September 8, 2013 (JUBA) – Thabo Mbeki, the head of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) has urged South Sudan’s Salva Kiir to continue engaging his Sudanese counterpart so that both countries can peacefully resolve their outstanding issues.
- Thabo Mbeki (L) and South Sudan’s Salva Kiir (AFP photo)
Mbeki made these remarks Saturday during a close-door meeting he held with Kiir in the capital, Juba.
The two leaders, sources told Sudan Tribune, discussed the current outstanding issues between the two countries, including Khartoum’s allegation that Juba supports the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) rebels in its territories.
Kiir had, in the past, proposed to facilitate talks with the rebel group fighting Sudan’s South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.
The Sudanese government also reiterated its willingness to negotiate on issue of the Two Areas with the SPLM-N rebels.
On Thursday, while meeting Sudan’s Omer Al-Bashir, Mbeki said he felt a strong willingness from the Sudans to build flexible and firm relationships taking into account the interest of their people.
The former South African president also predicted that the two countries will normalise their relations and resolve the outstanding issues smoothly and efficiently.
On Sunday, former president Thabo Mbeki is expected to meet new South Sudanese vice-president James Wani Igga before to release a press statement, concluding his visit to Juba.
Kiir and Bashir on Tuesday held talks in Khartoum, days before Sudanese authorities could implement an earlier order to close the pipeline that transports crude oil from the south.
According to the joint communiqué, the two leaders agreed to overcome all the obstacles hampering the implementation of the cooperation agreements, activate all the committees related to its enforcement and tasked the two foreign ministers to coordinate and supervise their activities.
They agreed to facilitate the work of the African committees proposed by the mediation to support the implementation of the signed agreements.
The two presidents also pledged to continue constructive dialogue to resolve the remaining issues including Abyei and border disputed areas. The statement also provides the need to reach an agreement on the formation of the temporary institutions in Abyei.