Leaders of two Sudans agree on border buffer zone: mediator

Sat Jan 5, 2013 3:02pm EST
 

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - The leaders of Sudan and South Sudan have agreed to set up a long-delayed demilitarized zone along their disputed border as soon as possible, a condition for the resumption of oil exports, an African Union mediator said on Saturday.

Sudan's Omar Hassan al-Bashir and South Sudan's Salva Kiir held two days of talks in Ethiopia to try to defuse tensions that brought them close to war in April.

The leaders agreed in September to end hostilities and withdraw their armies from their disputed border, but the two sides have failed to implement the agreement.

"They've ... agreed that actions should be taken as soon as possible to implement all the existing agreements unconditionally," AU mediator Thabo Mbeki said after the summit, which Bashir and Kiir left without giving any statements. Mbeki gave no specific timeframe for the commitment.

(Editing by Kevin Liffey)

 
Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir (C) speaks during a meeting with leaders from South Sudan at the National Palace in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa January 5, 2013. The leaders of Sudan and South Sudan met late on Friday to try to defuse hostility that has simmered since the south broke away in 2011 and restart cross-border oil flows to rescue their crumbling economies. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri