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Sudan reach deal to end oil dispute:

African Union

ADDIS ABABA: Sudan and South Sudan have agreed to end a dispute on oil payments and will discuss when to resume southern oil exports through the north, a mediator from the African Union said

Landlocked South Sudan shut down oil production in January after failing to agree with Sudan on how much it should pay to export its oil through northern pipelines. "It's an agreement about all of the matters. The issues that were outstanding were charges for transportation, for processing, transit," former South African President and AU mediator Thabo Mbeki told reporters. He gave no details, and there was no immediate comment from Sudan and South Sudan which have been negotiating to end hostilities at the AU in Addis Ababa. >>

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    At least 600 people have reportedly died and unconfirmed reports indicate almost 1,000 others were wounded during clashes between the Murle and Lou Nuer communities in Jonglei, the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said in a press release. The attacks have followed large-scale cattle raids - a persistent problem in South Sudan - by members of the two groups which have led to the theft of between 26,000 and 30,000 cattle. Many homes have also been destroyed during the fighting, UNMISS said, and local authorities have reported that nearly 200 people may have been abducted and thousands of others displaced. Voicing deep concern about the attacks, Hilde Johnson, the head of UNMISS and the Secretary-General's Special Representative for South Sudan, urged all ethnic communities to exercise restraint. "This cycle of violence must stop," she said. "That so many people have been killed and injured again in such wanton destruction is unacceptable." Johnson said reconciliation efforts are urgently needed and she pledged the mission's willingness to support such a process. An assessment and verification team from UNMISS has already visited the areas where the clashes took place and will return yesterday to help local authorities facilitate reconciliation efforts. "The security of all South Sudanese people must come first," Johnson stressed, adding her condemnation of the looting and destruction of humanitarian facilities in Jonglei.


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