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Ban Ki-moon and Sudan’s Bashir meet in Tehran

August 30, 2012 (KHARTOUM) — The Sudanese President and United Nations Secretary General discussed Thursday in the Iranian capital, Tehran, the latest developments on the outstanding issues process and bilateral relations between Juba and Khartoum.

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) meets with Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 29 Nov 2007 (UN/file)

Since the arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court against President Omer Al-Bashir in March 2009, UN chief Ban Ki-moon sought to shun direct meetings with him so as not be criticized by human rights groups.

The ICC got involved in Darfur’s war crimes when the UN Security Council decided to refer the case to the court following the death of about 300,000 civilians in the region as direct result of a counter insurgency campaign in 2005.

Following April 2010 general elections, Ban Ki-moon however defended his special representative Haile Menkerios and UNAMID chief who attended Bashir’s inauguration saying it was part of their mission in Sudan.

Sudan’s foreign ministry Ali Ahmed Karti, said in statements released in Khartoum said the meeting tackled the situation in the country where government troops are facing rebels in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

They further discussed the outstanding issues between Sudan and South Sudan, the minister said.

"The meeting discussed ways to implement U.N. resolution 2046, the continued violations by South Sudan and the controversy that has arisen about the new map issued by the African mediator to operationalise a demilitarised zone between the two countries," Karti told the official SUNA from Tehran.

Khartoum last week reiterated its rejection to the AU map to line the buffer zone and called on the mediation to reconsider this map which includes an area called Mile 14 near the Kiir/Bahr el Arab River.

The mediation said the purpose of this map is to define the buffer zone, emphasising it will will not prejudicial to any final border demarcation between the two countries .

President Bashir will meet the chief mediator Thabo Mbeki who is expected to arrive Thursday in Khartoum before the resumption of talks in Addis Ababa on 4 September .

Mbeki also has to brief the UN Security Council by the end of September following a summit gathering Bashir and South Sudanese president Salva Kiir to discuss Abyei and other unresolved issues.

The leadership council of the ruling National Congress Party was informed by the First Vice President and NCP deputy chairman Ali Osman Taha about the ongoing preparations for the upcoming round of talks.

Sudanese officials say the enforcement of any deal they reach with the seal with the South Sudanese government depends on the implementation of security arrangements.

Sudan considers it crucial that Juba distances itself from Sudanese rebels groups particularly the SPLM-North combatants who fought besides the South Sudanese before the independence. Juba denies the allegation and blames Khartoum for stoking rebellion in South Sudan. A charge the Sudanese government also deny.

(ST)