Juba, South Sudan, 28 Jumadil Akhir 1434/7 May 2013 (MINA) – South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir have held peace talks, Monday (6/5) in Juba, in an attempt to reduce strains after Abyei clashes that killed a tribal leader and peacekeeping troops from Ethiopia.
Talks came after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the African Union demanded both sides to pacify the restive area.
The tensions in Abyei, a region claimed by Sudan and South Sudan, intensified after Kual Deng Majok, the Abyei leader of the Dinka Ngok and an Ethiopian UN peacekeeper were killed on Saturday. Juba and Khartoum slammed the deadly clashes.
“Our president has been in direct contact with president Bashir. They exchanged ideas about this sad incident,” South Sudan’s Information Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin said.
Ban advised both countries on “avoiding any escalation of this unfortunate event,” with the AU, as the mediator between Juba and Khartoum, the Press TV quoted by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA) as reporting..
“The two countries must ensure that the current situation does not spiral out of control,” Ban said.
Despite necessary measures taken by South and South Sudan in order to settle their differences since March, but Abyei’s status is not yet determined.
Abyei’s status remained unresolved after South Sudan and Sudan split in July 2011. The division of two countries put off the referendum which to resolve Abyei’s future, sparking more chaos in the region. (T/P09/E1).
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA).