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Bashir sends message to Kagame as Khartoum-Juba tensions mount

Sudanese President Omar el Bashir has sent envoys to Kigali to deliver a message to his counterpart, President Paul Kagame.

Sudanese President Omar el Bashir has sent envoys to Kigali to deliver a message to his counterpart, President Paul Kagame.

Both the Sudanese embassy in Kigali and Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs and Cooperation minister Louise Mushikiwabo confirmed the development to The New Times last evening.

The delegation will be led by Ahmed Abdelrahman Mohamed, a senior Member of Parliament and president of the International Popular Friendship Council, according to the embassy.

Sudan is in a state of war with its newest neighbour, Southern Sudan – which seceded from Khartoum only last year –, over issues that remain unresolved under the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that resulted in Juba’s independence.

At the heart of the tensions lie disputed oil fields along the common border. Both sides have exchanged fire in recent days.

Bashir’s message to Kagame will be all-the-more important because Rwanda has peacekeepers serving under UN missions both in Sudan and South Sudan.

The team, which was expected last night, will hold meetings with Minister Mushikiwabo and her Defence counterpart, Gen. James Kabarebe, before meeting Senate president Dr Jean Damascene Ntawukuliryayo and Chamber of Deputies Speaker Rose Mukantabana.

The Sudanese team will, however, not meet President Kagame as he’s out of the country, officials said.

“Rwanda, being a troop contributor to both Sudans and given the current tensions there…we believe the message is in that direction,” Mushikiwabo told The New Times.

She said Rwanda was “optimistic the situation will be settled peacefully since Khartoum and Juba have previously handled more difficult issues.”

A week ago, President Kagame and the other Heads of State of the East African Community (EAC),  called on both sides to end the hostilities and to return to peace talks.

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