Posts Tagged ‘sudan’

Oil begins to flow again in 14 days

Posted: November 3, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël in Economy
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KHARTOUM — South Sudan will resume the exportation of oil production within two weeks, a Sudanese official said following a series of meetings in Juba with government officials and petroleum companies.
Sudanese undersecretary general of Petroleum Ministry, Awad Abdel Fatah, agreed with South Sudanese oil deputy minister Elizabeth James Bol to resume oil production within 14 days, according to Khartoum based Al-Sudani daily newspaper.
The two officials agreed in Juba on Wednesday to meet again in the Sudanese capital within ten days to finalise the arrangements related the resumption of oil exportation through the pipeline.
The Sudanese official further said that oil operators were informed of the decision.
Last October South Sudanese oil minister Dhieu Dau announced that he ordered oil companies to restart oil production, adding the crude will reach the international markets within 3 months.
He however cautioned that technical preparations will determine the export schedule.
Sudan and South Sudan signed formally on 27 September an agreement on oil fees transportation. In accordance with the deal, Juba will pay Khartoum pay $9.10 and $11.00 per barrel respectively for the oil produced in Upper Nile and Unity states during three and a half years.
The two countries have to meet soon to resume talks over the remaining issues particularly Abyei and disputed areas on the common border. Also a joint security committee is to meet during the upcoming days to discuss troops redeployment from the buffer zone and its operationalisation.
It is not clear how many barrels will be produced per day. However, Dar Petroleum Company operating in Upper Nile state pledged following Addis Ababa deal to increase its production to 180.000 bpd.
Dar, which is a consortium including Chinese, Malaysian and South Sudanese oil companies, produce usually between 203,000 and 250,000 bpd.

 


Press Release
28th September 2012

Sudan and South Sudan’s new oil deal fails to guarantee citizens the basic information they need to hold their governments accountable for the vast amounts of money involved, said Global Witness today.

After several years of negotiations, Sudan and South Sudan yesterday signed a series of landmark agreements, including one on the terms under which South Sudan will export its crude oil via Sudan’s pipelines and port. [1] Both countries are heavily reliant on oil revenues and have previously fought for control of oil fields either side of their common border. While the new agreement establishes mechanisms for internal information sharing and auditing, it includes no requirements for transit and financial data or audit reports to be made public. This lack of public accountability is particularly concerning given the allegations of high-level corruption that both governments are facing.

“Sudan and South Sudan’s citizens are the ultimate owners of their countries’ natural resources,” said Global Witness campaigner Dana Wilkins. “Yet they have been totally cut out of this new oil deal, with no way to verify the amount of oil and money that will be transferred between their governments.”

The fees paid by South Sudan for use of Sudan’s processing facilities, pipelines, and port will range between US$9.10 and US$11 per barrel, depending on the route by which the crude oil is piped out. Juba has also agreed to transfer an additional US$3 billion to help Khartoum fill the gap in its finances caused by the loss of oil reserves now controlled by South Sudan.

The new oil deal establishes a Petroleum Monitoring Committee including representatives from both governments and an independent chairperson appointed by the African Union. This Committee will be responsible for monitoring the operational and financial implementation of the arrangement. [2]  Sudan and South Sudan also agreed to appoint an independent auditor to report on the operating companies and identify any problems.

Though the Committee and the independent auditor are potentially very useful mechanisms for building trust between the governments, neither is required to publish anything. Unless their reports and the relevant production and payment data are publicly disclosed, it will be impossible for citizens even to check whether these oversight mechanisms are working.

The new agreement also includes an article on transparency. However, this only requires that the Sudanese and South Sudanese governments be ‘mutually transparent’; each sharing relevant information with the other.

“The absence of real transparency—meaning full public disclosure—in this new deal could have long-term consequences for democracy and stability in both countries,” added Wilkins. “South Sudan has included many strong public reporting and accounting requirements in its new legal framework. It is now all the more important that these are implemented without further delay.  For its part, Khartoum should put in place public disclosure laws that enable Sudanese citizens to see how their leaders are spending their country’s share of the oil wealth.”

http://www.globalwitness.org/library/public-accountability-absent-new-sudan-and-south-sudan-oil-deal

Bashir says Sudan, South Sudan need peace: Mbeki

Posted: May 19, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël in Junub Sudan
Tags: ,

Sudan says receives “large amount” of hard currency
Reuters
Sudan’s economy has been battered since the country lost three-quarters of its oil production toSouth Sudan when the latter became independent in July. The loss of oil revenues, the main source of state income and dollar inflows, has hit the pound 
South Sudan Cautioned On Heavy Borrowing
Oye! Times
An oil field in Unity State, South Sudan [File photo | Gurtong]An international movement, the Global Witness has issues the alert following the shutdown of oil production in the country early this year. According to a report released Friday, 
Bashir says SudanSouth need peace: Mbeki
AFP
By Abdelmoneim Abu Edris Ali (AFP) – 56 minutes ago KHARTOUM, Sudan — Sudan and South Sudan need peace and Khartoum is committed to all security agreements it has signed, African Union mediator Thabo Mbeki on Saturday quoted the Sudanese leader as
Sudanese Authorities Close Christian Offices in South Darfur
The Cypress Times
by Dan Wooding SOUTH DARFUR, SUDAN – (ANS) – Compass Direct News (CDN) is reporting that security agents in Sudan’s South Darfur state have closed down the Nyala offices of the SudanCouncil of Churches (SCC) and relief group Sudan Aid, sources said.
Reuters Canada - ‎
KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said Sudan wants a lasting peace with South Sudan but Juba needs to end support for rebels in Sudan’s border land, state news agency SUNA said on Saturday. Oil, security and frontier disputes 
AFP - ‎
By Abdelmoneim Abu Edris Ali (AFP) – 1 hour ago KHARTOUM, Sudan — Sudan and South Sudan need peace and Khartoum is committed to all security agreements it has signed, African Union mediator Thabo Mbeki on Saturday quoted the Sudanese leader as saying 
Capital FM Kenya -
CAIRO, May 19 – Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi will travel to Sudan on Sunday, following a request from Khartoum for help over South Sudan’s invasion of the Heglig oilfield, Arabi’s deputy said. Arabi will hold talks with President Omar al-Bashir and 
Ahram Online -
Sudan will allow foreign exchange bureaux and banks to trade dollars at a level close to the black market rate, effectively devaluing the pound, a senior banking official said on Friday. Sudan’s economy has been battered since the country lost 
AngolaPress -
JUBA – The United Nations should impose sanctions on Sudan for failing to obey a Security Council resolution calling for an end to hostilities and renewed negotiations with South Sudan over oil and border disputes, South Sudan’s negotiator said on 
Gulf Daily News -
KHARTOUM: Sudan, hit by an economic crisis since losing crucial oil revenues, will effectively devalue the pound by allowing foreign exchange bureaux to trade dollars at a level away from the official rate. Sudan’s economy has been battered since the 
The Hindu - ‎May 18, 2012‎
An unexploded bomb sticks out of the earth. Foxholes have been dug by aid workers fearing more air strikes from Sudan. Streams of hungry refugees are pouring in. The Yida camp near the militarised Sudan-South Sudan border now holds 31000 Nuba refugees 
CNN - ‎May 18, 2012‎
A Sudanese soldier stands atop a destroyed tank for Sudan People’s Liberation Army of South Sudan in Heglig on April 23, 2012. See more on the interview with Kenya’s prime minister Raila Odinga and the conflict in Sudan on Market Place Africa today at 
AngolaPress - ‎May 18, 2012‎
KHARTOUM – African Union mediator Thabo Mbeki arrived in Khartoum on Thursday to help push Sudan and South Sudan back to talks, which were suspended after border fighting last month, an AFP reporter said. Mbeki left the VIP terminal at Khartoum’s 
Haaretz - ‎May 18, 2012‎
Developments so far in South Sudan point to a country plagued by tribalism, government authoritarianism and disastrous economic policies. By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi | May.18, 2012 | 2:38 AM When the state of South Sudan came into existence last July, 
Voice of America (blog) - ‎May 17, 2012‎
The United Nations Security Council is demanding Sudan withdraw its troops from the disputed region of Abyei and that it reach an agreement with South Sudan on the status of the oil-rich border region. The council on Thursday extended the UN security 
Reuters Africa - ‎May 17, 2012‎
By Michelle Nichols UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The UN Security Council demanded on Thursday that Sudan immediately and unconditionally withdraw troops from the disputed Abyei border region but Khartoum pledged only to do so after a joint military 
New York Times - ‎May 17, 2012‎
The United Nations Security Council on Thursday called on Sudan and South Sudan to reach an agreement on the status of the disputed, oil-rich Abyei border region and extended the United Nations security force’s mission there by six months.
News24 - ‎May 17, 2012‎
Sudan has stepped up harassment of journalists and increased censorship in the wake of fighting with South Sudan, Human Rights Watch says. Khartoum – Sudan has stepped up harassment of journalists and increased censorship in the wake of fighting with 
New Vision - ‎May 17, 2012‎
By Joyce Namutebi Parliament will send a delegation to Khartoum and to Juba in a bid to find a solution to the tension between the two neighbours. The deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah, made the disclosure during a meeting with a delegation of MPs from 
Zee News - ‎May 17, 2012‎
New York: The Security Council called for an agreement between Sudan and South Sudan on the status of the disputed, oil-rich border region of Abyei and extended the UN security force’s mission there by six months. Calling the situation along the 
San Francisco Chronicle - ‎May 17, 2012‎
Yida, South Sudan — First they ate leaves. Then they ate roots, soaked for five days and boiled until they were just edible. Now many have eaten the planting seed – and their future with it. There is no food left in the Nuba Mountains, so the stream 
BBC News - ‎May 17, 2012‎
Former South African President Thabo Mbeki has arrived in Khartoum to attempt to restart negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan. The African Union’s mediator is due to meet Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir to try to set out an agenda and timetable 
NPR - ‎May 17, 2012‎
by Ofeibea Quist-Arcton Nyachieng Nguot Teng, 25, lost her left leg and her 7-month-old son suffered a fractured leg when a Sudanese bomb fell on her hut in Lalat, South Sudan, on May 5. The United Nations is trying to prevent the recent fighting 
Newsday - ‎May 17, 2012‎
Nation Newsday > News > Nation Print Aa Flood of Nuba refugees hits camp near Sudan border Originally published: May 17, 2012 12:34 PM Updated: May 17, 2012 5:08 PM By The Associated Press JASON STRAZIUSO (Associated Press) YIDA, South Sudan – (AP) 
Los Angeles Times - ‎May 17, 2012‎
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — African Union mediator Thabo Mbeki flew to Khartoum on Thursday after Sudan and South Sudan missed a UN Security Council deadline to resume peace talks. Mbeki, the former South African president, is expected to spend two 
Jewish Telegraphic Agency - ‎May 17, 2012‎
By Armin Rosen · May 17, 2012 JUBA, South Sudan (JTA) – This city in the world’s newest country is not your typical Arabic-speaking capital. For one thing, most of the city’s inhabitants are Christian. For another, the Israeli flag is ubiquitous here.
Voice of America - ‎May 17, 2012‎
South Sudan produces most of the oil in the two countries, but Sudan has the infrastructure to transport, refine, and export the oil. The deadline for Sudan and South Sudan to return to the negotiating table in Ethiopia came and went Wednesday without 
Voice of America - ‎May 17, 2012‎
PANAKUAC, South Sudan – The border between South Sudan and Sudan is quiet, but tense after weeks of fighting in contested areas – which sparked fears of all-out war. South Sudanese troops are at a standstill as they await talks on a UN Security 
AFP - ‎May 17, 2012‎
KHARTOUM — Sudan has stepped up harassment of journalists and increased censorship in the wake of fighting with South Sudan, Human Rights Watch said on Thursday. In one high-profile case, Faisal Mohammed Salih, a political columnist for a Khartoum 
Al-Arabiya - ‎May 17, 2012‎
The UN Security Council has welcomed South Sudan’s move to pull its forces from Abyei. (File photo) By AFP The UN Security Council on Thursday made a new demand that Sudan “immediately” withdraw all troops from the territory of Abyei that it disputes 
Independent Online - ‎May 17, 2012‎
African Union mediator Thabo Mbeki was expected in the Sudanese capital on Thursday night to help push Sudan and South Sudan back to talks, which were suspended after border fighting last month. African Union mediator Thabo Mbeki was expected in the 
News24 - ‎May 17, 2012‎
Khartoum – African Union mediator Thabo Mbeki was expected in the Sudanese capital on Thursday night to help push Sudan and South Sudan back to talks, which were suspended after border fighting last month. The two countries did not comply with a United 
Xinhua - ‎May 17, 2012‎
KHARTOUM, May 17 (Xinhua) — Head of the African Union High- Level Implementation Panel on Sudan, Thabo Mbeki, seems to be struggling with time to persuade Sudan and South Sudan to resume negotiations on their outstanding issues, after the deadline set 
The Guardian - ‎May 17, 2012‎
The Greater Nile pipeline is the only way to get oil to market from South Sudan. It is a lifeline: 98% of the country’s revenue is from oil but, since January, no South Sudanese oil has flowed through it. The pipe, 1600km (994 miles) long, 

The Two Sudans on the Brink

Posted: May 4, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël in Reports
Tags: , ,

By Richard Downie

There are fears that Sudan and South Sudan are edging closer to all-out war. The latest crisis has been precipitated by a dispute over oil, which propels the economies of both countries. South Sudan broke away from Sudan to become an independent nation in July 2011 but has been unable to agree on terms for using the North’s oil pipeline, its only route to selling its oil. The dispute escalated in January, when South Sudan shut off production entirely rather than pay what it said were exorbitant fees to transport its oil through Sudan. A military confrontation quickly ensued, which culminated in the seizure by South Sudan’s army of the main oil field controlled by the North, Heglig, on April 10. In a speech to party supporters, President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan said that efforts to retake Heglig would “not be the end, but the beginning.” He pledged to “liberate” South Sudan from its government.

Q1: What explains the latest fighting?

A1: The failure of both countries to agree on the terms of their separation is at the heart of this dispute. Although South Sudan reached independence peacefully last year, the outcome was achieved by putting off negotiations on a long list of contentious issues. They included demarcating the common border and establishing citizenship rights for Southerners living in the North and vice versa. But top of the list was how to jointly manage the oil industry, which accounts for 98 percent of revenue in the South and is the main source of income in the North. When negotiations resumed last fall, both sides adopted intransigent positions, and the talks quickly broke down. Exasperated by the failure to reach a deal and moves by Khartoum to confiscate some of its oil before it could be exported, the government of South Sudan (GoSS) took the fateful decision to shut down production entirely.

