Sudan, South Sudan Resume Peace Talks

Posted May 29th, 2012 at 11:35 am (UTC-5)
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Sudan and South Sudan have begun their first direct peace talks since cross-border clashes erupted last month.

The African Union-led talks started in Addis Ababa on Tuesday. The two countries are locked in bitter disputes stemming from South Sudan's independence last year, mostly involving borders and oil.

Speaking to VOA Tuesday, South Sudan's chief negotiator, Pagan Amum, said his side had returned to the bargaining table with an open mind and hoped Sudan would make a true effort to resolve the issues.

Talks broke down last month after clashes between Sudan and South Sudan raised fears of all-out war.

The unrest included the South's occupation of the disputed Heglig oil town and alleged Sudanese airstrikes on southern territory.

On Monday, Sudan pledged to withdraw its troops from the oil-producing Abyei region as a goodwill gesture, ahead of the talks. South Sudan pulled its forces from the contested region earlier this month.