Posts Tagged ‘Pagan Amum’
Tags: kofi annan, Pagan Amum, pana kuach, spla, SPLM
Tags: addis ababa, chief negotiator, Pagan Amum
Amum said Sudan can take the south’s offer or leave it. “The figures for transit fee is 69 cents. If they don’t, there will be no deal, he said.”
Peter Heinlein | Addis Ababa
A senior Sudanese negotiator said he sees little hope for progress in talks with South Sudan on contentious issues left over from the two countries’ separation last July. Mediators in Addis Ababa are measuring progress in millimeters.
Former Sudanese Central Bank governor Sabir Mohamed al Hassan was blunt Friday when asked whether he thinks the current session of African Union-mediated talks might yield forward movement. “Personally, no. I don’t think so. I’m not really optimistic,” he said.
One track of the talks focuses on oil. The landlocked south must use the north’s pipelines to send its oil abroad. But a dispute over transit fees prompted the south to shut down production, costing both sides hundreds of million dollars per month in income.
Hassan, Khartoum’s lead negotiator in the oil talks, said it would be a victory if the two sides could simply agree to talk in a spirit of compromise.
“That the two parties sit down and negotiate in good faith, negotiate with the objective of reaching a compromise,” Hassan said. “That the two parties move forward to meet each other, not each party standing on its position.”
Speaking to VOA earlier in the week, South Sudan’s chief negotiator Pagan Amum indicated the oil talks are hopelessly deadlocked. The Khartoum side is asking for a package of charges totaling $36 a barrel, while the delegation from Juba is offering a flat rate of 69 cents.
Amum said Sudan can take the south’s offer or leave it. “The figures for transit fee is 69 cents. If they don’t, there will be no deal, he said.”
Diplomats following the talks say the atmosphere had been frigid since this 10-day negotiating session began with a shouting match over the sensitive issue of nationalities – specifically, the fate of southerners in the north, and northerners in the south.
A member of the African Union mediation team urged patience, noting that the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended the Sudanese civil war took four years to negotiate.
The main sticking point in the nationalities track of the talks is the fate of 35,000 women and children the south says were abducted by the north during the long civil war. Briefing VOA on condition of anonymity, a senior South Sudan official said any agreement must refer to these people as “abductees.”
Khartoum flatly rejects such a characterization. Northern negotiator Hassan blames the south for adopting an uncompromising position when it would be easy to refer the matter to a high-level commission.
“I don’t know how to say it, but the way, the approach, was not constructive,” Hassan said. “We said, let us set up the committee, give it the power to look into the situation of all nationalities, without exception, but they insisted, no.”
Analysts watching the talks say breaking the deadlock is critical because of the degree to which both sides financially depend on oil. The south in particular has no other significant source of foreign revenue.
The nationalities issue is considered equally critical. With the south’s independence looming last year and no solution in sight, the two sides agreed to allow another six months for a settlement. Those six months are up April 8. After that date, hundreds of thousands of people on both sides of the border could become illegal aliens in their own homes.
Why is Khartoum Calling for the Dismissal of Pagan Amum as the Head of South Sudan’s Delegation to the Addis Ababa Talks?Posted: March 4, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël in PaanLuel Wël
Tags: addis ababa, Addis ababa talks, jau, Lapsset project, PaanLuel Wel, Pagan Amum, president kiir, south sudanese
“President Al Bashir told Kiir on the AU summit sidelines that Pagan Amum was not the right person to lead a delegation to achieve an agreement,” he said, adding Pagan is a warlord who has no interest for peace and does not care about what happens to our people in the North and the South as he has no sense of belonging to this land, his family and money are abroad. (Sudan Vision, March 4, 2012).
By Paanluel Wël, Washington DC, USA, Planet Earth.
It is crystal clear now that Khartoum is not comfortable with Pagan Amum, the SPLM’s Secretary General and the current head of South Sudan delegation to the on-going Addis Ababa talks between Juba and Khartoum. President Kiir appointed Hon. Pagan Amum last year, after the formation of South Sudan first government, to serve as his special envoy to the talks between the two countries over contentious issues of border demarcations, oil and debt sharing, transit fees, and Abyei regions, among others. Thus, since the independence of South Sudan, Pagan has been serving in that position as South Sudan’s chief negotiator to the Addis Ababa Talks.
