Africa

S Sudan, Sudan talk to lessen tensions

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South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir hold talks in an attempt to reduce strains after Abyei clashes.

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir have held talks in an attempt to reduce strains after Abyei clashes.

Monday talks came after UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the African Union demanded both sides to create calm the restive area.

The tensions in Abyei, a region claimed by South Sudan and Sudan, intensified after Kual Deng Majok, the Abyei leader of the Dinka Ngok, and an Ethiopian UN peacekeeper were killed on Saturday. Both 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, saying, “the two countries must ensure that the current situation does not spiral out of control.”

Despite necessary measures taken by South Sudan and Sudan in order to settle their differences since March, Abyei’s status is not yet determined.

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