Layered on top of the diplomatic impasse was a deteriorating security situation on both sides of the border. GoSS blamed Khartoum for fomenting a succession of damaging rebellions within its borders. Meanwhile in the North, a series of conflicts have quickly gotten out of control, mostly in border regions populated by groups whose sympathies lie with the South. In keeping with previous patterns of behavior, the regime in Khartoum has reacted with indiscriminate force, killing civilians and displacing communities. This response has only served to motivate the rebels. Worryingly for the regime, disparate groups in Southern Kordofan, Blue Nile, and Darfur are beginning to coordinate their operations. Last November they announced the formation of the Sudan Revolutionary Front and declared their intention to topple President Bashir from power. Khartoum has long suspected, with some justification, that the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM) government in South Sudan is assisting these rebels. This rising tide of mutual hostility, combined with the punishing economic costs of the oil shutdown and the aggressive posturing of two ill-disciplined armies, made a military confrontation more likely. Nevertheless, the decision by Southern forces from the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army (SPLA) to occupy an oil field that is widely regarded as lying within Northern territory was a major escalation. South Sudan now finds itself in the unusual position of being painted as the aggressor, while Sudan’s demand that Southern forces immediately withdraw from Heglig has been backed by the international community, including the United States.

Q2: What are the prospects for ending the fighting in the near term?

A2: Not good. The hotheads seem to be driving policy on both sides of the border. Emotions are running high, and recent statements, such as the one issued by President Bashir, are throwing kerosene on the flames. For the time being, neither side is showing much inclination to step back from the brink or suggest a realistic basis for negotiations. A spokesman for GoSS, Barnaba Marial Benjamin, said the South will not withdraw its forces from Heglig unless the fighting stops, the African Union acts as guarantor of a cease-fire, Sudanese forces withdraw from the contested border region of Abyei, and an agreement on demarcating the border is reached. It is unlikely these demands will be met in the near term. For its part, Khartoum’s current strategy does not appear to extend beyond winning Heglig back by force.

Q3: What can the United States do to stop the fighting?

A3: The United States, in common with the rest of the international community, is in the frustrating position of having to watch from the sidelines while the peace unravels. Special Envoy Princeton Lyman is engaged in shuttle diplomacy, visiting both Juba and Khartoum this week, but the reality is that the United States has limited capacity to influence events. Long-standing sanctions against the National Congress Party (NCP) regime in Khartoum curtail his ability to engage with the northern leadership, but in any case, NCP has never been inclined to listen to anything the United States has to say. In theory, the United States has more leverage over the South, which it backed during the long years of Sudan’s civil war and which it continues to supply with desperately needed economic and technical support. So it is a matter of considerable frustration and some annoyance to Washington that Juba shows just as little willingness to listen to U.S. appeals as do its counterparts in the North. Nevertheless, U.S. pressure on Juba to moderate its behavior remains the best potential avenue for ending the crisis. Perhaps Washington would have had more traction with its friends in South Sudan if it had previously been more forceful in pushing for responsible governance in return for its economic and diplomatic largesse. China is perhaps one of the few countries that can wield influence on both sides of the border. Its investments in the oil industry mean it has an economic stake in restoring peace. China does not publicize its diplomatic activity, but it would not be a surprise if Beijing were putting pressure on Khartoum and Juba behind the scenes. A planned visit to China by President Salva Kiir of South Sudan later this month may provide an added opportunity.

Q4: Is the fighting likely to have an impact on global oil prices?

A4: Logic would suggest not. As oil producers, the two Sudans are small players in the overall picture. Of the two countries, South Sudan has 70 to 75 percent of the oil. It was pumping 350,000 barrels per day (bpd) before shutting off production in January, a move that barely caused a ripple on world markets. That leaves Sudan, which produces approximately 115,000 bpd. The Southern occupation of Heglig, its largest oil field, has dented output, although to what extent is unclear. Heglig was producing 60,000 bpd before the latest fighting, and officials had previously stated that production stopped entirely following its seizure. But in a statement on April 18, Sudan’s oil minister said production had only fallen by 40,000 bpd overall and that some of Heglig’s oil had been “diverted.” Regardless of the true figures, the disruption of Sudan’s oil production is unlikely to have a global impact, although its effect on the domestic economy is likely to be very serious indeed.

Richard Downie is a fellow and deputy director of the Africa Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.

http://csis.org/publication/two-sudans-brink

Two New Sudans: A Roadmap Forward

Testimony

Princeton Lyman
Special Envoy for Sudan 
U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing
Washington, DC
July 15, 2011

Chairman Kerry, Ranking Member Lugar, Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, thank you for the opportunity to be here to discuss the historic achievement symbolized by South Sudan’s independence and the opportunities and challenges ahead as Sudan and South Sudan seek to define their future relationship with each other and the international community.

I will discuss below the many tasks and challenges that lie ahead. But first we should recall that a fundamental objective of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement was to provide the people of southern Sudan a choice whether to continue within one country or to separate. The people made that choice in January, voting for separation, and the independence of South Sudan was achieved July 9 without major conflict and with the recognition of the Government of Sudan. All those, in the Congress, among the many public organizations and advocates, the government entities and individuals over two administrations, all those who worked for this over many years should take pride and joy in this achievement.

I was in Juba last Saturday for South Sudan’s independence ceremony. It was a very moving occasion. As President Obama said in his statement recognizing South Sudan, the day reminded us “that after the darkness of war, the light of a new dawn is possible.” Tens of thousands of people endured sweltering heat for hours to celebrate the birth of their new nation. Sudan was the first country to recognize South Sudan’s independence. This was a historic achievement that represents a new beginning for the people of South Sudan as well as those of Sudan.

Mr. Chairman, this achievement was far from inevitable. Just a year ago, the peace process between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement was stalled. Many doubted whether it would be possible to have an on-time, peaceful referendum for Southern Sudan and whether the Government of Sudan would ever accept the results. A return to open conflict seemed very possible. During that time, President Obama committed to reenergizing the peace effort, and since then, we have intensified our diplomatic engagement with the CPA parties as well as our partners in the African Union, IGAD, Europe and the United Nations. The President himself, the Vice President and his entire national security team have been involved in this effort around the clock. We are grateful for the support that this committee and you in particular, Mr. Chairman, have given to this effort. We also appreciate the efforts that so many Americans have made to keep a spotlight on the situation in Sudan.

Over the last year, the leaders of Sudan and South Sudan have demonstrated their capacity to work together on the major task of separation and to overcome great odds in their search for peaceful completion of the CPA. Nevertheless, this period has also been marked by armed clashes along the border, a crisis in Abyei, and fighting currently under way in the northern state of Southern Kordofan. Several critical issues regarding relations between the two states that were to be negotiated by July 9 have not been resolved. Thus the situation remains fraught with serious threats to peace. The two states must work to rekindle the spirit of cooperation that was so evident after the referendum of January 9 and which was promised again by the two leaders in the ceremony of July 9.

The CPA parties have made some progress in their negotiations over the past few months, but as I indicated above some of the most important issues namely oil, Abyei and citizenship remain unresolved. How these outstanding issues are managed over the near term will define the future relationship between Sudan and South Sudan. At the IGAD Summit on July 4, President Bashir and President Kiir committed to continue negotiations beyond July 9. We are urging the parties to quickly return to the negotiating table in the coming days and set a firm deadline for completing this unfinished business. The parties should work with the support of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) to finalize mutually-beneficial arrangements, in particular, oil revenues, citizenship, Abyei, and their shared border. Allowing these issues to linger without resolution for too long could destabilize the future relationship between Sudan and South Sudan.

Of particular importance is the contentious issue of Abyei. After months of rising tensions and a buildup of forces by both sides, the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) forcefully took over the disputed area of Abyei in May. An estimated 100,000 people were forced to flee their homes. After weeks of intense negotiations, the parties signed an agreement on June 20 outlining temporary arrangements for Abyei, to include the establishment of a new UN peacekeeping force in Abyei and the redeployment of all Sudanese military forces from the area. Secretary of State Clinton met with the parties in Addis Ababa during these talks and played an important role in finalizing this deal. We then led efforts in the UN Security Council to quickly secure a resolution authorizing this new peacekeeping force, which will consist of up to 4,200 Ethiopian peacekeepers.

The violence that flared in Abyei cannot be allowed to return and jeopardize the larger peace. It is critical that the parties move forward with genuinely implementing this agreement over the coming weeks as they continue to work toward a final arrangement on Abyei. The Ethiopian peacekeepers have begun deploying to Abyei. The SAF and Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) must follow through with their commitment to withdraw their forces. Conditions must be put in place to allow those displaced from Abyei to voluntarily return home in safety and dignity as soon as possible. Enormous damage was done to homes and other structures in Abyei and much was looted during the SAF take-over. Considerable assistance will therefore be needed for those returning home. We are working closely with the Ethiopian peacekeeping force, the United Nations humanitarian agencies, and our own USAID to arrange support for a safe, voluntary return. At the same time, as part of their negotiations, the parties need to resolve Abyei’s final status. Negotiations on this matter were delayed by the SAF take-over of the area and the extensive negotiations for assuring the departure of military forces from there. This delay was costly. It will take weeks for the Ethiopian forces to be fully deployed and some time for the displaced to feel it safe to return.

Negotiations on the oil sector are equally important, but they must move on a quicker timetable. By the end of July, there has to be an understanding of how oil will be marketed and sold and to what extent the SPLM will provide some tapering off of reductions of income to the north. Agreement is made more difficult, however, because the SPLM does not want to make such a decision without final agreements on Abyei, the border, and perhaps some other issues. We are thus faced with conflicting timelines. In this situation, it is imperative that if there is no final resolution of oil revenue distribution, there must be an interim agreement by the end of July. Each side has claimed it is ready to shut down the oil flow if there is no agreement, positions that if acted upon would only hurt both sides and above all the people of all Sudan. Thus this issue demands action very soon.

Mr. Chairman, beyond their negotiations with each other, Sudan and South Sudan must also work to establish peace within their respective borders. Despite their separation, both countries have significant diversity and must decide how they will manage that diversity over the coming years.  Most immediately, we remain deeply concerned about the situation in the northern border state of Southern Kordofan, an area that is home to tens of thousands of SPLA fighters. The people of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile were promised in the CPA that their political interests would be addressed in a process of popular consultations. Unfortunately, those consultations have not occurred in Southern Kordofan. Tensions increased in Southern Kordofan following the state’s heavily-contested elections in May. The SPLM refused to accept the results of the election in which the sitting Governor was declared the winner. It was in this atmosphere that the Government of Sudan issued an order to the SAF to dissolve the Joint Integrated Units and forcibly disarm SPLA units that remained in the state. On June 5, intense fighting broke out between the SAF and SPLA forces in the state. To date, the fighting has continued, with the SAF carrying out aerial bombardments of SPLA areas. We are extremely concerned by credible allegations of targeted and ethnic-based killings and other gross human rights abuses. These abuses must end, an investigation must be conducted, and perpetrators must be held accountable. The UN estimates that 73,000 people have been displaced by the fighting, and critical access and resupply routes for humanitarian agencies have been blocked.

Negotiations over Southern Kordofan began in Ethiopia in late June under the auspices of the AUHIP. The Government of Sudan and the SPLM-North signed a framework agreement on June 28 outlining new political and security arrangements for Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states. This agreement has the advantage of calling for addressing political issues at the same time as security ones, which is indispensable for reaching an agreement to cease hostilities and lay the groundwork for a longer term settlement. Unfortunately, President Bashir has raised problems with the framework agreement, which puts negotiations at risk. We continue to call on the parties to return to the negotiating table, to recognize the need to address both political and security issues, and to agree on a cessation of hostilities which would allow unfettered humanitarian access. Despite the opposition of Khartoum, we also continue to call on the Government of Sudan to accept a continued UN presence in the two states of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile to support a cessation of hostilities, humanitarian access, and the establishment of new security arrangements. We believe, and we know that much of the international community agrees, that it is in their interest to do so. The Security Council has expressed its readiness to authorize continued UN operations if Khartoum consents.

Within Sudan, we also remain deeply concerned about the security and humanitarian crisis in Darfur. Clashes continue to occur in North and South Darfur between the Government of Sudan and an alliance of Darfur rebel groups, notably the Sudanese Liberation Army and the Justice and Equality Movement. The SAF continues to use aerial bombardments as well as proxy militias as part of its military strategy against the movements, thereby resulting in civilian casualties. Conflict and widespread insecurity impact the humanitarian situation negatively and hamper humanitarian organizations from carrying out their activities in the deep field. The GOS continues to obstruct access of UN-African Union peacekeepers and humanitarian organizations struggle to obtain visas and travel permits from the GoS, which undermine the effectiveness and independence of humanitarian efforts. We have consistently pressed the Government of Sudan to provide full and unfettered access for aid workers and peacekeepers, in order to deliver humanitarian assistance across Darfur. Our own humanitarian staff is only able to access Darfur with high level visits. Otherwise, operational access is simply not possible. Although there has been some limited IDP resettlement in West Darfur and a significant increase in seasonal IDP returns for cultivation, around 2 million Darfuris overall remain in IDP camps. Approximately 70,000 additional persons have been displaced since December 2010.

We have invested considerable efforts in pushing the Government of Sudan and the armed movements to commit to serious negotiations in Doha. Two of Darfur’s rebel groups, the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) have participated in the Doha negotiations. The LJM may sign a peace agreement with the Government of Sudan this week; however LJM has little military strength on the ground. Negotiations between JEM and the Government of Sudan have been suspended since early May, and JEM is currently reconsidering its position on the results of the Doha process. We have emphasized to the Government of Sudan that an agreement with the LJM would be a positive step toward peace, but that it must continue to negotiate with the other armed movements. We also will be applying pressure on the non-negotiating armed movements to return to peace talks.

The position of the armed movements is also of concern. Several of them insist that they do not wish to negotiate on Darfur so much as on changes to the regime in Khartoum, and in some cases are determined to pursue that objective through fighting in and beyond Darfur. This position does not permit realistically peace talks with the Government of Sudan. We will also continue to encourage the non-negotiating armed movements to return to peace talks on Darfur. While the Doha process has now come to an end, other venues can be developed if talks are possible. In this regard, we are currently consulting with the AU, the UN and our international partners on a way forward after Doha that builds on progress achieved in Doha and leads to a more comprehensive settlement.

Any successful peace process must engage not only the armed movements, but also the people of Darfur. The UN and the AU have put forward the initiative of a Darfur Political Process, through which Darfuris would express their views on the way forward for a political settlement. However, we feel strongly that the current security and political environment would not lend itself to a credible or legitimate peace process in Darfur. For this reason, we will be coordinating with the AU and the UN on the necessary enabling conditions that we believe must be in place before the U.S. will support a Darfur-based process.

Mr. Chairman, Sudan needs to end its isolation in the international community and secure a more prosperous future for its people. It has a historic opportunity to do so with the completion of the CPA. Sudan faces an uncertain economic future as it adjusts to a significant loss of oil revenue and continues to shoulder nearly $38 billion of debt. Undoubtedly, Sudan is in need of debt relief, access to the resources of the International Financial Institutions, and a sustainable climate for private investment. Provided Sudan fulfills its obligations under the CPA, the United States is prepared to help.

We have laid out a roadmap to normalize our bilateral relations and taken initial steps in that direction. In February, following a successful referendum, the President began the process of reviewing Sudan’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism. Last month, the President dispatched Deputy National Security Advisor John Brennan to Khartoum to discuss this review and to demonstrate our commitment to this process. Additionally, we have been actively involved in the World Bank technical working group to review the process for Sudan’s debt relief. We have also approved licenses for several American companies wishing to participate in agricultural development in the north.