However, the talks have been dragging on with no definitive breakthroughs. One sensitive issue, of late, has been on the question of the transit fees—the amount of dollars per barrel that South Sudan should pay Khartoum for the usage of their Chinese-built pipeline and refineries. Although much of the oil is produced in the South, Khartoum took the discriminative decision during the war to build all the refineries in, and pipeline through, North Sudan. With no refineries and pipeline of her own, the newly independent state of South Sudan is entirely at the mercy of Khartoum for the export of her oil.
That 98% of South Sudan revenues come from the oil make matters worse for South Sudanese leaders: Juba is beholden to Khartoum. By designed or pure chance, Khartoum is fully aware and exploitative of this Juba’s achillean heel. While Juba, in accordance with international precedents, is willing to offer 1-2 dollars per barrel as a transit fees for the usage of the northern pipeline, Khartoum is demanding a staggering amount of 36-32 dollars per barrel. On the debt issue, Juba is prepared to offer “Khartoum $2.6 billion in cash and forgiving $2.8 billion of its debt to break the deadlock.” Instead, Khartoum is asking for $15 billion in cash to break the stalemate in Addis Ababa Talks.
The disputed border region remains undesignated because Khartoum is refusing to recognize the old 1956 pre-independence border between the two nations. This is complicated further by the fact that much of the oilfields fall just at the border regions, particularly in Unity state and Abyei region. That makes it no longer about the exactitude of the borderline as to the location, and future ownership, of the vast oil wealth dotting the border regions. The case in point being the town of Jau, recurrently bombed and occupied by Khartoum, which is claimed by both sides though it squarely lies within South Sudan according to the old map of 1956.
Abyei region is presently occupied and militarily rule by Khartoum, contrary to the stipulation of the CPA that had proposed a joint ruling by the two parties. CPA-mandated referendum in Abyei, one that was supposed to run concurrently with South Sudan’s plebiscite, is yet to be conducted owing to the disagreement over whether or not the nomadic Mesiriya Arabs should vote. The only CPA-recognized connection of the Mesiriya Arabs to Abyei Region is a right to graze their cattle freely as they have been doing in the past. Consequently, South Sudan’s objection to the participation of the Mesiriya Arabs in Abyei referendum is informed not just by the fact that Mesiriya Arabs are not natives of Abyei Area—defined in the CPA as nine-chiefdoms of the Dinka Ngok people—but also because allowing the Mesiriya to vote in the Abyei referendum would lead to vote rigging since Khartoum would bring in any nomadic Arab tribe to vote in the name of Mesiriya. Simply put, it is seen in Juba as Khartoum’s grand strategy to outnumber the Ngok Dinka to tilt the referendum in their favor and retain control of the oil-rich Abyei Area.
The ensuing controversies over these unresolved post-separation disputes, couple with the stalemate over the talks taking place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, boiled over into a full blown out conflict in January when South Sudan shut down oil production over accusation that Khartoum was siphoning off South Sudan oil in direct collusion with foreign oil firms, mainly the Chinese-Malaysian’s Petrodar. Addressing South Sudan Legislative Assembly, President Kiir declared that
“At this time we have no guarantee that oil flowing through the Republic of Sudan will reach its intended destination…we can’t allow assets which clearly belong to the Republic of South Sudan to be subject to further diversion” (Bloomberg BusinessWeek, January 23, 2012).
Enraged by the accusation of oil theft and caught off-guard by South Sudan unilateral action of shutting down oil production, Khartoum responded by forcefully and unilaterally confiscating South Sudan oil:
“Sudan has confiscated 2.4 million barrels of South Sudan’s oil, bringing the total volume of crude Khartoum has seized in a row over oil transit fees to more than 6 million barrels since December, a South Sudanese official said on Tuesday. This included 1.2 million barrels taken in December, four shipments totaling roughly 2.5 million barrels in January and another 2.4 million barrels reported this month.” (Reuters, Feb 14, 2012).
Khartoum officials justified their illegal seizures of South Sudan oil by maintaining that their country
“is entitled to a share of the oil because South Sudan has refused to pay the related fees since it seceded, fuelling inflation and a foreign currency shortage in the northern country.” (Reuters, Feb 14, 2012).
In spite of combative response from Khartoum, Juba has stood firm and went ahead to complete the process of oil shutdown. Austerity measures have been adopted to balance the budget and sustain the government. Dr. Machar, the vice president of South Sudan defiantly announced to the BBC that “we can live without oil” while Pagan Amum, the ruling party general secretary, said that the decision to shut down the oil was a “matter of national pride.”
