Bashir and Kiir vow closer cooperation for sustainable peace in N. & S. Sudan
October 8, 2011 (Sudan Tribune)
Sudanese leaders from the North and the South vowed to work closely together to resolve their differences through dialogue and enhanced cooperation between the two countries and ruled out return to war.
President Salva Kiir Mayadrit arrived Saturday to Khartoum where he was warmly welcomed by his Sudanese counterpart Omer Hassan al-Bashir in his first visit as President of the Republic of South Sudan.
Despite the independence of South Sudan, the two countries are yet to agree over many issues that remained unresolved such as the Abyei, border demarcation, debit, fees for oil exportation through Port-Sudan and use of the pipeline. Also since June there has been a war in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile where the South Sudan ruling party (SPLM) is openly accused of supporting their former comrades in these north Sudanese regions.
Bashir and Kiir were keen today to show their commitment to settle all these issues through dialogue. They also meant to send positive signals to ease the strained relations since the independence of south Sudan in July 2011.
"By the same good will (of Naivasha talks), we will not go back to war", said Bashir in a speech before the two delegation after a close-door meeting between the two leader. The Sudanese president further expressed his appreciation to the visit which "has assured us of this political will".
"if we lost unity, at least we should win the peace," he stressed. However he said that Juba is to be blamed because of "harboring elements hostile to Sudan’s stability". Bashir was referring to the leadership of SPLM-North.
In his speech before the United Nations General Assembly last month, Salva Kiir, denied interfering in Sudan’s "domestic conflict situation".
Today Kiir reiterated his commitment to dialogue with Khartoum over unresolved issues and suggested to activate direct channels. "Like you, we are committed not to go back to war". "We are committed to find solutions", he added.
"Now if it happened that there are any elements that are taking us back to that square, I think all of us should then take such people as the enemies of our peoples", he pointed out.
Analysts and foreign diplomats in Khartoum say this visit should be seen as a first step in a "confidence building" process between the two parties who have to learn how to deal as two independent states.
The five committees formed by the two sides for talks over Abyei, the border, debt, and oil, might continue their works and future meetings might take place in Juba during the upcoming weeks.
However, a special focus was given Saturday to the security meetings where the issue of rebel groups in Blue Nile, Southern Kordofan and Darfur were discussed. It was also noted that the Sudanese side was headed by defense minister Abdelrahim Hussein while the South was represented by security minister Oyay Deng Ajak.
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