Nigeria Moves To Reconcile Warring Sudan, South Sudan In Ethiopia
SAN FRANCISCO, January 27, (THEWILL) – President Goodluck Jonathan has moved again to reconcile the warring nations of Sudan and South Sudan as he met separately, Saturday night in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, with delegates from the two countries.
The meetings were the continuation of efforts which started in Abuja and aimed at reconciling the two countries.
The closed door peace meetings with the two neighbouring countries were the first official engagement of President Jonathan upon his arrival in Addis Ababa for the 20th African Union Summit currently holding in the Ethiopian capital.
The AU summit began Saturday with the official opening session which was attended by President Jonathan. Other bilateral meetings are scheduled to be attended or hosted by President Jonathan during the summit.
Details of the parleys between President Jonathan and South Sudan President, Salva Kiir Mayanditt, and his Sudan counterpart, Umar Hassan al-Bashir, which were held at different times in separate locations were however not made known.
Whereas the meeting with South Sudan President took place at the Presidential suite of the Sheraton Hotels, that with the Sudaneses President took place at the VIP floor of the same hotel.
Speaking in a brief encounter with journalists after the meeting with the President of Sudan, Jonathan said his meeting with the leaders of the war-ravaged nations was to find means of reconciling them.
"We are here for discussions to solve the problems between Sudan and South Sudan. Discussions will continue.Thank you," he said.
It would be recalled that weeks before the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, the Presidents of Sudan and South Sudan had requested the intervention of Nigeria in resolving the crisis between the two countries.
They had sent their envoys to Jonathan in Abuja, urging him to use the on-going AU summit to mediate between the two leaders.
On the trip to Ethiopia with President Jonathan was his wife, Dame Patience Jonathan.
They arrived Addis Ababa International Airport at about 4.50 pm local time and 2.50 pm Nigerian time aboard Airforce plane SN-FGT. They were received on arrival by Ethiopian Minister of transport, Deriba Kuma.
Jonathan later inspected a guard of honour mounted in his honour by the Ethiopian government after which he was received by the advance delegation of the Federal Government which include the Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswan; Foreign Affairs Minister, Nurudeen Mohammed; Ogun State Governor, Ibukunle Amosun; Pan African Parliament President, Hon. Bethel Amadi; Foreign Affairs Minister,Olugbenga Ashiru; Nigeria's Ambassador to Ethiopia, Paul Lolo; and other top government officials.