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Sudan Talks Resume on Border Issues

Sudan's Defense Minister Abdel Raheem Muhammad Hussein shows a map highlighting contested borderlands between Sudan and South Sudan during a news conference in Khartoum, Sudan, June 8, 2012.
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Sudan and South Sudan have resumed their negotiations in Ethiopia. The two countries need to reach an agreement on several unresolved issues before September 22 or they will face United Nations sanctions.

The Sudan talks in Ethiopia's capital resumed Tuesday. Former South African President Thabo Mbeki is mediating the negotiations, which center on issues related to the border, citizenship status, the Abyei region, security, and oil revenue.
Negotiators met Tuesday to set the agenda for the coming weeks. Both Sudan’s chief negotiator, Idris Abdul-Qader, and South Sudan's Minister for Cabinet Affairs Deng Alor attended.

The meeting on Wednesday focused on the border issue. South Sudan’s Alor explains why the negotiations start with discussions about the border.

“Both parties have their team ready, so we are starting with the borders and then we will continue with the rest of the issues, as on the agenda,” said Alor.

Sudan prefers not to discuss the negotiations while they are ongoing.

South Sudan gained independence from Sudan last year under a 2005 agreement that ended the long Sudanese civil war.

Disputes over oil and the Abyei region led to clashes along the border earlier this year, and sparked fears that the two countries could slip back into all-out war.