ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- Sudanese leaders greeted proposals to end border disputes offered during multilateral talks in the Ethiopian capital with mixed reviews.
South Sudan gained independence last year as part of a comprehensive peace deal brokered with Khartoum in 2005. The border separating the two countries, including the disputed territory of Abyei, is poorly defined. The countries came close to war this year over conflicts regarding disputed oil fields along the border.
A spokesman for a joint oversight committee on Abyei told the independent Sudan Tribune a proposal for an October 2013 referendum for the disputed region was "OK."
South Sudanese leader Juac Agok, however, took a wait-and-see approach to the status of Abyei.
"The conduct of successful referendum can only be feasible if Sudan armed forces which continue to illegally remain in the area are driven out of Abyei by a neutral force," he said.
Ethiopia hosted multilateral talks aimed at resolving unsettled issues between both sides. The BBC reported talks in the Ethiopian capital lasted about an hour Monday.
|Additional Special Reports Stories|