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AU mediator Mbeki in Khartoum this week: ministry

African Union mediator Thabo Mbeki, pictured in 2010, is expected in Khartoum this week (© 2009 AFP)

African Union mediator Thabo Mbeki is expected in Khartoum this week, Sudan’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday, the day before a key UN deadline for Sudan and South Sudan to resume talks.

“Mbeki himself is expected in Khartoum tomorrow or the day after tomorrow to discuss the details of negotiations, like the dates and the agenda,” foreign ministry spokesman Al-Obeid Meruh told AFP.

A May 2 United Nations Security Council resolution gave Sudan and South Sudan two weeks — until May 16 — to unconditionally resume the AU-led talks.

Sudan withdrew from the negotiations after South Sudanese troops occupied the north’s main oil region of Heglig on April 10.

The 10-day occupation coincided with Sudanese air raids on South Sudanese territory, leading to fears of wider war.

The UN resolution called for a halt to the fighting and a resumption of talks to settle “critical” issues, which were left unresolved after the South’s separation in July last year following a 1983-2005 civil war.

These include oil payments, the status of each country’s citizens resident in the other, the status of the contested Abyei region, and resolution of disputed and “claimed” border areas as well as demarcation of the frontier.

There has been no reported fighting along the border for several days.

Signature : KHARTOUM (AFP)

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