Sudan, South Sudan presidents to meet

2013-01-04 09:11

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Rival leaders of Sudan and South Sudan are due to meet today in the Ethiopian capital to push for progress on stalled economic, oil and security deals that were drafted to ease tension between the former civil war foes.

The meeting between Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and his Southern counterpart Salva Kiir comes despite accusations from Juba yesterday that Khartoum had launched aerial and ground attacks inside South Sudan.

Southern army spokesman Philip Aguer said Sudanese troops had struck inside South Sudan on Wednesday, just as aircraft were bombing the South’s remote north Raja region of Western Bahr el-Ghazal state.

“They attacked on Wednesday, and the fighting continued until late in the afternoon,” he said, adding the number of casualties had not been confirmed.

United Nations peacekeepers could not confirm the reports, and the claims could not be independently verified.

Sudanese army officials could not be immediately reached.

But South Sudan’s Information Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin said Kiir was still committed to the talks.

“The talks will still take place as planned, we have given our word and we are committed to them,” Benjamin told AFP.

“Our chief negotiator Pagan Amum is already in Addis Ababa... This summit is important because we want to ensure the full implementation of the agreements we have already signed.”

State owned Sudan News Agency (SUNA), also reported late Thursday that Sudan’s Bashir would attend the talks.

“President Bashir will leave tomorrow morning to the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa for a two-day visit. He will meet with the president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, to discuss the pending issues and to speed up implementation of the cooperation agreements signed by the two presidents last September,” SUNA said.

Previous meetings of the two leaders have been repeatedly delayed or postponed.

However, delegations from both nations have already arrived in Addis Ababa, the seat of the African Union which has mediated repeated rounds of talks.

The accusations of attacks will add to tensions between the presidents, who are meeting for the first summit since they signed security and oil agreements in September that have not been implemented.

Along with a demilitarised border buffer zone, the September pacts allowed for a resumption of South Sudanese oil exports through northern pipelines. They also said border points would be reopened for general trade.

South Sudan separated from Sudan in July 2011 under a peace agreement that ended a 1983-2005 civil war, but key issues including the demarcation of hotly contested border zones remain unresolved.

The future of the disputed Abyei region, a Lebanon-sized area straddling the volatile border, must also be decided.

The two nations came close to all-out war in March and April last year, when their armies fought bitter battles over their disputed frontier.

Khartoum also accuses South Sudan of supporting rebels operating in Sudan, which has been a major obstacle to implementing the agreements.

The South, in turn, says Sudan backs insurgents on its territory, a tactic it used to deadly effect during the two decades of civil war.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Boks more focused after Japan shock
Springboks' bus driver inspires team in UK
Mallett says 'no thanks' after England call
Picamoles back for France v Ireland
Traffic Alerts

It is always easier to notice the faults in others rather than face our own. Focusing too much on the perfect and ideal more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.