July 6, 2012 (KHARTOUM) — President Salva Kiir has invited his Sudanese counterpart Omer Al-Bashir to attend the celebration of the first anniversary of South Sudan independence, Juba said on Friday.
South Sudan despite the severe economic crisis is preparing to receive different heads of states and dignitaries expected to attend the event. The new country even imported solar street lights for Juba roads.
Salva Kiir who was supportive to the independence of South Sudan had difficult relations with Omar Al-Bashir during the interim period but he appreciated Bashir’s commitment to the referendum on self-determination and its outcome.
Abdon Agaw, secretary general of South Sudan government told Al-Jazeera that President Salva Kiir extended an invitation to President Al-Bashir in spite of the current tension between the two countries.
Khartoum accuses juba of supporting and harbouring rebel groups from South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur. Further, the armies of the two countries clashed over Heglig as Juba contested the ownership of the oil producing area.
Abdon said they did not yet receive a response from the Sudanese presidency.
The Sudanese embassy in Juba confirmed the invitation saying they expect to receive a response on Saturday evening.
In Addis Ababa, the mediation announced the suspension of the talks on the security issues up to 12 July, as the South Sudanese delegation demanded the postponement to attend the celebrations of the first anniversary of the independence.
South Sudan government spokesperson and minister of information Barnaba Marial Benjamin confirmed that the two leaders will meet in Addis Ababa on the sidelines of the African Union summit next week.
Barnaba said the meeting aims to break the deadlock on the outstanding issues in the current talks brokered by the African Union mediation in Addis Ababa.
Juba demands to bring the difference over border demarcation and the disputed areas on the common border to the international arbitration but Khartoum rejects this proposition.
Despite the difficult economic conjuncture Khartoum also refuses to reopen the pipeline for the exportation of South Sudanese oil stressing that Juba should stop its support to the rebels and expel them from its territory.