In a surprising twist of fate—a blessing in disguise for President Kiir—the government of South Sudan, considered by most citizens to be totally corrupt, generally mismanaged and irreparably inept, received an astounding support and praises across all ten states of the republic for shutting down the oil and standing up against Khartoum. Remarkably, in a young country torn apart by tribal clashes, internal rebellions and besieged by abject poverty and underdevelopment, President Kiir uncharacteristic decision to order the closure of oil wells seemed to have buoyed his popularity among the citizens. The only other occasions whereby South Sudanese matched in unison were on the occasions of the signing of the CPA, the announcement of the referendum results and the proclamation of the South Sudan’s independence.
Juba’s vulnerability to and dependence on Sudan’s oil facilities has compelled South Sudan to seek an alternative pipeline to export her oil to the international market. Following the bitter fallout in January, Juba signed landmark agreements with Kenya-Ethiopia, on one side, and Ethiopia-Djibouti on the other side. The deal with Kenya-Ethiopia to build a pipeline/railway/highway from the Kenyan port city of Lamu through Isiolo to Juba was finally realized this week when the three head of states—President Kiir of South Sudan, president Kibaki of Kenya and Prime Minister Meles of Ethiopia—inaugurated the project dubbed by the media as Lapsset (Lamu Port-Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor).
Although disputed by many experts, the Lapsset project is slated to be complete within 1-2 years. Whether—or how—South Sudan will remain financially afloat within the next 1-2 years is another question altogether. And so is the question of ‘what will happen to the Lapsset project’ should the talks in Addis Ababa bear fruit and Khartoum accept the proposed transport fees: Will Juba bolt out of the Lapsset project or will it dump Khartoum no matter what they are prepared to consent to at the moment? If so, then there is no point of continuing to discuss the transit fees anymore: South Sudan should rather concentrate on the other post-independence remaining issues like the border, debts and Abyei region.
Whichever way Juba goes, the inauguration of the Lapsset project will further compound the Addis Ababa discussions because Khartoum would undoubtedly complicate the negotiation process if they are aware of the total loss of any future transit fees because of Lapsset. Since there is no any indication that Juba is bluffing—using the Lapsset project merely as a negotiating strategy to put pressure on Khartoum, it is inevitable that the full realization by Khartoum of having loss the life-giving oil revenues from South Sudan oil will be of a great devastation to their economy. Khartoum might invade the oilfields or declare total war on Juba as it did in Abyei—something they are threatening now on the pretext of an alleged South Sudan’s aggression on Sudan’s territory though it is the Sudan Revolutionary Forces who carried out the humiliating assault on the SAF. President Kiir must prepare—finding a way out of this looming explosive hostility.
Having retraced the fundamental root and the picturesque trajectory of the on-going differences and quarrels between Juba and South Sudan, it is just fanciful to hear Khartoum announcing today that any “Breakthrough in Addis Talks Depends on Changing the Current South Sudan Delegation.” In other words, Khartoum sincerely believe that should President Kiir nominate someone else other than Hon. Pagan Amum, then they would be able to get $32-36 per barrel as a transport fees, and $15 billion as a compensation for the loss of oil revenues following South Sudan secession. What is more, even the indefinitely postponed Abeyi’s referendum would go ahead with Mesiriya accepted as voters. South-North border demarcation would get started with Khartoum’s interest well catered for in total disregard to the 1956 pre-independence borderline.
This is how Mona Al-Bashir of the Sudan Vision, a northern newspaper, summarizes Khartoum’s views on the stalemate, blaming everything on Pagan Amum:
“Prof. Ibrahim Ghandour, who is also the NCP Spokesperson, indicated that previous round of talks had failed because South Sudan delegation was not willing to arrive at an agreement and the delegation members harboured ill-intent towards Sudan and their leader [Pagan] is also notorious of his hostility towards the North and the Arabs. “President Al Bashir told Kiir on the AU summit sidelines that Pagan Amum was not the right person to lead a delegation to achieve an agreement,” he said, adding Pagan is a warlord who has no interest for peace and does not care about what happens to our people in the North and the South as he has no sense of belonging to this land, his family and money are abroad. Ghandour, however, pointed out that the Sudanese Government cannot interfere in the process of how the South selects its delegation but if it wants to achieve peace with Sudan it should alter its delegation members” (Sudan Vision, March 4, 2012).
In spite of the independence of South Sudan, Khartoum still behaves, and considers South Sudan, as if it is still just one of its provinces. South Sudan, to those in Khartoum, is just but a colony to be manipulated at will no matter how it may claim to be independent. In fact, judging by their official demeanors, utterances and actions, South Sudan independence is yet to register in the minds of Khartoum officials. They might be milking the past. During the 1960s as many African countries were shedding off colonization, it was not uncommon for the head of a newly independent African state to receive direct orders from London or Paris. For example, the market and the price of their agricultural produce were pre-determined according to the whims of the former colonial master.
