Kiir spoke to Obama by telephone today for 45 minutes, according to Atem, who said he was present during the conversation. The two presidents discussed clashes along the border with Sudan after fighting broke out between the two countries’ armies on March 26.
“President Kiir asked President Obama to apply pressure on the government of Sudan to resolve the conflict through dialogue,” Atem said by phone today from South Sudan’s capital, Juba.
Sudan’s president, Umar al-Bashir, cancelled a meeting with Kiir that was due to take place tomorrow in Juba. Atem said that Kiir told Obama he would be willing to meet al-Bashir at a location and date of the Sudanese president’s choosing.
To contact the reporter on this story: Jared Ferrie in Juba, South Sudan at firstname.lastname@example.org