Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on Wednesday vowed Sudan will not see a return to civil war.
"The government is working to keep the peace,” the state news agency SUNA quoted Bashir as saying. “The referendum result will not be the end of the world.”
Al-Bashir reportedly issued the statements during a police school graduation ceremony at Rabat National University. The comments coincide with failed negotiations between representatives of the south and north over the oil-producing region of Abyei–a site of previous clashes. The talks were held in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa.
But al-Bashir's pledge for peace and stability contradict previous declarations.
"Despite our commitment to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, we will not accept an alternative to unity," al-Bashir had told Sudanese MPs in Khartoum on 12 October.
South Sudan's army accused the UN on Tuesday of failing to report a massive build-up of northern troops around sensitive border areas. Army officials warned of an imminent eruption of war.
Senior southern army officer Mat Paul said the north Sudanese army was preventing the UN peacekeeping mission (UNMIS) from monitoring a ceasefire. UN officials are not owning up to their lack of access, Paul added.
Paul said the north deployed tens of thousands of troops south, adding that the atmosphere was very tense with soldiers accompanied by tanks and helicopters.
"The troops look to be on the verge of war,” Paul said.
The northern army has denied moving its forces south. Army officials were not available for comment on the allegations of denying UN access.
Hossam Zaki, official spokesperson for Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said communications between Egypt and different Sudanese parties aim at settling outstanding Sudanese internal disputes. Egypt maintains good relations with all relevant parties, including both northern and southern leadership, according to Zaki.
Egypt seeks to convince all Sudanese of the importance of dialogue, said Zaki.
Zaki said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmed Abul Gheit and director of the Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate (EGID), Omar Suleiman, will visit Khartoum and Juba in an effort to contain disputes. The two Egyptian officials will meet with senior Sudanese officials including president al-Bashir and vice-president Salva Kiir.
Zaki also denied allegations that Egyptian interests support southern separation.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.