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10-22-13 DBA BUTY - SOUTH SUDAN - BASHIR VISIT


SOUTH SUDAN’S FOREIGN MINISTER, BARNABA MARIAL BENJAMIN SAYS THE RESIDENTS OF THE DISPUTED OIL-RICH ABYEI REGION ARE RESTLESS AND CONTEMPLATING HOLDING A UNILATERALLY REFERENDUM THIS MONTH TO DETERMINE WHETHER TO REMAIN IN THE NORTH OR TO RETURN TO SOUTH SUDAN. THE AFRICAN UNION HIGH IMPLEMENTATION PANEL HAS PROPOSED OCTOBER THIS MONTH FOR THE REFERENDUM TO BE HELD. BUT WHILE JUBA SAYS IT SUPPORTS A REFERENDUM, KHARTOUM IS OPPOSED AND FAVORS A NEGOTIATED POLITICAL SETTLEMENT. AS SUDANESE PRESIDENT OMAR AL-BASHIR VISITS SOUTH SUDAN TODAY (TUESDAY), FOREIGN MINISTER MARIAL BENJAMIN TELLS ME IT IS ESSENTIAL FOR BOTH PRESIDENTS TO COME TO SOME UNDERSTANDING ON THE ABYEI REFERENDUM

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