Sudan, S. Sudan break off talks despite some progress

By REUTERS
August 4, 2012 03:05

 
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ADDIS ABABA - Sudan and South Sudan late on Friday broke off talks to end hostilities after failing to end their disputes on border security and oil payments despite Khartoum making some oil price concessions, officials said.

The UN Security Council had given the neighbors until Thursday to resolve their conflicts or face sanctions. The African Union (AU), which is hosting talks, is now expected to extend the deadline to try bridge the differences, diplomats said.

The two nations came to the brink of a full war in April after border fighting escalated, the worst violence since South Sudan became independent in July last year under a 2005 agreement that ended decades of civil war with Khartoum.

The messy divorce failed to mark the disputed border and to define how much landlocked South Sudan should pay to export its oil through the north. Oil is the lifeline of both economies.

The rivals appeared to make headway in the past few days with both sides making concessions to end the oil dispute, which saw Juba shut down its production in January after Sudan took millions of barrels for what it said was unpaid fees.

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