South Sudan upbeat on peace prospects

Sept. 28, 2012 at 11:56 AM   |   Comments

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- Most disputes between South Sudan and Sudan can be resolved peacefully if each side honors its obligations, a South Sudanese leader said.

Leaders from Sudan and South Sudan met in Ethiopia for multilateral talks aimed at resolving issues left over from a comprehensive peace agreement signed in 2005. The deal paved the way to South Sudan's independence last year, though issues over oil revenue and border demarcation have threatened the peace.

South Sudanese Vice President Riek Machar said at the U.N. General Assembly that he was optimistic about preliminary agreements reached during talks in Ethiopia.

"It is envisaged that if each side upholds its part of this agreement, the most significant causes of dispute between our two countries will have been amicably resolved," he said.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said "if implemented" the agreements would provide substantial benefits to both countries. Border conflicts and resulting humanitarian issues, she said, remained issues the international community considered unacceptable, however.

Thousands of civilians have fled border conflicts in the region. Both sides nearly went to war over disputed territory early this year.

"Our nascent nation has been tested enormously in its first year of independence," concluded Machar.

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