January 5, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese president, Omer Hassan Al-Bashir left Khartoum for Juba on Monday to hold talks with his southern counterpart, Salva Kiir on the current political crisis, the state news agency said.
- South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, (R) welcomes his Sudanese counterpart, Omer Hassan al-Bashir outside his oresidential office in Juba on 12 April 2013 (Reuters)
Bashir, according to SUNA, is accompanied by his defence minister Abdel Rahim Hussein, foreign minister Ali Karti, oil minister Makawi Mohamed Awad, presidential affairs minister Salah Wansi and director of security and intelligence Mohamed Atta.
Last month, clashes erupted in South Sudan with fighting among a group of soldiers in the capital, Juba. The violence quickly spread to several states, cleaving the nation along the ethnic fault line of rebel leader Riek Machar’s Nuer and President Salva Kiir’s Dinka.
The pro-government Ashorooq TV reported that sources in South Sudan’s foreign ministry affirmed Bashir’s visit to Juba on Monday to meet with his South Sudanese counterpart, saying that talks between the two leaders would mainly complement the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) mediation efforts.
The IGAD is attempting to broker a deal to end weeks of conflict that has killed over 1,000 people and forced tens of thousands to flee their home.
Delegations of the two conflicting sides have held the first round of face-to-face talks in Addis Ababa on Sunday.
South Sudan’s foreign minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin was to visit Khartoum on Monday, but cancelled the planned trip due to the Sudanese president’s visit.