South Sudan says progress achieved to end peace crisis

November 2, 2007 (Xinhua)

Southern Sudan announced Friday evening that a tangible progress had been achieved in its meeting with Khartoum late in the day to remove the current political crisis between the two main partners in the central government.

Luka Biong, minister of presidency in the southern Sudan government, made the announcement following a meeting between Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir and First Vice President and Chairman of the former rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) Salva Kiir Mayardit who represents the south.

This was the third meeting between al-Bashir and Mayardit since the latter took a decision on Oct. 11 to withhold his movement’s participation in the central government in Khartoum, causing the most serious political crisis in more than two years.

Biong told the official SUNA news agency that al-Bashir and Mayardit had agreed to set up a technical committee to map out decisions regarding with the census, the demarcation of the permanent boundaries between northern and southern Sudan as well as the national unity.

He said that the two sides had ironed out all the differences except "simple problems" on the situations of the Abiye enclave and the interim boundaries, adding that these problems would be solved within two or three days.

"The president and the first vice president will issue in the next few days a decision to reactivate the partnership," Biong said.

On the return of the SPLM ministers to the central government, Biong said "we want that to be done in an official ceremony under the supervision of the president and the vice presidents to show the spirit of the agreement," referring to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed by al-Bashir’s government and the SPLM in2005.

In a meeting on Thursday, the Sudanese government and the SPLM reached agreements on a demilitarization of oilfields and cities as well as redeployments of the troops of the two sides in southern Sudan.

The two sides agreed that these steps would be completed by Jan.9, 2008, the third anniversary of the CPA signing, which is aimed to end the 21-year conflict between the them.


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