Home | News    Saturday 17 September 2011

Ethiopia’s Zenawi holds new talks with Bashir on Blue Nile and S. Kordofan crises

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September 16, 2011 (KHARTOUM) — Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Meles Zenawi met Friday for the second time with Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir in Khartoum to discuss a peaceful settlement to the armed conflict with the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N).

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Sudanese President Omer Hassan al-Bashir (R) talks with Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi (L) after Zenawi arrived on an official visit, at Khartoum Airport September 16, 2011 (Reuters)

Ethiopia, which has joint border with the Sudan and South Sudan follows closely the existing tensions Khartoum and Juba. But Addis Ababa becomes extremely concerned since the start of the recent clashes between the Sudanese army and the SPLM-N. in the neighboring Sudanese state of Blue Nile.

The fragile political stability in the country and the war with Eritrea besides a troubled neighbouring Somalia, all these factors push Meles Zenawi to offer his mediation to end the new conflict in Blue Nile and South Kordofan.

Before to leave Khartoum, Premier Minister Zenawi told reporters that he discussed with Bashir his recent initiative for a comprehensive peaceful settlement for Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan conflicts .

He further said without elaborating that the solution lies in the framework of a united Sudan and one national army.

Clashes between the Sudanese army and the SPLM-N started first in Southern Kordofan state in June as the rebels contested the election of the new governor in May.

But the rejection of President Bashir of a framework agreement to resolve the South ern Kordofan issue in July led to the emergence of another conflict in the Blue Nile, the only state to be ruled by an opposition governor.

Before to meet Zenawi, Bashir held talks with the head of the African panel for Sudan Thabo Mbeki who brokered 28 June framework deal rejected by the Sudanese president.

Bashir refuses new negotiations with the SPLM-N under international sponsorship. He says the SPLM should be disarmed and hold direct talks with the government inside the country. While the rebel group insists on the foreign mediation and says a new security arrangements should be negotiated.
The UN refugee agency (UNCR) said on Friday revised the estimated number of Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia saying they can be only 15000 persons. Initially the UN agency said 20000 Sudanese arrived in Ethiopia after the start of clashes there.

On 15 September the UNHCR said some 2,700 refugees have been voluntarily moved to Sherkole camp in Benishangul Gumuz region of western Ethiopia.

However most of the Sudanese “refugees still prefer to stay near the border in the hope that the situation will soon allow them to return", the UN agency said.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 18 September 2011 05:48, by pabaak

    Zenawi shouldn’t waste his time for the peaceful settlement, he already knew that these group of NCP are too deformed to be reform,that’s why he said about Bashier in "wiki leak" he choose to died latter than former, leave him alone, he will be deal with by forces of marginalize areas.

    repondre message

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