However, we can only move forward with improved bilateral relations, as outlined in the roadmap, if the Government of Sudan fulfills its obligations under the CPA and demonstrates its commitment to peace within its borders and with its neighbors. A failure to reach a cessation of hostilities will negatively impact this process. U.S. government action to lift remaining U.S. economic sanctions and to request legislative assistance with the removal of applicable foreign assistance restrictions also will be dependent on Sudanese actions in Darfur. We will expect to see concrete actions on humanitarian access, freedom of movement for UNAMID peacekeepers, engagement in peace talks, an end to the use of proxy militias and targeting of civilians, and an improvement in justice and accountability so the reign of impunity in Darfur does not continue. This is not just the position of the United States. It is also the view of other members of the international community and international creditors.

Mr. Chairman, the Government of South Sudan will also depend on international support as it seeks to address its many challenges. South Sudan has some of the lowest development indicators in the world, and its people have high expectations that their lives will improve with independence. Many of its people also remain vulnerable to the activity of armed militias in the border states of Unity, Jonglei, and Upper Nile to the North, and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in the state of Equatoria regions to the south. The United States has provided significant support for South Sudan over the years, and we will remain a steadfast partner as South Sudan seeks to peacefully meet these challenges. The strong ties between our peoples go back many decades, and we want to continue to build on that partnership.

Over 15 countries have offered capacity building assistance to the GOSS. Following the Troika development ministers’ visit in May, USAID is working closely with the AU, UN, ADB, EU, India, China, South Africa, Uganda and others to ensure that the ROSS has a viable human capital plan in place to build capacity for key functions in Juba and state governments. This builds upon the work USAID has done over the last 7 years in the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank of South Sudan, health, education, and agriculture. USAID is working with partners to scale up to ensure that stop gap measure along with medium to long term capacities are being addressed. The United States, the UN, the UK, and other donors will focus on building a human rights culture throughout the GOSS, including the SPLA. All the donors will help in economic development. The United States plans in particular to make a major effort in agricultural production, which can help the vast majority of South Sudanese and for which there is much promise.

To succeed and to sustain international support, the Government of South Sudan must demonstrate its commitment to building an effective, democratic and inclusive government that embodies South Sudan’s diversity, respects human rights and delivers services with transparency and accountability. The eyes of the world will indeed be on South Sudan in the weeks and months ahead. The government must deliver on its commitment to a broad-based, inclusive process to write its permanent constitution. The government must also put in place safeguards to prevent corruption and avoid the pitfalls that have befallen many other oil-producing nations. President Kiir made a strong statement in his inaugural address on these very issues. The United States will work with other international partners to provide advice and support for the government to help him implement those pledges.

Mr. Chairman and other members of the committee, the challenges ahead are great, but the historic occasion last Saturday offers a new beginning for the people of South Sudan and Sudan. Now it is up to the leaders and people of South Sudan and Sudan to turn this moment of promise into lasting peace. We will continue to assist them in this hard work. Over the coming months, the Obama administration’s engagement will be unwavering, and we will be a steadfast partner to all those in Sudan and South Sudan who seek a better future of peace and prosperity.

http://www.state.gov/s/sudan/rem/2011/168657.htm


UN Security Council members vote during a past meeting at the headquarters in New York.

Photo/FILE UN Security Council members vote during a past meeting at the headquarters in New York.

United States of America: draft resolution before The Security Council,

           Security Council
SC/10632

 
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York
 
Security Council
6764th Meeting (AM)
Security Council Calls for Immediate Halt to Fighting Between Sudan, South Sudan,Resumption of Negotiations, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2046 (2012)


