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Sudan president in Eritrea after Asmara mutiny: reports
by Staff Writers
Khartoum (AFP) Feb 2, 2013

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir held talks with his Eritrean counterpart Issaias Afeworki on Saturday, official media reported, on a visit to Asmara just days after a protest by mutinous soldiers there.

Troops demanding political reform briefly seized the information ministry in the Eritrean capital on January 21 in a rare challenge to the one-party authoritarian regime that borders Sudan.

Official television in Khartoum showed pictures of Bashir sitting and talking with Issaias in Eritrea during the visit which lasted less than a day.

"The leaders of the two states confirmed that they will continue their consultations to improve peace and stability and relations between them," the television report said.

It showed pictures of Khartoum's Minister of Defence Abdelrahim Mohammed Hussein, intelligence chief Mohamed Atta al-Moula and other officials who accompanied Bashir.

Eritrea's ambassador to the African Union Girma Asmerom has said that reports of a coup earlier this month were "wishful thinking".

Opposition parties are banned under the regime of Issaias, who has ruled the Horn of Africa nation since its independence in 1993.

Independent media were shut down after a political purge in 2001, and Eritrea expelled the last registered foreign correspondent in 2010.

In eastern Sudan last year the UN said that about 2,000 asylum-seekers were arriving at the Shagarab refugee camp every month, most of them from Eritrea, where many have fled to avoid military service.


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