The governments of Sudan and South Sudan have made the decision to resume peace talks in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa; a move, which has been welcomed by the UN Secretary General, ban Ki-moon.
A spokesman for the Secretary General said that he, “encourages the parties to reconvene in an atmosphere of goodwill and calls on them to demonstrate the flexibility necessary to reach agreement on outstanding issues in accordance with the guidance and deadlines set by the African Union Peace and Security Council and the UN Security Council.”
The two countries have recently been involved in border skirmishes, which saw the capture and liberation of the key oilfield town of Heglig. The Heglig oilfield is responsible for a significant proportion of Sudan’s daily oil production.
According to El-Obeid Morawah, a spokesman for the Sudanese Foreign Ministry, the meeting is due to be held on Monday.
The UN Security Council had supported a resolution by the African Union that would see both sides hit by sanctions if they fighting continued.
Experts predict that the talks will not be straightforward, as the two bitter rivals seem unlikely to compromise.
Sudan and South Sudan have come to blows recently because of escalating tensions caused by a poorly defined border and the distribution of oil wealth in the region. An issue of particular contention was the imposition of reportedly excessive oil transit fees upon South Sudanese crude oil travelling through Sudanese pipelines. When South Sudan refused to pay these fees, Khartoum began to seize the oil as compensation.
The dispute lead South Sudan to close down its entire oil output; an decision which has been cited as a contributing factor to the raised global crude oil prices witnessed throughout 2012 so far.
Edited from various sources by David Bizley
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