Lays Out Time Frame to Conclude Negotiations under Auspices of AfricanUnion;
Expresses Intent to Take Measures under Article 41 on Sanctions for Non-compliance
         Condemning the repeated incidents of cross-border violence between Sudan and South Sudan, including seizure of territory, support to proxy forces and aerial bombing, the Security Council this morning decided that Sudan and South Sudan must immediately cease all hostilities, withdraw forces, activate previously-agreed security mechanisms, and resume negotiations under threat of sanctions.
          Acting under the binding Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter in unanimously adopting resolution 2046 (2012), the Council decided that the parties must formally convey their commitments to end hostilities, including aerial bombardments, not later than 48 hours from the adoption of the resolution to the African Union and the Security Council.  Within one week, they must activate border security mechanisms, including the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism, without prejudice to ongoing negotiations on disputed areas.
          Within no more than two weeks, the Council decided in addition, Sudan and South Sudan must unconditionally resume negotiations under the auspices of the African Union High-level Implementation Panel to reach consensus on oil and related payments, the status of nationals of one country residing in the other, demarcation of borders and the final status of the disputed Abyei area.  If those negotiations failed to result in agreements within three months, the Council requested the Secretary-General, in consultation with African partners, to report on the status of talks.
           In addition, the Council decided that the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) must cooperate with the High-level Implementation Panel and the Chair of the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) to reach a negotiated settlement on security arrangements in Blue Nile and South Kordofan States, strongly urging them to accept the tripartite proposal of the African Union, the United Nations and the Arab League to permit humanitarian access to the population in those two areas.
          On all issues regarding compliance with the resolution, the Council requested the Secretary-General to work closely with the African Union and other African partners and inform the Council within 15 days and in two week intervals thereafter, expressing its intention, in the event that any or all of the parties have not complied with its decisions, “to take appropriate additional measures under Article 41 of the Charter as necessary”, referring to the Article on sanctions.
Following the adoption of the text, Council members took the floor to urge both parties to avert a greater conflagration by compliance with the resolution and to complete the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which ended the decades-long Sudanese civil war.  “Both countries are on the brink of returning to the horrors of the past, taking the entire region with them,” the representative of the United States warned.
         Most speakers expressed strong support for the work of the African Union’s High-level Implementation Panel, with some saying that a main impetus for their affirmative vote for the resolution was the text’s support for the central role of that body.  Some speakers directly warned of their willingness to impose sanctions if compliance was not obtained, while others, including China’s representative, reiterated general reticence on imposing such measures.  While most speakers accorded equal blame for recent violence on the parties, some, including the representative of the Russian Federation, urged a stronger response to South Sudan’s occupation of Heglig, urging that an assessment of damage and other actions be taken.
          Taking the floor following Council members, the representatives of South Sudan and Sudan welcomed the Council’s strong support for the African Union’s role in trying to bring about a peaceful resolution of the Conflict.  South Sudan’s representative underlined his country’s withdrawal from Heglig and called for efforts to bring about Sudan’s withdrawal from Abyei, also requesting international humanitarian aid.
          Sudan’s representative welcomed the condemnation of the occupation of Heglig, but said that the lack of a timeframe for ending support to rebel groups in Sudan would make it harder to achieve peace, and he said his country was not bombing outside its own territory.  He also noted that the African Union decisions on the matter had not advocated the imposition of sanctions.
            Representatives of South Africa, India, Germany, Colombia, France, Togo, Morocco, United Kingdom, Pakistan, Guatemala, Portugal and Azerbaijan also spoke.
            The meeting began at 11:04 a.m. and ended at 12:09 p.m.
Resolution
The full text of resolution 2046 (2012) reads as follows:
The Security Council,
Recalling its previous resolutions and statements on the situation in Sudan and South Sudan, in particular resolutions 1990 (2011), 2024 (2011) and 2032 (2011), and its presidential statements of 6 March 2012 and 12 April 2012, andfurther recalling the priority it attaches to the full and urgent advancement of all outstanding issues from the Comprehensive Peace Agreement,
Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity, and territorial integrity of Sudan and South Sudan, and to the purposes and the principles of the United Nations Charter,
Noting paragraph 7 of the 24 April 2012 decision of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union at its 319th meeting, and reiterating that the territorial boundaries of states shall not be altered by force, and that any territorial disputes shall be settled exclusively by peaceful means,
Recalling the importance of the principles of the peaceful settlement of international disputes, good neighborliness, non-interference and regional cooperation,
Deeply committed to seeing Sudan and South Sudan become two economically prosperous states living side-by-side in peace, security, and stability, andunderlining the importance of building mutual trust, confidence and an environment conducive to long-term stability and economic development,
“Condemning the repeated incidents of cross-border violence between Sudan and South Sudan, including troop movements, the seizure and occupation of Heglig, support to proxy forces, and Sudanese Armed Forces aerial bombardments,
Condemning actions by any armed group aimed at the forced overthrow of the Government of either Sudan or South Sudan,
Expressing deep concern at the humanitarian situation created by the fighting between Sudan and South Sudan, and the continued fighting in the states of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, in Sudan,
Strongly condemning all acts of violence committed against civilians in violation of international humanitarian law and human rights law,
Welcoming the withdrawal from Heglig of the army of South Sudan and callingfor the immediate cessation of aerial bombardments by the Sudanese Armed Forces against South Sudan,
Strongly condemning the violations of human rights of non-combatants in the affected area, the damage to economic infrastructure, in particular oil installations, and all inflammatory statements, which result in mutual demonization and the threat of hostile action by extremist elements, including xenophobic attacks,
Calling for an impartial fact finding effort to assess the losses and economic and humanitarian damage, including to oil facilities and other key infrastructure, in and around Heglig,
Expressing deep concern at the fate of the nationals of both countries resident in each other’s territory, following the end of the transition period that occurred on 8 April 2012,
Recalling the June 29, 2011 Agreement Between the Government of the Sudan and the Government of Southern Sudan on Border Security and the Joint Political and Security Mechanism, taking note of the commitment in Paragraph 2 to create a safe demilitarized border zone (SDBZ), and the 30 July 2011 Agreement on the Border Monitoring Support Mission Between the Government of Sudan and the Government of South Sudan, which elaborates on the establishment of a Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JBVMM) with an area of responsibility corresponding to the SDBZ, and a Joint Political and Security Mechanism (JPSM),
Recognizing the urgent need for Sudan and South Sudan to commence the process of border demilitarization,
Deploring the failure of Sudan and South Sudan security forces to redeploy from the Abyei Area in accordance with their Agreement of 20 June 2011 and resolution 1990 (2011),
Convinced that there can be no military solution to the conflict in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, and stressing the urgent need for a political and negotiated solution, based on respect for diversity in unity,
Reaffirming its previous resolutions 1674 (2006) and 1894 (2009) on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, 1612 (2006), 1882 (2009), and 1998 (2011) on children and armed conflict, 1502 (2003) on the protection of humanitarian and United Nations personnel, and 1325 (2000), 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009) and 1960 (2010) on women, peace and security,
Welcoming the continuing efforts of the African Union to support Sudan and South Sudan in addressing the legacy of conflict and bitterness in Sudan, notably through the conclusion of the January 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), its implementation, in particular the holding of the referendum on self-determination of South Sudan, and the negotiations on post-secession relations,
Commending the efforts of the AU High-level Implementation Panel, including its Chairman President Thabo Mbeki, former Presidents Abdulsalami Abubakar and Pierre Buyoya, the Chairperson of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Sudan and South Sudan, Haile Menkerios, and the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) under the leadership of Lieutenant General Tesfay Tadesse,
Expressing its full support for the 24 April 2012 decision of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union at its 319th meeting on the situation between the Republic of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan, in order to ease the current tension, facilitate the resumption of negotiations on post-secession relations and the normalization of their relations, including, in particular the road map outlined in that decision,
Determining that the prevailing situation along the border between Sudan and South Sudan constitutes a serious threat to international peace and security,
Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,
“1.   Decides that Sudan and South Sudan shall take the following actions with immediate effect
unless otherwise specified below:
(i)   immediately cease all hostilities, including aerial bombardments, with the parties formally conveying their commitment in this respect to the Chairperson of the African Union Commission and the President of the Security Council not later than 48 hours from the adoption of this resolution;
(ii)  unconditionally withdraw all of their armed forces to their side of the border, in accordance with previously adopted Agreements, including the Agreement on the Border Monitoring Support Mission of 30 July 2011;
(iii)activate, within no more than a week of the adoption of this resolution, the necessary border security mechanisms, namely the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JBVMM) and the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone (SDBZ), in accordance with the administrative and security map presented to the Parties by the AUHIP in November 2011, it being understood that this map in no way prejudices ongoing negotiations on the disputed areas and demarcation of the border;
(iv)  cease the harbouring of, or support to, rebel groups against the other State;
(v)   activate the ad hoc Committee, under the Joint Political and Security Mechanism, to receive and investigate complaints and allegations made by one party against the other;
(vi)  immediately cease hostile propaganda and inflammatory statements in the media, as well as any attacks against the property, religious and cultural symbols belonging to the nationals of the other State, with the two Governments assuming full responsibility for the protection of each other’s nationals in line with international principles, consistent with the Framework Agreement on the Status of Nationals of the Other State and Related Matters initialled in March 2012;
(vii)implement pending aspects of the 20 June 2011 Agreement on Temporary Security and Administrative Arrangements for the Abyei Area, in particular the redeployment, within no more than two weeks of the adoption of this resolution, of all Sudanese and South Sudanese forces out of the Abyei Area;
“2.   Decides that Sudan and South Sudan shall unconditionally resume negotiations, under the auspices of the AUHIP and with the support of the Chairman of IGAD, at a time to be set by the AUHIP in consultation with relevant international partners, but within no more than two weeks from the time of adoption of this resolution, to reach agreement on the following critical issues:
(i)            arrangements concerning oil and associated payments;
(ii)          the status of nationals of one country resident in the other, consistent with the Framework Agreement on the Status of Nationals of the Other State and Related Matters initialled in March 2012;
(iii)         resolution of the status of the disputed and claimed border areas and the demarcation of the border; and
(iv)        the final status of the Abyei Area;
“3.   Decides that the Government of Sudan and the SPLM-North shall extend full cooperation to the AUHIP and the Chair of IGAD, to reach a negotiated settlement on the basis of the 28 June 2011 Framework Agreement on Political Partnership between NCP and SPLM-N and Political and Security Arrangements in Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan States;
“4.   Strongly urges Sudan and the SPLM-Ntoaccept the tripartite proposal submitted by the African Union, the United Nations and the League of Arab States, to permit humanitarian access to the affected population in the two areas,ensuring in accordance with applicable international law, including applicable international humanitarian law, and guiding principles of emergency humanitarian assistance, the safe, unhindered and immediate access of United Nations and other humanitarian personnel, as well as the delivery of supplies and equipment, in order to allow such personnel to efficiently perform their task of assisting the conflict-affected civilian population;
“5.   Decides that the negotiations referred to in paragraph 2 above shall be concluded within three months of the adoption of this resolution, and in the event these negotiations fail to result in an agreement on any or all of the issues within the allotted timeframe of three months, requests the Secretary-General, in consultation with the AUHIP, the Chair of IGAD, and the Chairman of the AU Commission, to report within four months of the date of this resolution to the Security Council on the status of the negotiations, including detailed proposals on all outstanding issues;
“6.   Requests the Secretary-General to consult with the African Union on the implementation of this resolution and the decisions of the AU PSC, to work closely with the AUHIP in support of its facilitationefforts, and to inform the Security Council within 15 days and in two week intervals thereafter on the status of compliance by SudanSouth Sudanand the SPLM-N with the decisions set forth in this resolution, and expresses itsintention, in the event that any or all of the parties have not complied with the decisions set forth in this resolution, to take appropriate additional measures under Article 41 of the Charter as necessary;
“7.   Calls upon all parties to promote and protect human rights, including those of women and people belonging to vulnerable groups, to comply with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian and international human rights law, and calls for those responsible for serious violations of such law, including sexual violence, to be held accountable;
“8.   Commends the efforts by UNISFA in carrying out its mandate, expressesits deep appreciation for the work of the Force Commander and the troop-contributing countries, and expresses its intention to evaluate the mandate of UNISFA in the context of compliance by Sudan and South Sudan with the decisions set forth in this resolution, and with the fulfilment of their commitments as set out in the 20 June, 29 June, and 30 July 2011 Agreements;
“9.   Stresses the importance of, and the need to restore, a comprehensive, just and lasting peace between Sudan and South Sudan;
“10.  Decides to remain actively seized of this matter.”
Statements
               SUSAN RICE United States) welcomed the Council’s action, which underscored its strong and unanimous support for the road map for peace laid out by the African Union Peace and Security Council.  The current conflict was on the verge of becoming a full scale war.  Both countries were on the brink of retuning to the horrors of the past “and threatening to take the entire region with them.  The fighting must stop, and stop now.”  The conflict did not begin last week, last month, or last year.  The tensions underlying it had long roots, most recently in unresolved issues regarding the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement.  For months, the international community had sent strong warnings to the parties to resolve those issues peacefully.  To date, they had failed to do so.
Throughout the conflict, “there has been a long history of promises made and promises broken,” she said, stressing that, with its vote today, the Council had imposed tight deadlines for action by both sides in line with the African Union road map.  The Council must continue to press both parties to implement that peace plan, including through the withdrawal of all forces from border areas, activating border security mechanisms and ending support for rebel groups working against the other State.  It was also necessary for the parties to return to the negotiating table under the auspices of the African Union High-level Implementation Panel.  That was the only way that further conflict could be avoided.  If the parties failed to carry out all the aims of the African Union plan, the Council was united in its determination to hold them accountable by imposing Chapter VII sanctions on both sides as necessary.
She welcomed the commitment of South Sudan to abide by the African Union road map and the decisions of the Security Council.  The Government of Sudan should clarify its statement of earlier today to accept the African Union road map in full.  The bombing of areas in South Sudan was “deeply alarming and profoundly disturbing, especially in light of South Sudan’s recent steps towards peace.”  Such actions being carried out by Sudan must halt.  Meanwhile, South Sudan should refrain from any retaliation, especially cross-border attacks.  Occupation of Heglig was illegal and must not happen again.
                  LI BAODONG (China) said his delegation was deeply worried about the deterioration in relations between the two countries.   China hoped the two sides would respect each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and follow the path of peace laid out by the African Union.  Both sides should pursue dialogue and negotiations and make joint efforts to forge good neighbourly relations.  At the same time, the international community should take an objective and impartial stance on the matter and avoid taking sides.  Stakeholders should also refrain from interfering in the mediation efforts.
“We are always very cautious regarding the use or threat of use of sanctions,” he said, expressing support for the African Union’s efforts to solve the dispute.  China hoped both countries would cooperate with the African Union and sought an early and proper solution to the relevant issues.  Taking into account the African Union’s communiqué and the request of both sides, China had voted in favour of the resolution and would continue to take an active role in working with the international community to address the issue.
                    BASO SANGQU ( South Africa) said that his delegation remained concerned that the current escalation had seriously damaged the relationship between Sudan and South Sudan and had brought the two States to the brink of war.  It was clear that there was no military solution to the dispute.  What was required was for the parties to commit to living peacefully side by side, with respect for each other’s territorial integrity.  The parties must commit to the aims of the African Union road map agreed by the Peace and Security Council.  That Council had called on the United Nations to endorse its road map, and South Africa was pleased the Security Council had been able to unanimously adopt the resolution, which should help the African Union as it sought to ensure the parties resumed negotiations.  The onus rested with the political leadership of both countries, which must work to ensure that all their people enjoyed peace, security and development.  “They must give effect to their previous commitment to never return to war,” he said.
                          MANJEEV SINGH PURI (India) also expressed serious concern over developments between the two countries, saying there was an urgent need to settle all issues peacefully through negotiations, under the framework of the Panel headed by Thabo Mbeki.  He stressed his country’s consistent support to the efforts of the African Union High-level Implementation Panel to bring about a situation of two viable stable States in peace with one another.  He hoped that the adoption of the resolution would assist those efforts.
                         PETER WITTIG (Germany), enumerating the worrying events of the past months, said that an unequivocal message had been sent to the parties to end what he called a clear threat to international peace and security.  He strongly supported the leadership role of the African Union on the issue and urged the parties to seize the opportunity posed by the adoption of the text to return to a peaceful resolution of the issue through negotiations.  He affirmed that the Council would remain focused on the issue.
                      VITALY CHURKIN (Russian Federation) said he had supported the resolution insofar as it supported resolution of the conflict through negotiation under the mechanisms of the African continent itself, including Mr. Mbeki’s Panel.  However, in light of the severe repercussions of the occupation of the oil fields of Heglig, it was not appropriate to welcome the withdrawal of South Sudanese troops from that area.  Compensation needed to be provided, among other responses.  He maintained, in addition, that the situation in Sudan’s Blue Nile and South Kordofan States should not be placed under the framework of the resolution, saying that armed groups, supported from outside, were fomenting destabilization in Sudan.  He urged caution in the imposition of sanctions, supported the mediation of Thabo Mbeki to normalize the situation and urged the parties to cooperate with that mediation.
                   NÉSTOR OSORIO (Colombia) found it regrettable that the first steps of the recently-born State of South Sudan would be acts of war.  Peaceful negotiation, using regional organizations, was the only way of resolving such situations.  Supporting the African Union road map of 24 April, he said it was crucial that both parties return to the spirit of compromise that made the Comprehensive Peace Agreement possible.  The adoption of this resolution gave a clear sign of the firm determination of the Council not to allow the situation to worsen further.  The parties must forge a relationship based on cooperation and peaceful coexistence.
                   MARTIN BRIENS ( France) welcomed the adoption of the text and appreciated the work done by the African Union over the past few weeks to ease tensions between the two sides and restart negotiations on unresolved issues regarding the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. Thanks to the Council’s decision today, the African Union road map now had the authority of a Chapter VII resolution, and both sides must come back to the negotiating table to deal with those unresolved issues.  This was a clear way forward and it was up to the two Governments to abide by the decisions taken by the Security Council and the African Union.
                   KODJO MENAN (Togo) said his delegation was pleased with the Council’s action, especially since the text just adopted stipulated that urgent measures be taken, so Sudan and South Sudan could return to peace.  After the African Union communiqué on the issue, it was crucial for the Council to act.  Togo believed that the two countries must follow the path of peace and negotiation and, in that regard, welcomed the decision of South Sudan to withdraw its forces from border areas.  Sudan should do likewise and end aerial bombardment, and both sides should return to the negotiations being led by Thabo Mbeki.  Both sides should avoid confrontation and begin good faith negotiations to resolve open issues, in line with the aims of the African Union.
                MOHAMMED LOULICHKI (Morocco) said his delegation had voted in favour of the text because it had called on both Governments to immediately cease violence and begin negotiations.  It had also called on both sides to respect each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.  Morocco believed that priority should be given to dialogue and negotiations.  Neither side should support rebels seeking to undermine the move towards peace, and should instead return quickly to the negotiating table.  Sanctions should be imposed only when there was a necessity to do so, and, quoting a recent Arab League decision, he said that Arab countries were prepared to support the negotiation process.  The Arab countries had also proposed the creation of a commission of inquiry into the damage wrought by the conflict.
                  PHILIP PARHAM (United Kingdom) said that, in recent weeks, the Security Council had expressed its growing alarm at the escalating tensions and violence between Sudan and South Sudan.  With its adoption of the current resolution, the Council had made it clear that the conflict must end.  The text, with the weight of Chapter VII of the Charter, gave full support to the African Union road map, and called on both sides to agree to a cease fire and follow the African Union framework towards peace and lasting security.  The resolution also called on Sudan, South Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-North (SPLM-N) to actively find a solution to the unresolved issues regarding the Blue Nile and South Kordofan.  The resolution made clear that those parties must comply with all elements of the decisions taken by the Security Council and the African Union.  The United Kingdom hoped Sudan and South Sudan would choose the peace, security and prosperity that the people so desperately needed and deserved.  The African Union had expressed its willingness to support all efforts towards reaching that goal.
                   RAZA BASHIR TARAR (Pakistan), expressing serious concern over the situation, said it was urgent for the international community to urge both parties to return to negotiations and peaceful resolution of their differences.  Supporting the central role of the African Union in the situation and all conflicts in Africa, he said that the Council must stand united behind the Union in the maintenance of peace and security on the continent.  The Council, however, should be cautious in the use of sanctions and he regretted that several proposals from Council members threatened to create fissures between members and that several proposals of the African Union were not taken into consideration.  The tendency of the Council to respond selectively to the Union’s efforts was counterproductive.  He called on both countries to “help us help them” find a peaceful resolution of the situation.
                  GERT ROSENTHAL (Guatemala), also expressing alarm, said both parties had the responsibility for the resumption of armed activity.  In voting for the resolution, he was responding to the appeal of the African Union, as well as the need to maintain international peace and security.  There was now a new opportunity to highlight all the elements of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement to achieve a firm and lasting peace within the framework of cooperation between both countries.
                  JOÃO MARIA CABRAL (Portugal), also expressing deep concern, urged both parties to respond favorably and immediately to today’s resolution and the work of the African Union High-level Implementation Panel.  He also stressed the importance of implementation of the provisions of the resolution that focused on human rights and humanitarian concerns.
                Council President AGSHIN MEHDIYEV (Azerbaijan), speaking in his national capacity, took note of the Council’s deep commitment to the viability of Sudan and South Sudan, and said that it was important that the resolution supported the central role of the African Union, as well as the peaceful settlement of disputes and the inadmissibility of the use of force and seizure of territory.  He welcomed the end of the occupation of Heglig and said additional steps should be taken, including an assessment of the losses incurred.
             DENG ALOR KUOL, Minister of Cabinet Affairs of South Sudan, said that his Government appreciated the Council’s prompt response to the African Union’s request to reinforce that regional body’s decisions regarding his country and Sudan.  He recalled — and reiterated his Government’s support for — its withdrawal of its police force from the Abyei Area on 28 April.  His Government expected the international community to exert efforts to ensure the “immediate and complete withdrawal of Sudan Armed Forces” from that area, he said, also noting that his Government had already committed to a cessation of hostilities and the resumption of negotiations under the auspices of the High-level Implementation Panel.  South Sudan welcomed the Council’s commitment to strengthen the African Union-led process through the active participation of the United Nations, the Chairman of the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) and other international partners.
“We appeal to the United Nations and its Member States to urgently mobilize humanitarian assistance for the population affected by Sudan’s continuous aerial bombardment and ground incursions in the northern States of South Sudan,” he said, also calling for urgent assistance for the tens of thousands of civilians displaced by the Sudanese Armed Force’s invasion of the Abyei Area last May.  Finally, he said that South Sudan looked forward to good faith implementation of the resolution just adopted.
              DAFFA-ALLA ELHAG ALI OSMAN (Sudan) saluted all Council members who had insisted that the current text condemn the violence in Heglig, describing it as encroachment on his country’s territorial integrity.  He also thanked those members that had called for conducting a fact-finding mission to investigate the extent of the damage done by SPLM-N in Heglig.  He welcomed the efforts of the African Union to promote peace and security throughout the continent and especially welcomed the recent statement that placed the African Union High-level Implementation Panel at the head of the negotiation process.
“We intend to keep this process within the African continent under the leadership of Mr. Mbeki,” he said.  At the same time, he said that peace between the two countries would only be achieved through halting all forms of support and sheltering of rebel armed groups.  He was concerned that the Council’s current resolution did not set out timeframes on that matter, as it had in other areas.  “This we find impracticable,” he said, also expressing concern about recent declarations by the Government of South Sudan to return to Heglig.  He also called for accuracy regarding talk about “aerial bombardment”.  Sudanese forces did not bombard any areas inside South Sudan, but his country had the right to use any means to rebuff and ward off any aggression within its own territory, including using its air force.  With all that in mind, he said that security issues between the two countries should be given priority when negotiations were restarted.
As for South Kordofan and Blue Nile, he said the African Union communiqué did not request putting maters regarding those areas under Chapter VII.  The African Union had requested endorsement of its road map, but did not include those areas.  In addition, the Council’s resolution threatened the use of sanctions, while the African Union had not posed such a request.  The Council must verify its actions in such matters and Sudan would make known its particular reservations regarding that matter.  He reiterated his Governments support for and belief in the Charter-mandated principle of State sovereignty and territorial integrity.
* *** *

        Recalling its previous resolutions and statements on the situation in Sudan and South Sudan, in particular resolutions 1990 (2011), 2024 (2011) and 2032 (2011), and its Presidential Statements of 6 March 2012 and 12 April 2012, and further recalling the priority it attaches to the full and urgent advancement of all outstanding issues from the Comprehensive Peace Agreement,

Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity, and territorial integrity of Sudan and South Sudan, and to the purposes and the principles of the United Nations Charter,

Noting paragraph 7 of the 24 April 2012 decision of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union at its 319th meeting, and reiterating that the territorial boundaries of states shall not be altered by force, and that any territorial disputes shall be settled exclusively by peaceful means,

        Recalling the importance of the principles of the peaceful settlement of international disputes, good neighbourliness, non-interference and regional cooperation,

Deeply committed to seeing Sudan and South Sudan become two economically prosperous states living side-by-side in peace, security, and stability, and underlining the importance of building mutual trust, confidence and an environment conducive to long-term stability and economic development,

Condemning the repeated incidents of cross-border violence between Sudan and South Sudan, including troop movements, the seizure and occupation of Heglig, support to proxy forces, and Sudanese Armed Forces aerial bombardments,

Condemning actions by any armed group aimed at the forced overthrow of the government of either Sudan or South Sudan,

Expressing deep concern at the humanitarian situation created by the fighting between Sudan and South Sudan, and the continued fighting in the states of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, in Sudan,

Strongly condemning all acts of violence committed against civilians in violation of international humanitarian law and human rights law,

Welcoming the withdrawal from Heglig of the army of South Sudan and calling for the immediate cessation of aerial bombardments by the Sudanese Armed Forces against South Sudan,

Strongly condemning the violations of human rights of non-combatants in the affected area, the damage to economic infrastructure, in particular oil installations, and all inflammatory statements, which result in mutual demonization and the threat of hostile action by extremist elements, including xenophobic attacks,

Calling for an impartial fact finding effort to assess the losses and economic and humanitarian damage, including to oil facilities and other key infrastructure, in and around Heglig,

Expressing deep concern at the fate of the nationals of both countries resident in each other’s territory, following the end of the transition period that occurred on 8 April 2012,

Recalling the June 29, 2011 Agreement Between the Government of the Sudan and the Government of Southern Sudan on Border Security and the Joint Political and Security Mechanism, taking note of the commitment in Paragraph 2 to create a safe demilitarized border zone (SDBZ), and the July 30, 2011 Agreement on the Border Monitoring Support Mission Between the Government of Sudan and the Government of South Sudan, which elaborates on the establishment of a Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JBVMM) with an area of responsibility corresponding to the SDBZ, and a Joint Political and Security Mechanism (JPSM),

