U.N. envoy holds talks in Djibouti on Sudan, S. Sudan

ADDIS ABABA – U.N. special envoy to the African Union (A.U.) Haile Menkerios held talks on Monday with Djiboutian President Ismail Omar Guelleh on the situation in Sudan and South Sudan, a presidential spokesperson said.

The talks also focused on the situation in the Horn of Africa, spokesperson Najib Ali Tahir told Anadolu Agency.

"The A.U., U.N. and IGAD [Intergovernmental Authority on Development] are working to maintain peace and stability in Sudan and South Sudan," the spokesperson quoted Menkerios as saying.

The U.N. envoy went on to say that he had seen during his recent visit to Sudan that "there is a promising condition to maintain peace and stability in that country through the dialogue" between Khartoum and the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) on April 22.

Since 2011, the SPLM-N has waged an active insurgency against the Khartoum government in Sudan's Blue Nile and South Kordofan states.

"The U.N. and the A.U. are working closely towards success of the negotiation between the South Sudan government and the SPLM/A in opposition, which will begin on April 23, 2014," Menkerios added, according to the spokesperson.

South Sudan has been shaken by violence since last December, when President Salva Kiir accused his sacked vice president, Riek Machar, of trying to overthrow his regime.

The conflict has already claimed more than 10,000 lives, with the U.N. estimating that some one million South Sudanese have been displaced by the violence.

The spokesperson said the U.N. envoy had expressed the U.N.'s appreciation for Djiboutian efforts to resolve conflicts and fight terrorism.

The Djiboutian president, for his part, said Djibouti "will work closely with the U.N., A.U. and IGAD to maintain peace and security in Sudan and South Sudan and in the Horn of Africa at large."

He added that Djibouti believes that conflicts should be resolved through dialogue, according to the spokesperson.

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