KHARTOUM - Sudan’s president has met a delegation from south Sudan’s ex-rebel movement for the first time since they withdrew their ministers from the government.
Omar al-Bashir (right) kept the delegation waiting for two days before hearing their demands for a cabinet reshuffle.
According to BBC, some have interpreted the delay as a snub, but south Sudan Vice-President Riak Machar said the meeting had been “cordial”.
He said that Bashir agreed to meet south Sudan’s leader on Wednesday. At the same time, Egypt has announced it will mediate between the two sides.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Abou el-Ghait has said he will visit Sudan on Wednesday for talks in Khartoum and the southern capital, Juba.
There have been fears that the withdrawal could jeopardise the 2005 deal that ended the 21-year north-south civil war.
The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) wants President Bashir to accept a reshuffle of ministerial posts and also wants the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), signed in 2005, to be fully implemented.
Under the deal, the SPLM controls the southern regional government and participates in the national government in Khartoum.
Machar told the BBC the parts of the CPA that had not been implemented included; redeployment of northern troops from the south, the final border demarcation which means the division of oil wealth cannot be completed and issues to pave way for a population census in 2011.