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August 01, 2012 10:23 AM
South Sudan Minister Meets President Mugabe
HARARE, Zimbabwe, Aug 1 (Bernama) -- Republic of South Sudan Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Barnaba Benjamin on Tuesday delivered a special message to President Robert Mugabe appraising him on the efforts to end conflict between his country and Khartoum, reports Zimbabwe's news agency New Ziana.
Khartoum fought a bitter civil war with Southern forces that spanned over five decades ending in 2005 when a comprehensive peace agreement was reached.
A Referendum conducted in January 2010 saw the country splitting into North and the South resulting in the South Sudan gaining its independence on July 9, 2011.
Since then the two neighbours have, however, accused each other of reneging on the peace agreement coming close to war when border fighting escalated in April.
African Union-sponsored peace talks have collapsed over disputed issues including where to mark the border and how much landlocked Juba should pay to export oil through northern pipelines.
The two countries face sanctions from the United Nations Security Council if they do not resolve their disputes by this Thursday, Aug 2.
Addressing journalists after the meeting, Benjamin said South Sudan President Salva Kirr had sent him to brief President Mugabe on the progress made in the peace talks.
"We would like the President to understand the position of South Sudan because Zimbabwe is a member of the African Union peace and Security Council," he said.
Benjamin said negotiations between the two sides had stalled.
"It seems we are not agreeing and there is a possibility that the AU Peace and Security Council will refer the matter to the UN Security Council."
Benjamin said issues that had stalled talks included refusal by the north to accept demarcations of the oil rich common border.
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