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Sudan Tribune

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Taha, Kiir discuss troop buildup on Sudan’s North-South borders

October 12, 2010 (JUBA) – The Sudanese First Vice President Salva Kiir and 2nd Vice president Ali Osman Taha met in Juba today to discuss a number of issues including the reported military build-up on the North-South border, state media reported today.

Sudanese First Vice President Salva Kiir (L), who heads Sudan's former rebel SPLM, and Second Vice President Ali Osman Taha (R) (AFP)
Sudanese First Vice President Salva Kiir (L), who heads Sudan’s former rebel SPLM, and Second Vice President Ali Osman Taha (R) (AFP)
Sudan official news agency (SUNA) cited Kiir as saying that both sides agreed to calm the situation and stop the media escalation between the National Congress Party (NCP) and Sudan people Liberation Movement (SPLM).

Kiir said that the joint defense council and the ceasefire monitoring body has been instructed to increase its activities.

Last week, Sudanese armed forces (SAF) accused the SPLA of amassing troops along the borders of the southern state of Upper Nile state and White Nile in the North. The Northern army spokesperson warned that holding the referendum might not be possible if these violations continue.

The SPLA denied the accusations and called for a independent monitors to verify these claims.

Kiir had asked the visiting United Nations Security Council (UNSC) delegation last week to authorize deployment of UN troops along the North-South borders. The diplomats said the request would be considered but they made no promises to Kiir.

The NCP flatly rejected any such consideration for such a request by the council.

In his meeting with Taha, the First VP said that a presidency meeting would convene next week to review the progress in implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

Sudan’s oil-producing south is three months away from the scheduled start of a politically sensitive referendum on whether to secede or stay part of Sudan, a vote promised in a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war with the north.

Sudan’s Muslim north and its south, where most follow Christianity and traditional beliefs, have still not agreed on the position of their shared border and analysts fear conflict could re-erupt in contested zones, some of which contain oil.