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Sudan’s al-Bashir opens South Sudan border

President of Sudan, Omar Hassan Al-Bashir
President of Sudan, Omar Hassan Al-Bashir

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on Tuesday announced his decision to open the border with South Sudan with a view to facilitating human and commercial traffic.

“We will stand by you [i.e., the people of South Sudan] and will not squander any chance to achieve peace in your country,” al-Bashir said during talks in Khartoum between South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar.

“South Sudanese refugees face exceptional circumstances,” he added. “We will do everything in our power to support them and ease their suffering.”

In a related development, Sudanese Foreign Minister Al-Dirdiri Mohamed Ahmed said Kiir and Machar had agreed on “many points” during the talks.

“Closed-door talks between Kiir and Machar… ended in agreement on a number of points, all of which will be announced Wednesday morning,” the Sudanese FM said without giving additional details.

Read: South Sudan peace talks kick off in Sudan

Kiir and Machar are expected to meet in Mauritania early next month in hopes of hammering out a lasting peace agreement.

South Sudan descended into war in late 2013 when Kiir accused Machar, his former vice president, of plotting a coup against him — allegations that Machar denies.

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