By publicly asking an independent state to alter the list of its delegation to the negotiating table, Khartoum appears to be harboring a neo-colonial mentality of the past whereby African independent states remain subservient to their former colonial masters in spite of their proclaimed independences. Yet, there is nothing on the ground to substantiate Khartoum’s European-ness over Juba. South Sudan has more resources—oil, arable land, minerals etc. South Sudan does not depend on Sudan’s market for agricultural produce nor oil: China is the main consumer of most raw materials from Africa. With the commencement and the future completion of the Lapsset project, Khartoum will be more dependence on Juba for economic opportunities than vice-versa.
Therefore, to prevent Khartoum from proclaiming unmerited propaganda war against Juba, President Kiir must stand behind Pagan and his team. After all, whatever that Pagan present at the talks is what President Kiir and his cabinet proposed and consented to, to be presented at the negotiating table. Picking another person will not change the parameters of the talks since none of the South Sudanese chief negotiators would ever venture outside the officially sanctioned mandate from the government of South Sudan. Khartoum displeasure with Pagan could be attributed to Pagan’s sharp-shooting, take-no-nonsense approach to negotiation. Take for instance Khartoum ludicrous claim of South Sudan’s aggression reported to the UN Security Council today: such gibberish would not be entertained before Pagan.
There are unconfirmed rumors that President Kiir is considering replacing Pagan Amum. President Kiir must never listen to one-sided story from Khartoum. Any changes called for must be initiated and executed by both parties—Khartoum must also replace the head of their delegation if Juba has to reciprocate in kind. Since when has Khartoum been the official advisor to Juba? Do they really have South Sudan’s interest at heart? Definitely not and so is the implausibility of their call to ouster South Sudan chief negotiator. Assumed that President Kiir give in and recall Pagan tomorrow, will South Sudan replace the next head of the delegation if Khartoum is not happy with him?
PaanLuel Wël is the Managing Editor of PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese bloggers. He can be reached through his Facebook page, Twitter account or on the blog.
Tags: national congress party, NCP, Pagan Amum
Ghandour, however, pointed out that the Sudanese Government cannot interfere in the process of how the South selects its delegation but if it wants to achieve peace with Sudan it should alter its delegation members.
He said the recent attack by South Sudan on Sudan would overshadow the coming talks.
“This aggression which is reported to the Security Council makes it clear that South Sudan has no intention to reach an agreement,” he said, in an exclusive statement to Sudan Vision, adding that Sudan will deal with an open heart to reach an agreement but such agreement should be based on good neighbourliness and common cooperation.
Ghandour denied any move for talks with rebels in South Kordofan and the Blue Nile State.
“The leaders of insurgency in these areas are supported by the army of South Sudan so it is a war on the state and the people rather than a war on the government or the regime so the issue of dialogue is out of the question unless the war stops”, he said, affirming Sudan Government’s commitment to implement the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) including the Popular Consultations and reintegration of SPLA personnel in the North in accordance with the agreement.
Ghandour has expressed displeasure over the international community bias, saying “it is supporting one party at the expense of the other and talk about the need for aid delivery and forget that the solution lies in stopping aggression on Sudan”.
“Sudan is now defending its land and people in the face of aggression. It is a matter of defense the Sudanese Armed Forces are undertaking, backed by the NCP, the people and all nationalist and political forces,” he said.
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Omaha, Nebraska, USA, (NSV) – When Michael Nuul Mayen ran and lost his bid for the city councilor in Brooks, Alberta, in 2010, not only did he make news as the only South Sudanese to ever run for elective office in Canada, but the whole experience has …
Tags: Pagan Amum
|Written by Mading Ngor, The New Sudan Vision (NSV), newsudanvision.com|
|Monday, 25 July 2011 09:00|
(Juba NSV) – Pagan Amum called a press conference this afternoon to address issues surrounding his alleged resignation as Secretary General of the SPLM and Caretaker Minister of Peace and CPA Implementation.Addressing reporters at the SPLM National Secretariat Hall in Juba on Monday, Pagan confirmed it was “true” he tended in his resignation on 11 of July as Minister and SG of the SPLM.
He said he “took a whole day, fasting and praying over [his resignation].”
The Secretary General’s resignation leakage to the press last week caused a lot of consternation and left many Southerners asking more questions than they had answers for.