Recognizing the urgent need for Sudan and South Sudan to commence the process of border demilitarization,

Deploring the failure of Sudan and South Sudan security forces to redeploy from the Abyei Area in accordance with their Agreement of June 20, 2011 and resolution 1990 (2011),

Convinced that there can be no military solution to the conflict in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, and stressing the urgent need for a political and negotiated solution, based on respect for diversity in unity,

Reaffirming its previous resolutions 1674 (2006) and 1894 (2009) on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, 1612 (2006), 1882 (2009), and 1998 (2011) on children and armed conflict, 1502 (2003) on the protection of humanitarian and United Nations personnel, and 1325 (2000), 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009) and 1960 (2010) on women, peace and security,

Welcoming the continuing efforts of the African Union to support Sudan and South Sudan in addressing the legacy of conflict and bitterness in Sudan, notably through the conclusion of the January 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), its implementation, in particular the holding of the referendum on self-determination of South Sudan, and the negotiations on post-secession relations,

Commending the efforts of the AU High-level Implementation Panel, including its Chairman President Thabo Mbeki, former Presidents Abdulsalami Abubakar and Pierre Buyoya, the Chairperson of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Sudan and South Sudan, Haile Menkerios, and the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) under the leadership of Lieutenant General Tesfay Tadesse,

Expressing its full support for the 24 April 2012 decision of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union at its 319th meeting on the situation between the Republic of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan, in order to ease the current tension, facilitate the resumption of negotiations on post-secession relations and the normalization of their relations, including, in particular the Roadmap outlined in that decision,

Determining that the prevailing situation along the border between Sudan and South Sudan constitutes a serious threat to international peace and security,

        Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

1.     Decides that Sudan and South Sudan shall take the following actions with immediate effect unless otherwise specified below:

(i)     immediately cease all hostilities, including aerial bombardments, with the parties formally conveying their commitment in this respect to the Chairperson of the African Union Commission and the President of the Security Council not later than 48 hours from the adoption of this resolution;

(ii)    unconditionally withdraw all of their armed forces to their side of the border, in accordance with previously adopted Agreements, including the Agreement on the Border Monitoring Support Mission of 30 July 2011;

(iii)   activate, within no more than a week of the adoption of this resolution, the necessary border security mechanisms, namely the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JBVMM) and the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone (SDBZ), in accordance with the administrative and security map presented to the Parties by the AUHIP in November 2011, it being understood that this map in no way prejudices ongoing negotiations on the disputed areas and demarcation of the border;

(iv)   cease the harbouring of, or support to, rebel groups against the other State;

(v)    activate the ad hoc Committee, under the Joint Political and Security Mechanism, to receive and investigate complaints and allegations made by one party against the other;

(vi)   immediately cease hostile propaganda and inflammatory statements in the media, as well as any attacks against the property, religious and cultural symbols belonging to the nationals of the other State, with the two governments assuming full responsibility for the protection of each other’s nationals in line with international principles, consistent with the Framework Agreement on the Status of Nationals of the Other State and Related Matters initialled in March 2012;

(vii)  implement pending aspects of the 20 June 2011 Agreement on Temporary Security and Administrative Arrangements for the Abyei Area, in particular the redeployment, within no more than two weeks of the adoption of this resolution, of all Sudanese and South Sudanese forces out of the Abyei Area;

2.     Decides that Sudan and South Sudan shall unconditionally resume negotiations, under the auspices of the AUHIP and with the support of the Chairman of IGAD, at a time to be set by the AUHIP in consultation with relevant international partners, but within no more than two weeks from the time of adoption of this resolution, to reach agreement on the following critical issues:

(i)     arrangements concerning oil and associated payments;

(ii)    the status of nationals of one country resident in the other, consistent with the Framework Agreement on the Status of Nationals of the Other State and Related Matters initialled in March 2012;

(iii)   resolution of the status of the disputed and claimed border areas and the demarcation of the border; and

(iv)   the final status of the Abyei Area;

3.     Decides that the Government of Sudan and the SPLM-North shall extend full cooperation to the AUHIP and the Chair of IGAD, to reach a negotiated settlement on the basis of the June 28, 2011 Framework Agreement on Political Partnership between NCP and SPLM-N and Political and Security Arrangements in Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan States;

4.     Strongly urges Sudan and the SPLM-N to accept the tripartite proposal submitted by the African Union, the United Nations and the League of Arab States, to permit humanitarian access to the affected population in the two areas, ensuring in accordance with applicable international law, including applicable international humanitarian law, and guiding principles of emergency humanitarian assistance, the safe, unhindered and immediate access of United Nations and other humanitarian personnel, as well as the delivery of supplies and equipment, in order to allow such personnel to efficiently perform their task of assisting the conflict-affected civilian population;

5.     Decides that the negotiations referred to in paragraph 2 above shall be concluded within three months of the adoption of this resolution, and in the event these negotiations fail to result in an agreement on any or all of the issues within the allotted timeframe of three months, requests the Secretary-General, in consultation with the AUHIP, the Chair of IGAD, and the Chairman of the AU Commission, to report within four months of the date of this resolution to the Security Council on the status of the negotiations, including detailed proposals on all outstanding issues;

6.     Requests the Secretary-General to consult with the African Union on the implementation of this resolution and the decisions of the AU PSC, to work closely with the AUHIP in support of its facilitation efforts, and to inform the Security Council within 15 days and in two week intervals thereafter on the status of compliance by Sudan, South Sudan, and the SPLM-N with the decisions set forth in this resolution, and expresses its intention, in the event that any or all of the parties have not complied with the decisions set forth in this resolution, to take appropriate additional measures under Article 41 of the Charter;

7.     Calls upon all parties to promote and protect human rights, including those of women and people belonging to vulnerable groups, to comply with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian and international human rights law, and calls for those responsible for serious violations of such law, including sexual violence, to be held accountable;

8.     Commends the efforts by UNISFA in carrying out its mandate, expresses its deep appreciation for the work of the Force Commander and the troop-contributing countries, and expresses its intention to evaluate the mandate of UNISFA in the context of compliance by Sudan and South Sudan with the decisions set forth in this resolution, and with the fulfilment of their commitments as set out in the June 20, June 29, and July 30, 2011 Agreements;

9.     Stresses the importance of, and the need to restore, a comprehensive, just and lasting peace between Sudan and South Sudan;

10.   Decides to remain actively seized of this matter.

UN Council aims for Wednesday vote on Sudan crisis

By AFP: Wednesday, May 2  2012 

The UN Security Council hopes to vote Wednesday on a resolution that could threaten Sudan and South Sudan with sanctions if they do not stop fighting, diplomats said.

China and Russia, veto-wielding permanent members, are however leading resistance to any warning of international action against the rival countries, which many fear are headed for all-out war.

Sudan on Tuesday warned its southern neighbour, which split away last year, over widening “aggression” as the South alleged fresh clashes despite an African Union peace initiative in the oil-fuelled conflict.

Khartoum charged that “South Sudan and its army are working to widen the aggression and occupy some disputed points and areas by force. Sudan cannot allow the occupying troops to impose their power.”

More than a week ago South Sudanese soldiers said they had completed a withdrawal from Sudan’s main oil region of Heglig, which they occupied for 10 days, while Sudan launched air strikes across the border.

In New York, a resolution drawn up by the United States calls on the two countries to “immediately cease all hostilities” and withdraw troops to their own territory, in line with the call made by the African Union.

The resolution would threaten “additional measures” under Article 41 of the UN Charter, which allows for non-military sanctions.

China, which has strong trade ties with both Sudan and South Sudan, and Russia traditionally oppose warnings of sanctions. And the resolution could change before any vote, diplomats told AFP.

“This time it is less the Russians and more the Chinese,” one senior Western diplomat said on condition of anonymity. “If they keep on not liking it, they might abstain. I don’t think they will veto.”

China is more likely to accept the resolution as the request for possible sanctions has come from the African Union.

“It is much more difficult for the Chinese and Russians to say no to an AU request than a Western plan,” the envoy added.

Under the resolution, the two countries would have two weeks to “unconditionally” start talks under AU mediation on borders and sharing oil revenues, and they would have three months to conclude an accord.

UN leader Ban Ki-moon would have to report to the Security Council every two weeks on the crisis.

China and Russia are nervous even though no automatic sanctions are mentioned, diplomats said. “They oppose even the mention of Article 41,” one diplomat told AFP.

Speaking after talks with Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ali Karti in Moscow on Monday, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said his country was ready to support the resolution.

“It may include measures of economic pressure. But I would repeat that this is not an automatic decision, but only an intention depending on how the resolution is implemented,” he told reporters.

http://www.nation.co.ke/News/africa/UN+Council+aims+for+Wednesday+vote+on+Sudan+crisis/-/1066/1397996/-/167lcg/-/index.html


By Ian Timberlake (AFP)

KHARTOUM — Khartoum on Thursday said it seeks peace with South Sudan and hopes the small country responds favourably to African Union and UN resolutions for ending hostilities.

“The government of Sudan confirms her own strategic calls to have peace between the two states and it hopes the government of South Sudan gives a positive reaction to the African and UN Security Council resolutions,” the foreign ministry’s spokesman, Al-Obeid Meruh, said in a statement.

While recommitting Khartoum to African Union (AU) efforts to end hostilities between Sudan and South Sudan, the foreign ministry’s statement was vague in its response to a United Nations resolution backing the AU plan.

The UN Security Council on Wednesday ordered Sudan and the South to halt hostilities in 48 hours or face possible sanctions, giving diplomatic muscle to AU efforts to end violence and get peace negotiations started.

“The Minister of Foreign Affairs renews the position of the government of Sudan and her commitment to African solutions to African problems and conflicts,” said Meruh.

He said the minister, Ali Karti, also confirmed his readiness to cooperate with the AU mediation process led by Thabo Mbeki, the former South African president.

Sudan withdrew from that process after South Sudan began a 10-day occupation of the north’s main oil field in Heglig last month, a move which coincided with air strikes against the South and raised fears of all-out war.

The African Union itself, in a decision last Tuesday, asked the Security Council to endorse its demand that the two Sudans halt hostilities, start talks within two weeks and complete a peace accord in three months.

With China and Russia joining growing calls for a stop to the border conflict, which began in late March, the 15-member Security Council unanimously passed a resolution backing the AU effort.

Warning of a looming “full scale and sustained war,” US ambassador Susan Rice told the council “both countries are on the brink of returning to the horrors of the past and threaten to take the entire region with them.”

While still one country, north and south Sudan fought a two-decade civil war up to 2005 in which more than two million people died.

Tensions have quickly risen since the South’s independence in July last year with a series of issues unresolved.

South Sudan’s Minister for Cabinet Affairs Deng Alor Kuol offered his country’s “solemn commitment” to follow the resolution.

But he appealed to the United Nations to “urgently mobilise humanitarian assistance for the population affected by Sudan’s continuous aerial bombardments and ground incursions” into the South.

Sudan’s UN ambassador Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman expressed reservations about the resolution, however.

“Peace between the two republics, Sudan and South Sudan, will only be achieved by halting all forms of support and sheltering proxy rebel and armed groups espoused by South Sudan,” Osman told the council.

On Tuesday Sudan’s foreign ministry said it had notified the AU that it agreed to the roadmap, but it also warned the South over widening “aggression”.

The South in turn alleged fresh armed clashes.

Sudan on Saturday expressed concern about an unspecified “hidden agenda” and rejected UN Security Council involvement.

After Khartoum’s military said it had forced the South out of Heglig, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir vowed there would be no more talks with the the South, whose government he earlier described as an “insect” that must be eliminated.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5h7M28u7ZpvmVKMFRlEgys0xyLxsQ?docId=CNG.c804074b47587f04a7aa2c63af6ce86f.561

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UNITED NATIONS (AFP) – The UN Security Council on Wednesday unanimously passed a resolution giving Sudan and South Sudan 48 hours to halt hostilities or face sanctions. With China and Russia joining the growing calls for a halt to the growing border 
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South Sudan has agreed to abide by the peace resolutions agreed with Sudan under the African Union appointed peace mediation committee, South Sudan officials confirmed to the European Union Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs.
Sudan says it seeks peace with South
FOX 4 News
KHARTOUM, Sudan — Sudan on Thursday said it seeks peace with South Sudan and hopes the small country responds favorably to African Union and UN resolutions for ending hostilities. “The government of Sudan confirms her own strategic calls to have peace 

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In an attempt to avert a new war in Africa, the UN Security Council unanimously approved a resolution Wednesday threatening non-military sanctions against Sudan and South Sudan if they don’t halt escalating violence and return to negotiations.

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By Kun Li TORIT, South Sudan, 2 May 2012 – There was only sorghum for lunch, but it didn’t make the preparation any simpler. 12 April 2012: UNICEF correspondent Kun Li reports on UNICEF’s efforts to treat malnutrition in the newly formed nation of 

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By Simon Allison, 2 May 2012 A South African citizen has been kidnapped by the Sudanese army. Our government is outraged, but what of the ANC? Far from condemning the abduction, the ruling party is making nice with Sudan’s ruling party, promising to 
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Two diplomats at Uganda’s embassy in Juba yesterday sustained injuries after a plane carrying them crash-landed at South Sudan’s Yambio airstrip in Western Equatorial State, according to diplomatic and security sources. The plane’s unnamed pilot and 

By MICHAEL ONYIEGO 04/19/2012 

Sudan South Sudan Conflict

SPLA (South Sudan People’s Liberation Army) vehicles drive on the road from Bentiu to Heglig, on April 17, 2012. (ADRIANE OHANESIAN/AFP/Getty Images)

JUBA, South Sudan — South Sudan repulsed four attacks from Sudan over a 24-hour period as fighting on the border showed no signs of slowing, a military official said Thursday. Sudan’s president said the recent violence has “revived the spirit of jihad” in Sudan.

Despite the threats and hostilities, a southern government spokesman said South Sudan was only defending its territory and considers Sudan a “friendly nation.”

South Sudan military spokesman Col. Philip Aguer said three of the attacks were on Wednesday and one was on Thursday. He did not give a death toll.

South Sudan broke away from Sudan last year after a self-determination vote for independence. That vote was guaranteed in a mediated end to decades of civil war between the two sides. But the sides never fully agreed where their shared border lay, nor did they reach agreement on how to share oil wealth that is pumped from the border region.

Instead, the two countries have seen a sharp increase in violence in recent weeks, especially around the oil-producing town of Heglig. Both sides claim Heglig as their own. It lies in a region where the border was never clearly defined.

Aguer said southern troops repulsed one attack by Sudanese troops near Heglig on Wednesday and two attacks in Northern Bahr el Ghazal state. One was repulsed in Western Bahr el Ghazal state early Thursday, he said.

Sudan President Omar al-Bashir on Wednesday threatened to topple the South Sudan government after accusing the south of trying to take down his Khartoum-based government.

Al-Bashir continued his hardline rhetoric on Thursday in an address to a “popular defense” brigade headed to the Heglig area. The ceremony was held in al-Obeid, in northern Kordofan.

“Sudan will cut off the hand that harms it,” said al-Bashir, a career army officer who fought against the southern army, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, during the 1983-2005 civil war. Al-Bashir seized power in a 1989 military coup.

