Sierra Leone has acted as host state for talks between the leaders of Sudan and Ethiopia.
Sierra Leone has acted as host state for talks between the leaders of Sudan and Ethiopia. During the three-days of discussions which began last Friday, (16 February) leaders of the three countries tried to agree on a solution to the issue which has divided Ethiopia and Sudan. Ethiopia has charged that Sudan is aiding Eritrean separatists in their fight for independence in northern Ethiopia.
SYNOPSIS: At the talks were Ethiopia's Head of State, Lieutenant-Colonel Haile Mariam Mengistu, Dudan's President Jaafar al-Nimieri, and President Siaka Stevens of Sierra Leone. They were arranged by Organisation of African Unity's Mediation Committee. It was the first major attempt to break the ice between the two countries.
Relations have been frosty since the beginning of the Eritrean separatist movement in northern Ethiopia, which ethiopia claims is encouraged by Sudan. But President Stevens announced after the meetings that Ethiopia was prepared to forget the past.
But despite intense talks neither side could agree on a joint communique. According to the Sudanese, President Mengistu, the first to leave the talks, completely dismissed Eritrean claims for independence. Sudan's President Nimieri described the talks as "unsuccessful".
However President Stevens said that both states were still anxious to reach a peaceful solution.