Bashir to visit South Sudan

April 11, 2013 at 12:54 PM
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JUBA, South Sudan, April 11 (UPI) -- South Sudan urged its citizens Thursday to welcome Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir when he visits Juba.

Bashir is scheduled to arrive Friday, accompanied by an official delegation of 65, including the ministers of defense, foreign affairs and the interior, the Sudan Tribune reported.

"We would ask for a warm reception from our citizens in honor of the visit," Barnaba Marial, a government spokesman, said at a news conference.

Bashir, who came to power in a 1989 coup, is one of the world's most controversial leaders. His rule was marked first by the civil war that ended with the creation of South Sudan and then by the conflict in the Darfur region. The International Criminal Court has charged him with war crimes.

Marial said there will be a ministerial meeting and a one-on-one meeting between Bashir and South Sudan President Salva Kiir.

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