The capture of Heglig by the South Sudanese “has revived the spirit of jihad and martyrdom among the Sudanese people,” he told the brigade’s 2,300 men, according to the official Sudan News Agency.

In Khartoum, the pro-government Sudanese Media Center said late Wednesday that fighting broke out between the two nations in the Al-Meram area in South Kordofan, with northern troops driving away what it called “remaining elements” of the SPLA. It said northern troops chased away SPLA fighters who fled across the border into South Sudan.

It said the fighting left an unspecified number of dead and wounded among the SPLA forces but gave no precise figures.

South Sudan government spokesman Barnaba Marial Benjamin said South Sudan does not consider itself at war with Sudan, but he said the south is defending territory it believes it owns based on borders outlined in 1956 by British colonialists.

“Up to now we have not crossed even an inch into Sudan,” Benjamin said. He added: “The Republic of South Sudan considers the Republic of Sudan to be a neighbor and a friendly nation.”

Benjamin said that southern forces would withdraw from Heglig if the African Union guarantees a cessation of hostilities, an agreement on border demarcation, and the withdrawal of Sudanese forces from the nearby border region of Abyei, with Ethiopian troops moving in as peacekeepers.

Benjamin said that al-Bashir is carrying out “genocide” against Sudanese people in the Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile regions of Sudan. He said al-Bashir’s words Wednesday were a warning that he would like to do the same in South Sudan.

“Can they quote one war fought by the Republic of Sudan fought with any foreign country? They have always used their military artillery to kill the innocent people of Sudan as well as South Sudan,” Benjamin said.

The International Crisis Group said in a new analysis on Thursday that Sudan and South Sudan are “teetering on the brink of all-out war from which neither would benefit.” It said an immediate cease-fire is needed, then solutions to the unresolved post-referendum issues.

“Increasingly angry rhetoric, support for each other’s rebels, poor command and control, and brinkmanship, risk escalating limited and contained conflict into a full-scale confrontation,” the group said. “Diplomatic pressure to cease hostilities and return to negotiations must be exerted on both governments by the region and the United Nations Security Council, as well as such partners as the U.S., China and key Gulf states.”

The U.S. played a large role in brokering the 2005 peace accord between the two sides. China is a big player in the two countries’ oil industry.

___

Associated Press reporter Mohamed Saeed contributed to this report from Khartoum, Sudan.

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By Khalid Abdelaziz and Alexander Dziadosz KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir threatened war against his newly-independent neighbour on Thursday, vowing to teach South Sudan a “final lesson by force” after it occupied a 

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Sudan launches 4 attacks on South Sudan, official says
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JUBA, South Sudan – South Sudan repulsed four attacks from Sudan over a 24-hour period as fighting on the border showed no signs of slowing, a military official said Thursday. In a further escalation of rhetoric, Sudan President Omar al-Bashir said 

Official: Sudan launches 4 attacks on South Sudan
Huffington Post
MICHAEL ONYIEGO | April 19, 2012 06:56 AM EST | AP JUBA, South Sudan — South Sudanrepulsed four attacks from Sudan over a 24-hour period as fighting on the border showed no signs of slowing, a military official said Thursday. Despite the hostilities 

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By MICHAEL ONYIEGO 04/17/2012 

Sudan South Sudan War

HEGLIG, Sudan — The road to Heglig, an oil town that South Sudan and Sudan are fighting over, is lined with discarded furniture, destroyed buses and tanks, and clusters of dead Sudanese soldiers.

South Sudan’s army, known as the SPLA, moved north into Heglig earlier this month, sparking the bloodiest fighting since South Sudan broke off from Sudan last July and became the world’s newest nation. A top SPLA official said the south plans to keep moving north, taking territory the south believes it owns. The crisis threatens to widen into all-out war.

An Associated Press reporter was among the first foreign journalists to reach the disputed border since fighting began two weeks ago.

As 2nd Lt. Abram Manjil Kony sped north from the South Sudan military base at the Unity State oil field, he pointed out clusters of fallen Sudanese soldiers. Birds stalked the corpses.

“Jalaba, jalaba,” Kony said, meaning “Arab” and, by extension, people from Sudan, which is predominantly Arab while the south is predominantly black.

The area around Heglig produces about half of Sudan’s oil, but the south lays claim to it and says its ownership is in dispute.

South Sudan army spokesman Col. Philip Aguer said that Sudan’s military bombed an oil well outside Heglig on Monday and that it continued to burn Tuesday. He said Sudan forces are trying to open other fronts along the border and that southern forces are on high alert in Western Baah el Ghazal state.

“The border is still fragile. Tension is very high. The Sudan Armed Forces continue to bomb indiscriminately most of the areas north of Unity State. This is on a daily basis, more than twice a day,” Aguer said.

SPLA soldiers occupy deserted oil facilities and a Sudanese Army base in Heglig that bears signs of a hasty retreat: Military uniforms, blankets and boots litter the ground.

Farther up the road is the Heglig market, its hundreds of stalls empty. It now serves as a forward base for SPLA forces. Just beyond, through a dry forest and up a road that is believed to be mined, is the front line. Commanders of the SPLA – the Sudan People’s Revolutionary Army, a holdover name from a civil war that killed millions of people – seem unconcerned about the proximity of Sudanese troops.

They’re more concerned about an attack from above. Throughout the day, Antonov planes belonging to Sudan prowl the sky, occasionally dropping bombs. Sudan’s Sukhoi and MiG fighter jets have also recently been used for strikes in Bentiu, the capital of Unity State, located south of Heglig inside South Sudan.

On Saturday, two Sukhoi fighters dropped bombs within 100 meters (yards) of a bridge linking Bentiu to Rubkona, home of the SPLA’s 4th Division, killing four civilians and one soldier and wounding four people. The bridge was untouched, said Maj. Gen. Mac Bol, the SPLA’s deputy director for military intelligence. The next day, two bombs landed near the center of Bentiu, falling just short of the residence of the governor of Unity State.

Bol said a Sudanese military aircraft was seen “hovering” over South Sudan’s capital, Juba, last week, underscoring Sudan’s cointrol of the skies.

In 2005, Sudan and South Sudan signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, ending more than two decades of civil war. As part of the truce, the two accepted the line drawn in 1956 by the departing British colonialists as the legitimate border between the two halves of Sudan. But South Sudan says former Sudanese President Jafaar Nimeiry steadily pushed those borders southward after the discovery of oil.

Brig. Gen. Makal Kuol Deng – the SPLA’s field commander for the Heglig area – says his troops have been in control of Heglig for about a week. Whether the south or the north started the clashes around Heglig two weeks ago is in dispute. Both claim to have acted in self-defense.

The former Sudan military base in Heglig provides shelter for South Sudan fighters and troops from the Justice and Equality Movement, a rebel group currently battling Khartoum in the western Sudan region of Darfur. JEM recently announced an alliance with another Sudanese rebel outfit, the SPLM-North, to form the Sudan Revolutionary Front. The JEM soldiers, wearing distinctive black and brown turbans, race around in machine-gun mounted pickup trucks.

Some 70 kilometers (45 miles) north of Heglig lies Karsana, where the SPLA believes Sudanese forces are massing. A further 28 kilometers (17.5 miles) north is the town of Keliak.

Bol said South Sudan’s historical border rightfully lies between Karsana and Keliak. SPLA Field Commander Makal Kuol Deng said his troops are ready to keep pushing north if given the order.

“The order comes from the 4th Division,” Deng said. “If they say we go, we go. If they say we stop, we stop.”

“We don’t have any intention of going farther north into the areas we think are northern areas, but of course we’ll go to any place that we think is within our territory,” added Bol.

Sudan has promised to push back.

In New York, Sudan’s U.N. Ambassador Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman said last week that if South Sudan does not withdraw, Sudan will “hit deep inside the south.”

At the front lines, the fighting often begins at dusk. Before the sun sets the thumping drone of Sudanese Antonovs can be heard as they circle the sky. As the circles grow tighter, SPLA soldiers scramble into foxholes, hoping to avoid the bombs that are rolled out of the cargo bay.

Crashes can be heard in the distance, far south of Heglig. Along the road, perhaps a dozen truckloads of soldiers race north, honking their horns and cheering as they head for the front.

South Sudan: Blasts at UN Site
New York Times
The United Nations said Monday that one of its peacekeeping compounds in South Sudan sustained “material damage” over the weekend when it was hit with five bombs. No United Nations employees were hurt, but two people on the base were killed, 
UPDATE 3-Sudan parliament calls South an “enemy”
Chicago Tribune
Khartoum parliament urges quick recapture of oilfield * Border clashes raise spectre of relapse into war * South Sudan says province hit by air strikes (Adds Sudan denying bombing in Unity state) By Khalid Abdelaziz and Ulf Laessing KHARTOUM/JUBA, 
Warrap governor declares public mobilisation against insecurity, economic crisis
Sudan Tribune
By Julius N. Uma April 16, 2012 (KUAJOK) – The governor of South Sudan’s Warrap state has officially directed the public to embark on a massive mobilisation to counter escalating insecurity, food and economic crises in the newly independent nation.
Anyuak to crown new King next week in Pochalla, Jonglei
Sudan Tribune
April 16, 2012 (JUBA) – The Anyuak ethnic group have announced that their new King, Akwai Agada Akwai Cham, will be inaugurated on 25 April in the tribe’s traditional palace in Otllo village in Pochalla County of South Sudan’s Jonglei State.

Sudanese Parliament Calls South Sudan an ‘Enemy’
Voice of America (blog)
Sudan’s parliament has declared South Sudan an “enemy” amid escalated violence along the countries’ shared border. After the vote Monday in Khartoum, South Sudanese Information Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin rejected the decision, saying his country 

Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town Sends Message to the Archbishop of Sudan On 
AllAfrica.com
He assures Dr Deng of prayers for a successful outcome to negotiations, delivering a settlement between Sudan and South Sudan ‘which will bring lasting peace with justice to both nations and all who live within their borders’ and also offers prayers 

Anglicans Welcome International Development Select Committee’s Report
AllAfrica.com
UK Parliamentary recommendations on the Church’s role in education and peacebuilding have been welcomed by Anglican Alliance partners in the UK and South Sudan. The recommendations come in the report from the UK Parliament’s International Development 

Oil shut-down hits South Sudanese hard
AFP
Ever since South Sudan shut down oil production in a row with Sudan over transport costs, the price of goods across the country has risen. In the town of Malakal, the capital of oil rich Upper Nile state, shoppers say they are struggling to buy food as 

Crisis Between Sudan, South Sudan Intensifies
NPR
The crisis between Sudan and South Sudan is heating up, with the north branding its recently-independent southern neighbor “the enemy.” This follows two weeks of bitter fighting in the disputed, oil-producing, border area between the two Sudans.

Factbox: How Sudan and South Sudan shape up militarily
Reuters
(Reuters) – Fighting in a disputed border region between Sudan and South Sudan has raised fears the two countries could resume full-blown war. Here is a look at the two countries’ military capabilities according to the International Institute for 

Sudan-South Sudan War: Heglig, Disputed Town, Full Of Dead Bodies, Circling 
Huffington Post
By MICHAEL ONYIEGO 04/17/12 08:05 AM ET HEGLIG, Sudan — The road to Heglig, an oil town that South Sudan and Sudan are fighting over, is lined with discarded furniture, destroyed buses and tanks, and clusters of dead Sudanese soldiers.

UN Chief Calls On Sudan, South Sudan to End Fighting Immediately
AllAfrica.com
Addis Ababa — UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday voiced his “deep concern over continued hostilities” between Sudan and South Sudan, and called on both parties to “end the fighting immediately.” A statement, issued here by Ban’s spokesman, 

South Sudan defiant after week of fighting with Sudan
Ahram Online
South Sudan’s army vowed Tuesday to hold their positions in a contested oil field seized from Khartoum’s army, one week after the outbreak of bitter fighting that has raised fears of a wider war. Despite air strikes and a reported counter-attack by 

Sudan, South Sudan clashes need urgent attention – ABETO
New Vision
BY SAUDHA NAKANDHA Always Be Tolerant (ABETO) has called for international immediate response to clashes between South Sudan and Sudan to avoid any further bloodshed clashes on the continent. ABETO is an NGO with an objective of creating tolerance and 

Sudan: 5000 Citizens Forced Out of Darfuri Camp
AllAfrica.com
Sharef — South Sudanese citizens living in a camp in the Sharef area of East Darfur had their homes burned down and destroyed on Monday by a group of militia. Witnesses told Radio Dabanga their camp was completely looted yesterday including the 

Adviset Warns Kampala and Juba Against Continuing to Support Rebels
AllAfrica.com
Khartoum — The Sudanese presidential adviser Mustafa Osman Ismail warned that his country is running out of patience with South Sudan and Uganda over their alleged support to rebel groups fighting Khartoum in different parts of the country.

Hundreds of thousands of Christians ordered to leave Sudan
Catholic Culture
The government of Sudan, an overwhelmingly Muslim nation, has stripped between 500000 and 700000 Christians of their citizenship and ordered them to leave for the new nation of South Sudan, according to a report from Ecumenical News International (ENI) 
South Sudan commits to making the national army child-free
Sudan Tribune
12 March 2012 Juba, South Sudan – The Sudanese People’s Liberation Army of South Sudan(SPLA) signed an agreement called an action plan with the United Nations today which renewed their commitment to release all children within their ranks.

Vizada Networks… Solution For South Sudan… (SATCOM)
SatNews Publishers
[SatNews] The Republic of South Sudan’s administration has selected the Astrium owned satellite and telecommunications specialist…. ….Vizada Networks to provide interim Internet connectivity and voice services for domestic and international 

US diplomat discusses Sudan in meetings here
Pittsburgh Post Gazette
The movement has sputtered over the last year, in particular in the wake of South Sudan in July voting to separate from the Sudan government in the north, and a reduction in violence in the Darfur region. In addition to his lunchtime speech Monday,

China cancels Sudan electricity project loan on lack of oil collateral: report

Platts
The Chinese government has canceled funding for an electricity project in Sudan as it has lost collateral for the loan, which is in the form of oil supply, following the separation of Sudan and South Sudan last year, Sudan President Omer al-Bashir said 
What Is the Fate of Country Inmates in Sudan?
AllAfrica.com
By Isaac Morris Merisiya, 12 March 2012 It is a fact that, there are still South Sudanese inmates in different parts of Sudan who are serving their conviction period, the exact number is unknown but alleged to be more than two thousand with the 

South Sudan’s army signs pact with UN to release all children in its ranks
UN News Centre
The Sudanese People’s Liberation Army of South Sudan (SPLA) today signed an agreement with the United Nations renewing its commitment to release all children within its ranks. Since 2005, the SPLA has been listed on the UN Secretary-General’s list of 

UAE Captain helps to establish Juba Air in South Sudan
eTurboNews
Samir M. Al Sayed Al Hashemi is organising start-up funds for Juba Air / Image via Legacy Aviation DUBAI, UAE – An Abu Dhabi-based UAE national is helping to set up an airline, Juba Air, in the newly independent African state of South Sudan

South Sudan struggling with healthcare crisis
Press TV
South Sudan is considered to be among the top in the list of countries with high infant and maternal mortality rate. The healthcare crisis in the country is largely due to the country’s lack of proper hospitals and qualified doctors.

