ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Leaders of north and south Sudan agreed on Monday to continue talks on a series of disputes after the south’s impending secession, officials said, a move that will disappoint Western countries hoping for a quick deal.
Sudan’s oil-producing south is due to declare independence on Saturday -- a split that was voted for in a referendum promised in a 2005 north/south peace deal.
The north and south, which fought each other during decades of civil war, have yet to agree on the position of their shared border and how they will manage oil revenues.
The north’s army and fighters with links to the south have also been clashing in Southern Kordofan, the north’s main oil state, in recent days, according to the United Nations.
Western governments have kept up pressure on both sides to resolve at least some of their disputes before the partition, fearing the eruption of another full-blown conflict that could reverberate far beyond Sudan.
South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, met President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who will lead only the north after the split, in a conference in Addis Ababa organised by IGAD (the Intergovernmental Authority on Development in Eastern Africa).
“(IGAD) strongly commends President Bashir and ... Salva Kiir for signing the framework agreement for continuing negotiations after July 9, 2011, for the resolution of all outstanding issues in the spirit of the CPA (the 2006 Comprehensive Peace Agreement),” IGAD said in a statement.