Sudan-South will still hold summit: Mbeki

By Abdelmoneim Abu Edris Ali
Previous |  Next 
By Abdelmoneim Abu Edris Ali

4/6/2012 9:50:01 PM -

KHARTOUM (AFP) - A summit between the presidents of Sudan and South Sudan will go ahead despite its postponement after border clashes between the neighbours, African Union mediator Thabo Mbeki said in Khartoum on Friday.

Speaking after a two-hour meeting with President Omar al-Bashir, the AU mediator gave no new date for the summit which was originally planned for last Tuesday.

"President Bashir confirmed that the summit between him and President Salva Kiir is to take place after necessary preparation. When and where will be decided after the preparation committee finishes its work," said Mbeki, who travelled to Khartoum after holding talks with Kiir in Juba on Thursday.

At the Juba meeting, Kiir "said the summit between him and Bashir must take place," Mbeki told reporters.

His talks with the two leaders came after negotiators from Juba and Khartoum failed to sign an agreement on security after the latest AU-mediated talks concluded on Wednesday in the Ethiopian capital.

It was the first face-to-face meeting between the combatants since the clashes.

Mbeki denied in Addis Ababa that negotiations had reached an impasse.

South Sudan's lead negotiator Pagan Amum accused the Khartoum delegation of walking out of the talks, saying "war mongering" prevented them from signing the agreement.

He also said South Sudan's army downed a Sudanese fighter jet over a border area on the southern territory, but Sudan rejected the claim as well as the accusation that it refused to sign a deal.

The Khartoum delegation said it had to return home for consultations before committing to the accord.

Clashes broke out almost two weeks ago between Sudan and South Sudan along their undemarcated and disputed frontier, in the most serious unrest since the South gained independence from Khartoum last July, after Africa's longest war.

International fears have mounted of a return to full-blown conflict.

Sudan suspended the leaders' summit after the border confrontation began on March 26.

Mbeki said talks will resume within seven to 10 days, "because both sides said they are ready to come back to negotiations."

Juba and Khartoum have traded blame over who started the fighting in the oil-rich Heglig region close to the border.

Sudan's army has made repeated allegations of incursions by Southern troops, while the South in turn has claimed numerous air strikes on its territory by the north.

In February, the two sides signed a non-aggression pact but it has been repeatedly violated.

A Good lover does put his heart on his tongue.

Heavy fighting in S. Sudan after UN

Members of South Sudan's former rebel army, the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), are seen in the town of Bentiu, on January 12, 2014.  By Simon Maina (AFP/File) Friday, August 15, 2014

Juba (AFP) - South Sudan's civil war entered its ninth month Friday with rebels ...
read more »

Arrested S.Sudan journalist 'freed'

An aerial view of central Juba, South Sudan, January 10, 2014.  By Nichole Sobecki (AFP/File) Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Juba (AFP) - Security forces in war-torn South Sudan on Tuesday released a repor ...
read more »