Hereward Holland/Reuters - Women who fled a war across the border in Sudan’s Blue Nile state sit outside a clinic in Doro refugee camp. Sudan is fighting a civil war on multiple fronts in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile, with almost 100,000 fleeing across the border into the newly-independent South Sudan.

By Sudarsan Raghavan, Saturday, March 10

NAIROBI — Renewed cross-border clashes between Sudan and the new nation of South Sudan are raising fears of a worsening humanitarian crisis, with some officials warning that the violence is reminiscent of the conflict in Darfur.Hundreds of people have fled Sudan in recent days, heading to camps in South Sudan and western Ethi­o­pia where tens of thousands have sought refuge since the crisis began last year, U.N. officials say.

From July 9, 2011: South Sudan raised the flag of its new nation for the first time Saturday, as thousands of South Sudanese citizens and dozens of international dignitaries swarmed the new country capital of Juba to celebrate the country's birth.

From July 9, 2011: South Sudan raised the flag of its new nation for the first time Saturday, as thousands of South Sudanese citizens and dozens of international dignitaries swarmed the new country capital of Juba to celebrate the country’s birth.

“The refugees are crossing into South Sudanfrom Sudan’s troubled Blue Nile state,” Fatoumata Lejeune-Kaba, a spokeswoman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, told reporters in Geneva. “They say they fled because of bombardments and the fear of more violence.”South Sudan, which celebrated independence in July, has been besieged bynumerous conflicts, including ethnic and tribal fights and a bitter dispute with its former rulers in Khartoum over oil fees.

In the South Kordofan region, once a major battleground during Sudan’s 22-year civil war, fighting broke out in June between Sudanese forces and rebels formerly allied with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement. By September, the conflict had spread to Blue Nile state.

This past week, Mukesh Kapila, a former U.N. representative to Sudan and now a human rights activist, said the conditions in South Kordofan could become as violent as they had been in a separate conflict in Darfur, a vast region in western Sudan. That conflict pitted the Arab-ruled government in Khartoum against non-Arab rebels. According to the United Nations, more than 300,000 died and 2.7 million were displaced, prompting the United States to declare that a genocide had taken place.

Kapila, who had recently returned from a visit to the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan, told reporters in Nairobi that Sudanese airplanes routinely bomb civilians, actions he deemed “tantamount to war crimes.”

“Inside the Nuba Mountains, I saw burnt villages, destroyed food stores and damaged schools and churches used by civilians to shelter from the fighting,” said Kapila, now with the Aegis Trust, a human rights group that campaigns against genocide.

“I heard an Antonov [airplane] myself and watched women and children running away, shrieking with fear, as well as fields on fire from dropped bombs destroying what little food crops were being planted,” Kapila said.

Sudan has denied the allegations, but it has also prevented foreign relief agencies from entering the Nuba Mountains, even as U.N. and other aid groups report food shortages and malnutrition.

The conflict appears to be intensifying. Sudanese airplanes allegedly bombed border areas in late February and again this month. In November, bombs hit the Yida refugee camp near the border, and U.N. officials are concerned it will be struck again.

“We are extremely concerned about the safety of people in the nearby Yida refugee settlement, which hosts 16,022 Sudanese,” Lejeune-Kaba said.

U.S. Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.), who recently visited Yida, said in a statement this week: “In speaking with the refugees in the camp, I heard echoes of Darfur — accounts of ethnic cleansing, mass murder and rape of innocent civilians in the region. As any Sudan watcher knows, this is familiar ground for Sudanese President Omar Bashir — an internationally indicted war criminal.”

Wolf, along with two other members of Congress, Reps. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) and Michael E. Capuano (D-Mass.), this past week introduced the Sudan Peace, Security and Accountability Act, which calls for tough actions against Bashir and an end to human rights violations in the Nuba Mountains.

One recommendation said that “no American tax dollars should be going to countries that welcome Bashir.”

The U.N. Security Council also weighed in this past week, calling for a cease-fire “to put an end to the cycle of violence.” The Obama administration welcomed the council’s action.

“The United States remains deeply concerned about the grave humanitarian situation in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, where hundreds of thousands endure the daily threat of violence and looming famine without an urgent infusion of life-saving assistance,” said Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/violence-between-two-sudans-has-echoes-of-darfur/2012/03/09/gIQALukS3R_story.html

South Sudan and Khartoum have many unresolved issues

By FRED OLUOCH Posted  Saturday, March 10  2012

SINCE THE two Sudans separated on July 9 last year, they have never gotten down to relating like good neighbours should. Khartoum still treats the newly independent South Sudan as part of its territory, given that it carries out military incursions across their common border.

Khartoum on the other hand, accuses Juba of providing logistical support for rebels who support the newly independent South, especially the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLN-N), which is fighting the Sudanese government in Southern Kordofan.

The uneasy relations have hindered talks over post-referendum issues that were to see the full implementation of the 2005 comprehensive peace deal. They include the loosely demarcated north-south border, the issue of citizenship, oil-rich Abyei and wealth-sharing.

Earlier in the year, South Sudan stopped oil production and transportation of oil through the pipeline to Port Sudan, on the grounds that the north was siphoning oil through unofficial pipelines and charging exorbitant prices for oil transportation.

South Sudan’s armed forces last Wednesday said that two Sudanese planes dropped six bombs in oil wells in Pariang County, destroying at least one of them which lead to leakage that is polluting drinking water.

In the meantime, the issues of citizenship is a running concern. Prior to the referendum in January 2011, President Omar Al Bashir announced that there would be no need for cultural diversity in the North if the South voted to separate.

Since the South went its separate way, there have been great migration of southern Sudanese who have been living in the North, fearing for their lives.

The UN estimates that there are at least half a million people of Southern origin still residing in Sudan. The International Organisation of Migration stated that it is impossible to transport hundreds of thousands to the South in less than a month.

Recently,  South Sudan  started demanding to know the fate the children abducted from the South and taken to Sudan during the civil war, especially in the 1990s. It is estimated that the children number at least 35,000 children, but there are no accurate estimates.

Sudan has refused to discuss the issue of abductees. In recent years, rights groups accused Sudan of using the abducted women and children as slaves.

http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/news/-/2558/1363526/-/myh0v8z/-/

Intervene before the two Sudans erupt again

Posted  Saturday, March 10  2012

THE EAST African region must renew its focus on the uneasy relations between Sudan and South Sudan following reports that Khartoum has started bombing oil wells in the South.

This bombing combined with the ongoing war in the frontline northern states of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, could easily lead to fresh wars that could destabilise the entire region.

It appears that the international community has abandoned the Sudans after the successful referendum in 2011 that led to the independence of the South.

Yet, the separation was the beginning of a new rivalry that has hindered talks over post-referendum issues that were to see the full implementation of the 2005 peace deal.

The issues include the loosely demarcated north-south border, citizenship, Abyei and wealth-sharing.

The current talks under the auspices of the African Union to bring the two to an amicable solution, needs to be complemented by diplomatic pressure from countries in the region.

Kenya has of late been engaged in shuttle diplomacy to bring the two countries to an understanding.

Uganda has also been engaged in some diplomacy to secure its interests.

For Kenya, the recently signed transport infrastructure joint venture with South Sudan and Ethiopia could be in jeorpady were the two Sudans to resort to war.

While Kenya would want to benefit from the resources in the South, it still maintains a strong bond with the North.

In that sense, Kenya is the best country to bring the two to some level of understanding that would ensure peace in the eastern Africa region.

http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/OpEd/editorial/Intervene+before+the+two+Sudans+erupt+again+/-/434752/1363332/-/y8tmvb/-/

Sudan’s hidden conflict: Rebels, raids and refugees

Women carry water bottles across their shoulders at a refugee camp in South Sudan

Largely hidden from the world’s media, a conflict is raging in the border area between Sudan and the new nation of South Sudan. The BBC’s Martin Plaut reports from the border on the plight of the thousands who have fled their homes and the rebels’ motives.

“I clutched my children to my bosom, when the Antonov bombers came,” says one grandmother, who crossed into South South with her 29 children and grandchildren.

We cannot name her, since she hopes one day to go home.

A scattering of refugee camps along the borders have been erected by the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) to serve their needs.

Just one – Jammam refugee camp, in Maban county of Upper Nile state – is home to some 34,000 people.

Col Abdildem Dafalla Col Abdildem Dafalla said he had between 8,000 and 9,000 men fighting across the border in Blue Nile

It is estimated that around 100,000 people have fled their homes since the second half of 2011, when the Sudanese government launched an offensive against rebels in Blue Nile and South Kordofan, in the south of Sudan.

Most set off with nothing but the clothes they wore.

Families we spoke to say many of their children and elderly were too weak to make the journey, and died along the way.

First estimates of the scale of the crisis by aid agencies proved inadequate, and the United Nations had to rapidly increase the scale of its operations.

Now a route has been opened through the port of Djibouti and on through Ethiopia and into South Sudan.

It is a journey of six to seven days, but the trucks towing trailers of basic supplies are now arriving to feed these huge camps.

map
Rebel alliance

The rebels who are taking on the government in Khartoum are the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-North).

They see themselves as continuing in the footsteps of the movement from which they sprang, the SPLM of the late John Garang, which now runs the newly independent state of South Sudan.

When independence came in July last year, many SPLM forces in Blue Nile and South Kordofan were left stranded in Sudan.

“We have not even requested support or ammunition from any other country because we know we can win this fight” Abdildem DafallaSPLM-North colonel

These areas were supposed to have been allowed a vote to choose autonomy, but this was blocked by Khartoum.

Neroun Philip Aju, the SPLM-North’s humanitarian co-ordinator in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, says the aim is to change the government in Khartoum – not to form another new state.

Fighting is vicious, with refugee after refugee explaining how they have been bombed from the air, with markets being a particular target.

This is likely to intensify as the SPLM-North has concluded an agreement to link up with three rebel movements fighting in Darfur.

A conflict that brings together South Sudan and the west of Sudan could prove a real headache for the authorities in Khartoum.

Until now the SPLM-North has been a somewhat unknown quantity. There are few hard facts about its operations in Blue Nile state and no independent sources of information.

Boxes of ammunitionRebel ammunition in border area waiting to be walked up to front line positions

But visiting the border area in Maban County, South Sudan, we pieced together a picture of the movement.

We saw no training bases or rebel camps.

This is a military zone and there were plenty of men in uniform from the South Sudan government forces – the rebels we did meet were in civilian clothes.

Neroun Philip Aju

“If nothing is done we will have a humanitarian disaster” Neroun Philip Aju SPLM-North

In a border village, we ran into Col Abdildem Dafalla of the SPLM-North, who told us he has between 8,000 and 9,000 men fighting in Blue Nile.

“We are moving around. If a specific place is attacked, we move away and then return to it when the Sudan government forces have left.”

Asked whether his forces could win, he was confident: “100%, we’ll win.”

“We have not even requested support or ammunition from any other country because we know we can win this fight,” he said.

The SPLM-North routinely denies receiving support from South Sudan, and the government denies any connection with the rebels.

Juba signed an agreement with Khartoum not to support rebellions in each other’s states, but there are strong suggestions that both sides flout this pact.

Help from outside

Daily life for people in the Sudanese states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan is reported to be dire, with hundreds of thousands of displaced – many living in caves in the hills to avoid aerial bombing which happens day and night.

Aid arriving at a refugee camp on the border in South SudanSupplies are now arriving in South Sudan’s refugee camps, but not in conflict zones across the border

Former UN official, Mukesh Kapila, who has just visited the area, told the BBC it reminded him of the “terror tactics” he had seen in Darfur.

“We saw whole tracts of deserted countryside and smoke rising from fires where fields of seeds that had been planted had been burnt off, ” he said.

“We saw churches destroyed where people had run to take shelter. And we saw fear, hurt and anger in the eyes of the people we met.”

Mr Aju showed the BBC a document signed by the UN, the African Union and Arab League calling for international aid to be allowed to flow directly into these areas of conflict.

“We have accepted that proposal for the delivery of aid to the affected population and we are waiting for the Sudan government to do the same,” he says.

“March is a deadline. If nothing is done we will have a humanitarian disaster in South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

“If the Sudan government does not accept the proposal, we would ask the international community to put the food in anyway.”

This might mean sending aid in without government approval – something the UN appears to be considering.

This could put the aid agencies in an extremely awkward position, caught between serving the needs of the people and the demands of the states in which they are operating.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-17276865


Breakdown of negotiations leads South Sudan to cut off oil through Sudan.

Amanda Hsiao
February 13, 2012 15:18
South sudan oil cut off 2012 2 12

South Sudan President Salva Kiir at a press conference in Juba on February 2, 2012. Kiir warned of renewed conflict with former foes in north Sudan if bitter oil negotiations do not include a deal on other key issues, including the contested Abyei region. Khartoum has said that Juba had not paid it for using its pipelines and refinery since South Sudan seceded in July, and admits to having confiscated 1.7 million barrels of South Sudan crude. In response South Sudan in January took the extreme step of shutting down oil production, the fledgling nation’s top revenue source. South Sudan split from Sudan in July, taking with it three-quarters of the country’s oil, but all pipeline and export facilities are controlled by Sudan. (Isaac Billy/AFP/Getty Images)

JUBA, South Sudan — “We will completely break relations with Sudan,” said Pagan Amum, South Sudan’s lead negotiator. “It is in our long-term interest to not cooperate with Khartoum.”

It was three days into the last round of talks between Sudan and South Sudan in Addis Ababa in late January. Amum had just emerged from a meeting in which he threatened to cut the flow of oil from the South to the North, the economic lifeblood for both countries. Days later, the shutdown began.

For the last year and a half, Sudan and South Sudan have been negotiating the arrangements of their separation, which occurred on July 9, 2011, including the amount of money the South should pay to pump its oil through pipelines in the North.

The negotiations have rested on the key assumption that both sides would work toward the viability of the other state, the conventional wisdom being that building on the existing economic linkages between the former civil war foes would encourage Juba and Khartoum to remain at peace with one another following southern independence. The two pipelines that connect oilfields in the South to a port and refineries in the North are the most visible manifestations of the ties that continue to bind the two countries. Cultural and historical connections between the two populations and a common 1,305-mile border were also reasons to believe that creating dependency between the two states would be the best means for establishing peaceful relations.

Juba’s decision to cut oil flow to the North has upset this dynamic.

“We reject the assumption that mutual dependency of our two nations is the path to peace. It is not,” said South Sudan President Salva Kiir in a recent statement to the press. In a game-changing move, the government of South Sudan upturned the foundation on which the international community has based its approach to South Sudan-Sudan relations.

The immediate cause for the South’s oil stoppage was Khartoum’s decision to confiscate what the South estimates to be $815 million worth of southern oil during negotiations. In response, Juba decided the only means of protecting its most valuable national asset was to keep it in the ground.

More importantly, the decision speaks to the deep-seated distrust that Juba has for Khartoum, and the view that the North has been, and will always be, an unreliable partner in the negotiation and implementation of peace agreements. Juba asks, exasperated and bitter after years of what it sees as subjugation to Khartoum’s aggressions and whims: “They have never engaged with us in good faith, why should we be expected to continue to deal with them now that we have the freedom to decide not to do so?”