Some media reports suggested Pagan resigned due to internal disagreements within the SPLM and allegations of corruption.
In his explanation to the media, Pagan said these reports were “absolutely not true.” Instead, he added his move was triggered by his desire to serve the society as a private citizen and to vacate the positions for “fresh blood.”
He dismissed any reports of disagreements, saying the SPLM was “more united” than previously and his “relations with the President have been excellent.”
Meanwhile, Pagan was sworn in as Caretaker Minister last week, a reversal of his previous position. The move encouraged further speculations about the ironic turn of events.
After nearly two weeks of close secrecy around his decision, the Secretary General’s explanations on Monday did not satisfy some members of the press.
A journalist asked whether it was “dictatorship” on Mr. Kiir’s part to “turn-down” Pagan’s wish, and whether Pagan would be productive in such an “unwilling” position.
“I will not be carrying out my duties with unwillingness,” Pagan replied, denying that he was dictated on.
He added that he was “persuaded” by Salva Kiir to remain as Caretaker Minister and Secretary General of the SPLM until the party’s next Convention.
Another reporter quizzed Pagan whether his temporary resignation was a “cover-up” for the accusations of corruption which were recently leveled against him.
On the question, Pagan responded that Kiir’s decision to retain him was “clear response that the allegations were false.” He told the journalists to conduct their own independent investigations.
He also shot back that the allegations were peddled by people who were “covering up unpatriotic” stands, giving the north 48 per cent of “our oil.
Tags: currency war, Pagan Amum, south sudan, south sudan central bank, sudan
Khartoum says the old currency will be phased out
South Sudan has accused the north of declaring an “economic war” by issuing a new currency.
South Sudan government minister Pagan Amum said Khartoum had left the south holding large quantities of old currency that was now illegal tender.
Khartoum denied triggering an economic war and said people would get a chance to change the old currency.
The south, which became independent on 9 July, is also locked in dispute with the north over borders and oil revenue.
Mr Amum, who is South Sudan’s minister of peace, said the north had violated an agreement by launching a new currency, the Sudanese pound.
Khartoum had agreed in talks not to issue it until six months after the south did, he said.
The south launched its currency, the South Sudan pound, about a week after independence.
Mr Amum said Khartoum’s move would cost the southern government at least $700m (£429m).
“This is a hostile act… contrary to our emerging as two states on good terms,” he is quoted by the AFP news agency as saying.
The north’s central bank says the new currency has been introduced as a precautionary measure, since South Sudan has already brought in its own currency.
A spokesman for northern Sudan’s ruling party, Rabie Atti, said the adoption of the new currency would be gradual.
“Our banks now are dealing with the same – the new currency and old currency,” Mr Atti is quoted by the AP news agency as saying.
“I don’t think this is a big problem… I think it can be resolved technically without trouble for the north or the south.”
Mr Amum said Khartoum had also imposed a charge of $22 per barrel on oil transported through its pipelines.
“This is nothing but robbery in broad daylight. I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to Khartoum not to start economic wars with South Sudan,” he said.
The BBC’s James Copnall in Khartoum says the financial squabbles highlight the tensions which are likely to complicate life in both countries for the foreseeable future.
Both economies could face real difficulties if there is no co-ordination between them, he says.
The governments in Juba and Khartoum also have to come to an agreement over oil.
Most of it is in the South, but the infrastructures to export it are in Sudan.
The two sides cannot agree on how much South Sudan should pay to use these facilities.
There is also no agreement over the fate of the oil-producing Abyei region, which both countries claim.
Tags: Pagan Amum, Pagan Amum sworn in, SPLM SG pagan amum
July 23rd, 2011
The SPLM Secretary General Mr. Pagan Amum Okech sworn in today Saturday 23rd July 2011 before the President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit as the care taker minister for Peace in the National Government of south Sudan. After the swearing in ceremony, the care taker minister for peace H.E Amum appreciated H.E the President of the Republic for stressing on him and handing over to him the responsibility of taking care of the ministry of peace. H.E Amum said he will work hard in supporting the President and implement his policies on the ground in this current critical stage as south Sudan has been declared as a Nation. He added that he is happy of being part of SPLM and part of the Government under the leadership of H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit. Care taker minister of Peace reassured his happiness for the new state of south Sudan is being recognized by 192 Countries worldwide, and he called on the people of south Sudan to forget the past and free themselves for the building of the newborn Nation.
Tags: Pagan Amum, Pagan Resign, SPLM SG resign