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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, April 11, 2013 11:05 am

Sudan leader to make first visit to South Sudan

The Associated Press

A government official says Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir will travel to South Sudan on Friday.

The visit will be al-Bashir's first to South Sudan since the country peacefully broke away from Sudan in 2011.

South Sudan government spokesman Barnaba Marial Benjamin said Thursday that the two heads of state want to prove to the world that the two countries plan to live peacefully together. Al-Bashir and South Sudan President Salva Kiir will discuss how to implement security agreements the two countries signed in September and the status of the contested region of Abyei.

Bashir had planned to travel to South Sudan in April 2012 but cancelled the visit after South Sudan's military seized the disputed oil-producing town of Heglig. The two leaders are likely to discuss their co-dependent oil industries.