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Juba - 22 Mar 2012

Bashir accepts Kiir's invitation to Juba summit

President Omar al Bashir has accepted an official invitation from president Salva Kiir to visit Juba for a summit to address the outstanding issues, amid calls by civil society groups to arrest the Sudanese president on arrival to the country.

The summit on April 3 will address issues such as oil production and transportation, border demarcation, security and citizenship, said Juba's top negotiator Pagan Amum to Radio Tamazuj.

Amum called for those objecting to the 'four freedoms' nationality agreement to think of the interests of the people of both countries.

Senior negotiators will meet with the Sudanese delegation led by Idris Abdel Gadir in Khartoum on Thursday before returning to the South Sudanese capital on Sunday.

Qutbi al-Mahdi, a senior official in the ruling National Congress Party is demanding Juba makes sufficient guarantees that it will not arrest Bashir as he enters South Sudan.

Atem Garang, a prominent South Sudanese official told Radio Tamazuj Bashir's visit to Juba is pointless, it is already evident Sudan seeks to wage war rather than build peace.

'It wants to bring down the government in Juba and replace it with a puppet government so they can occupy the areas with oil and sabotage the economic situation,' added Garang.

Opinions on whether or not to arrest the Sudanese president remain divided between South Sudanese government officials.