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AFRICA > South Sudan delays direct talks with Sudan after strike

JUBA - Agence France-Presse

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Sudan said it is willing to continue direct peace talks with South Sudan at a new round in Ethiopia, but the South said it will only talk through an African Union panel after accusing Khartoum of renewed air strikes.

South Sudan said it was cancelling planned face-to-face peace talks with Sudan after accusing Khartoum of launching a new air raid on its territory. Sudan denied bombing its southern neighbor, saying it had only targeted Darfuri rebels inside its own territory. “We were left with no choice but to suspend our direct bilateral talks with Sudan. You can’t sit with them to negotiate when they are bombing our territory.” the spokesman for Juba’s delegation at the talks in Addis Ababa, Atif Kiir, said. “The only negotiations that will happen now will happen through the panel,” he added, referring to an African Union mediation panel in the Ethiopian capital. Meanwhile, “SAF (Sudanese Armed Forces) didn’t violate South Sudanese territory,” Khartoum’s official SUNA news agency quoted one of Sudan’s negotiators, Omar Dahab, as saying.

July/23/2012

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