increasingly in control.

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