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Sudan's President al-Beshir to visit Juba next week.

By James Gatdet Dak August 22, 2008 (JUBA) -- President Omer Hassan al-Beshir of Sudan will visit the capital of the semi-autonomous Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) next Wednesday to hold talks with leaderships of various organs of the Government.

Omer Al-Basir and Salva Kiir in Juba last year (2007)

This was revealed in a briefing to the Council of Ministers on Friday's meeting by his deputy, the First Vice President of Sudan and President of the Government of Southern Sudan, General Salva Kiir Mayardit. The President will chair a joint Council of Ministers meeting to review some outstanding issues on implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed on January 9, 2005, between his National Congress Party (NCP) and Kiir's Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM). He will also meet with members of the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly. Al-Beshir is also expected to sign a number of contracts during his visit for unspecified national projects to be implemented in Southern Sudan. The visit of the President of the Republic to the Southern Sudan capital comes after more than a year since January 9, 2007, when he celebrated the 2nd Anniversary of CPA in the town. Southern Sudan government officials see the visit as an important step towards strengthening relationship between the two peace partners. OTHER RESOLVED ISSUES BY THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS The Council of Ministers also resolved to strengthen and speed up the repatriation of the Southern Sudanese internally displaced persons (IDPs) from northern Sudan states and neighbouring countries to their places of origin in the South. In a statistical review report of the Southern Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (SSRRC) on repatriation programme, which was presented to the Council by the Vice President, Riek Machar Teny, a total of 1,614,700 Southern Sudanese have been repatriated to the region in the last three years. Most of the returnees came to Southern Sudan spontaneously, that is on their own while the rest came through either organized or assisted return programmes that involved SSRRC, UNHCR and IOM, etc. More than three million of them are estimated to be still in northern Sudan and yet to be repatriated, according to recorded registration exercise carried out by the Council of Chiefs of Southern Sudan states, Nuba Mountains and Southern Blue Nile who represent the IDPs and reside in 16 states across northern Sudan. According to the Acting Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Gier Chuang Aluong, the initial statistics served as an eye opener for GoSS to know how many of its citizens are still living as IDPs in northern Sudan. The chiefs were given the task by GoSS to locate, register and mobilize the IDPs to return to the South in collaboration with the SSRRC and other concerned non-governmental organizations. They also provide statistics for IDPs from Abyei, Nuba Mountains and Southern Blue Nile areas. SSRRC Chairperson, Simon Kun Puoch appealed for more funds to effectively carry out his Commission's mandate to repatriate the IDPs and refugees. The semi-autonomous Government renewed its appeal to its partners to continue to assist in this expensive repatriation exercise of the people, who they said are needed in the South to contribute in rebuilding the war-ravaged region. (ST)

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Publication:Sudan Tribune (Sudan)
Date:Aug 24, 2008
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