Maputo — The Sudanese government has asked Mozambican President Armando Guebuza to become involved, either directly or via the African Union, in the attempt to find a solution to the conflict between Sudan and South Sudan.
Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Kirti, speaking to reporters in Maputo on Thursday, after he was received by Guebuza, said his government believes Mozambique can play a role in the search for a solution that can halt the slide to war.
Kirti, who gave Guebuza a message from Sudanese President Omar al Bashir, said "I am here to explain to President Guebuza what is happening in Sudan and I also asked for his involvement in the matter, with the African Union or with the President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, since our two countries have excellent ties".
Kirti attributed all the blame for the current situation to South Sudan, which became independent from Sudan last year, after an armed conflict that had lasted for more than two decades.
He claimed that South Sudan is sheltering and supporting the rebel movements fighting in the Sudanese provinces of Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan, in violation of the peace agreement signed in Naivasha, Kenya, in 2005.
The latest developments include Sudanese bombardments of South Sudan, and the retaliatory South Sudanese occupation of the Heglig oil field on the Sudanese side of the border. These clashes threatened to erupt into full scale war, particularly after Bashir threatened to bring down what he called the "insect" regime in South Sudan.
Kirti said that talks between the two sides are continuing, through the mediation of the African Union led by former South African President Thabo Mbeki, He claimed that his government was always "patient and persevering", since it believed that peace would be the best option for both states.