Sudan and South Sudan Presidents Meet in Bid to Avoid War

Posted July 14th, 2012 at 7:35 pm (UTC-5)
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The presidents of Sudan and South Sudan have met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and pledged to negotiate their differences peacefully.

On the sidelines of an African Union summit, President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan and President Salva Kiir of South Sudan met Saturday at a hotel. It was the first such meeting between the two men since their countries came close to war in April over oil revenue, border disputes and security issues.

AU officials say the two presidents had each addressed a session of the AU Peace and Security Council before they spoke with each other and both had pledged to talk about their differences rather than resort to fighting.

After years of conflict between the largely Muslim, Arabic-speaking north and the mostly Christian south, a 2005 peace accord paved the way for the independence of South Sudan in 2011.

But there are unresolved questions about borders and oil since most of the oil resources are in South Sudan which is landlocked and must transport the oil through Sudan.

The two countries face the threat of sanctions from the United Nations Security Council unless they resolve their differences over oil revenues and border demarcation by an August 2 deadline set by the U.N.