But Juba’s decision is not purely defensive. The South calculates that an oil shutdown will ultimately hurt Sudan’s economy more than South Sudan’s, thus returning the advantage to Juba’s side in the North-South feud. However, Juba, too, stands to lose tremendously in the short-term. One of the world’s least developed nations, South Sudan has now shut off the source of 98 percent of its annual budget.

The distrust and emotional baggage from decades of war go both ways.

Economic mismanagement and the loss of oil revenues from the South left Khartoum with an economic crisis that threatens to destabilize the political patronage network on which the regime sits. Already, Khartoum faces a rebel movement mobilizing for regime change, calls for reform from detractors and allies alike, and shifting dynamics within the government itself. Despite the economic crunch, the government has been hesitant to adopt the full range of austerity measures necessary to alleviate the situation because the measures will be politically unpopular. Absent any international allies willing to bail it out, Khartoum has turned to Juba for what the regime sees as its rightful share of oil money.

Khartoum believes that Juba has been delaying an agreement on how much to pay for the transport of its oil as a means of further weakening Sudan’s economy, and thus the regime’s hold on power. Feeling that it could no longer afford to wait, Khartoum began to take payment in the form of southern oil, a move that also strengthened its hand at the table.

Above all, Khartoum is resentful that Juba is providing materiel support to rebels agitating for regime change in Sudan — undercutting, in Khartoum’s eyes, the South’s positions at the negotiating table. The North is also providing weapons to militia groups provoking instability in the South.

The outbreak of violent rebellion in Sudan marked a seismic shift in negotiating dynamics. The conflict raised the specter of regime change in Sudan, creating pressure for Khartoum to get as much as it can out of the talks, and prompting some in Juba to consider a future without Omar al-Bashir’s regime in the North. The promise of mutual viability was undermined.

Should Sudan-South Sudan relations remain broken, the international community faces a deeply isolated regime in Khartoum that will lash out against South Sudan with as much force as it can muster. Khartoum’s bombings of southern territory will likely intensify, as will the supply of arms to detractors of the southern government in South Sudan. Juba may be prompted to respond, and will, at a minimum, provide more support to armed opposition movements in Sudan. Tit-for-tat escalation to the point of direct hostilities is a possibility. Such a scenario is what the international community had hoped to avoid when it began backing the African Union panel in its efforts to broker an agreement a year and a half ago.

At this moment, the two parties are engaged in a last-ditch attempt in Addis Ababa to strike a deal. The signing of a non-aggression pact is a positive gesture, but without coordinated, and targeted international pressures, it appears all but impossible that the two sides will budge from their current positions on an actual deal. China, Ethiopia, and the United States, in particular, should be in the lead. Should no agreement or progress toward an agreement emerge, the chance for peaceful reconciliation around a negotiation table may be all but lost.

The biggest obstacle to a deal is not that an agreement palatable to both sides does not exist. The parameters of a possible comprehensive deal are clear. South Sudan could transfer to Sudan:

1) a fee, based on international best practices and industry standards for the use of oil infrastructure located in the North

2) a financial assistance package to address Khartoum’s economic situation that is tied to a final resolution on border disputes that addresses South Sudan’s territorial concerns.

Anything short of a comprehensive agreement will not be acceptable to Juba, which can only be compelled to offer billions of dollars in assistance to Khartoum if it receives something substantial in return, and reasonably so. A comprehensive agreement encompassing not only the oil dispute, but the other, key unresolved issues between the two parties is the only solution that will accommodate enough interests on both sides to make a deal viable.

If the current round of negotiations in Addis Ababa fails, the international community will have to devise a new negotiations model that accommodates the gaping rift between the two sides. A mediator with leverage to exert over the two governments, coupled with increased and sustained engagement on the part of key international stakeholders, will be necessary.

The premise that South Sudan and Sudan’s fates should remain interlinked should be also reexamined. Continued relations between the two states remain a reality, and the adage that economic linkages may encourage the two countries to remain at peace likely still rings true. But mutual dependency can only arise from mutual trust, a sentiment that is sorely lacking in North-South relations.

Amanda Hsiao is a Field Researcher with the Enough Project, whose mission is to end genocide and crimes against humanity.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/opinion/120212/south-sudan-cuts-oil-through-sudan

Sudanese Oil Talks Open Amid Somber Atmosphere

Peter Heinlein | Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said tensions with South Sudan over oil transit payments could lead to war between the two countries during an interview with state TV, in Khartoum, February 3, 2012.

Photo: Reuters
Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said tensions with South Sudan over oil transit payments could lead to war between the two countries during an interview with state TV, in Khartoum, February 3, 2012.

Sudan and South Sudan have resumed talks on sharing oil revenues that are a key component of both countries’ economies. South Sudan shut down production at its oil fields last month, after accusing the Khartoum government of stealing crude that passed through northern pipelines. The talks began in a somber atmosphere.

A member of the South Sudan negotiating team told VOA on Monday the pipeline would remain closed until Sudan accepts southern demands in the two countries’ bitter dispute over oil payments. The negotiator spoke on condition of anonymity.

As day three of the six-day session of talks dragged on, the solemn faces of negotiators told the story as they emerged from meetings.

The tone of rhetoric coming from Khartoum and Juba suggests the two sides are far apart. Sudan has accused the South of having a negative attitude toward the talks. Southern officials are holding fast to a series of demands, including payment for $850 million worth of oil they say the north stole from the pipeline.

Sudanese news agencies quoted President Omar al-Bashir as saying the south’s decision last month to suspend oil production is “suicidal.”  Several analysts have said the same thing, noting the Juba government depends on oil for 97 percent of its income.

But southern officials reject what they call the “prophets of doom.”

The south’s acting defense minister, Majak D’Agot, calls the cutoff a “blessing in disguise.”

“Despite the hardship and the consequences, it’s a blessing in disguise in the sense [South] Sudan has consummated its independence because it is fully assuming control of its natural resources, it’s assuming control of its territory, and assuming control of this critical and strategic resource: oil,” said D’Agot.

D’Agot says the south is much better able to withstand the oil cutoff than the north. He told VOA the Khartoum government is suffering much more because the north is more oil-dependent than the impoverished south.

“[The] Sudanese economy is fast industrializing. It was much dependent on oil and the need for oil in north Sudan cuts across all sectors of the economy, whereas in South Sudan we know this is an economy trying to emerge out of distress as a result of war and underdevelopment. It is more or less a subsistence-based economy, so the effect of oil or lack of it has not yet been felt by the majority of people in South Sudan,” said D’Agot.

The talks are being held under the auspices of the African Union mediating team led by former South African president Thabo Mbeki. The Mbeki panel succeeded in persuading the two sides to sign a non-aggression deal Friday on the first day of the meetings.

But D’Agot, who led his side in the security segment of the talks, said the oil negotiations are much tougher. He said the south will insist that Khartoum admit it was wrong to unilaterally take oil from the pipeline.

“They took an extreme gamble, which was unnecessary. All they need to do is have rational expectations. If they are beginning to entertain rational expectations and not to expect they can take what they don’t deserve from South Sudan’s oil, then we can reach a deal,” said D’Agot.

Despite the hardline positions, the two sides are under extreme pressure to reach a deal that would reopen the pipeline. Negotiators say China, the main consumer of Sudanese oil, is deeply involved in trying to bridge the differences.

U.S. President Barack Obama’s special envoy to Sudan, Princeton Lyman, arrived Monday to join the negotiations.

http://www.voanews.com/english/news/africa/Sudanese-Oil-Talks-Open-Amid-Somber-Atmosphere-139239053.html

Sudan, South Sudan Sign Treaty of Non-Aggression

Deal aimed at easing tensions that prompted presidents of both countries to speak of prospect of war…

South Sudan and Sudan at brink again over oil
GlobalPost
South Sudan President Salva Kiir at a press conference in Juba on February 2, 2012. Kiir warned of renewed conflict with former foes in north Sudan if bitter oil negotiations do not include a deal on other key issues, including the contested Abyei
Sudanese Oil Talks Open Amid Somber Atmosphere
Voice of America
February 13, 2012 Sudanese Oil Talks Open Amid Somber Atmosphere Peter Heinlein | Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Sudan and South Sudan have resumed talks on sharing oil revenues that are a key component of both countries’ economies. South Sudan shut down
Syria; Sudan/South Sudan; the Sahel; Haiti; and more
UN Dispatch
Sudan/S. Sudan: Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the signing of a non-aggression and cooperation pact between the governments of Sudan and South Sudan and urged both countries to maintain the positive spirit that led to the agreement and
Sudan Agrees With South Sudan on Southerners’ Return, Suna Says
Bloomberg
Sudan and its newly independent neighbor South Sudan signed an agreement yesterday to cooperate on the transfer of more than 300000 people to the south, state- run SUNA news agency reported. Under the agreement the two countries will work together so

Sven Torfinn for The New York Times

Several development and construction projects in Khartoum came to a standstill. Sudan’s once fast-growing economy has plummeted since July, when South Sudan broke off and became an independent country, taking billions of dollars of oil with it.

By JEFFREY GETTLEMAN

KHARTOUM, Sudan — Sudan and the breakaway nation of South Sudan are locked in an exceedingly dangerous game of brinkmanship over billions of gallons of oil, seizing tankers, shutting down wells and imperiling the tenuous, American-backed peace that has held — just barely — between the two countries after decades of war.

Not for years have north-south relations been so poisonous, with a proxy war between the two nations that has already flared into direct Sudan-South Sudan clashes. The jagged, disputed frontier separating Sudan from its newly independent neighbor is now probably the most incendiary fault line in Africa, with big armies that fought each other for generations massing on either side.

After emergency talks to prevent a full-fledged conflict, the two sides agreed to a non-aggression pact late on Friday, yielding to intense pressure from the African Union, the United States and China — a major oil partner for both sides — to move beyond the language and tactics of mutual destruction. But few analysts see any easy solutions to the heated push and pull over oil.

Both sides desperately need the oil to run their governments, feed their people and stamp out spreading rebellions within their borders. And theoretically, both sides need each other. The conundrum of the two Sudans is that 75 percent of the oil lies in the south, but the pipeline to export it runs through the north. Because of this, oil was once thought to be the glue that would hold the two nations together and prevent a conflict. Now, it seems, oil is becoming the fuse.

When South Sudan broke off from Sudan last year, after years of guerrilla struggle, its independence was heralded as the triumphal capstone ending one of Africa’s deadliest civil wars. But the question of how exactly the two sides would share oil profits loomed ominously over the separation, unresolved. Now that both nations are struggling to make it on their own, the issue has proved to be as prickly — and perilous — as many feared.

It was South Sudanese oil that drove Sudan’s economic boom of the past decade and made the repression by Sudan’s Islamist government (which is still heavily penalized by the United States) tolerable to many Sudanese. When South Sudan declared independence, it took billions of dollars’ worth of oil with it, gutting Sudan’s economy and creating one of the deepest crises that President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has faced in his more than 20 years in power.

Mr. Bashir is now battling high inflation, a shrinking economy, student protests and several simultaneous rebellions — in Darfur, the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile State — as well as genocide charges related to the massacres several years ago in Darfur, and stiff American sanctions.

At the same time, South Sudan, one of the poorest countries on earth, is facing a major food crisis and heavily armed ethnically based militias that have been sweeping parts of the countryside, killing hundreds and making a mockery of the South Sudanese security forces.

Stoking the tensions, Sudan and South Sudan are covertly backing rebels in each other’s backyards, leading to border clashes and relentless aerial bombings. The more than 1,000-mile border between them is now effectively closed, with millions of pounds of emergency food and just about all trade held up in a two-way stranglehold.

Before the emergency accord on Friday, the situation was so precarious that many saw only violent outcomes. “I, personally, expect full-fledged war,” said Mariam al-Sadiq al-Mahdi, a leading opposition politician in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital. “This is like the previews before a film.”

In the fight over oil, the south has refused to turn over royalties for using Sudan’s pipelines. Sudan upped the ante in late December by seizing oil tankers filled with South Sudanese crude. Then, the south took the drastic step of abruptly shutting down all of its oil wells, which could quickly bring the economies of both north and south to their knees. South Sudanese officials have admitted that they are using their oil to squeeze Khartoum to make concessions on all sorts of issues, including the disputed area of Abyei, insisting that oil production, about 350,000 barrels a day, will resume only after “ all the deals are signed.”

The south has even threatened to sit on its oil for years while it builds an alternative pipeline through Kenya. But it is not clear how the new country would survive that long; oil provides about 98 percent of government revenue. Experts question whether the Kenya pipeline is even feasible. It would have to run uphill, requiring many expensive pumping stations, and most likely slice across Jonglei, a South Sudanese state that, with all its marauding militias, is essentially a war zone these days.

In Khartoum, many people are still struggling to swallow the fact that the south is gone. Nobody likes the new map of Sudan. It used to be Africa’s biggest country. Now it looks as if it has been crudely amputated, with the ragged edges of a raw wound.

“I still can’t get used to it,” said Nada Gerais, a sales manager in Khartoum. “It looks, looks …,” she struggled for the right word. “Weird.”

Mrs. Gerais is a perfect example of the nose dive Sudan’s economy has taken. She works in a meticulously polished Nissan dealership that used to sell 50 cars a month. Now, sometimes, it is down to five. She is thinking of switching to pharmaceuticals or food.

“People can stop buying cars, but they can’t stop eating,” she explained.

During the past decade, Sudan’s oil wealth fueled new factories, roads, countless shish kebab joints and plans for a futuristic minicity, a billion-dollar airport and the entire reconfiguring of this capital to include a breezy promenade along the Nile.

But so many of these plans have been shelved. High-rise buildings stand half-finished, and the plummeting value of the Sudanese pound has pushed electronics, books and even tomatoes out of reach for many.

Officials in Khartoum say the south owes them nearly $1 billion in pipeline fees, money needed to keep their economy from collapsing, and they recently sold some of the oil from the seized tankers before releasing them. South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, said the amount Khartoum wanted, $32 per barrel, was “exorbitant” and “completely out of international norms.”

Sabir M. Hassan, a Sudanese government negotiator, said that the north was willing to be flexible, but that the southerners were “too emotional” and still saw themselves as rebels.

“If you give them two choices, they’ll choose the one that hurts the north, not the one that helps the south,” Mr. Hassan said.

South Sudanese leaders say the same about Khartoum, which has blockaded roads leading south and recently held up humanitarian shipments, all to punish the south at the cost of millions of dollars in lost business.

Many political analysts wonder whether Mr. Bashir will be able to survive all these crises. But it is hard to see who would replace him.

Sudan’s political opposition is deeply divided and run by white-bearded septuagenarians. The rebel movements do not have much support in Khartoum. Sudanese students started an Arab Spring-like movement last year, but they failed to gain any traction. The security forces were quick to arrest protesters and string them up from ceiling fans.

And Sudan has a resilience that transcends the turmoil. Every Friday, in a dusty ring on Khartoum’s outskirts, hundreds of Nuban men gather to watch traditional wrestling. Ethnic Nubans are leading the rebellion against Khartoum in the Nuba Mountains. But there is little evidence of that here.

“Things are fine,” said one elderly spectator.

Just as he was about to elaborate, a young wrestler scooped up his opponent and body-slammed him in the dirt.

“You see that!” the old man hollered. “My God, I love this.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/11/world/africa/sudan-and-south-sudan-edge-closer-to-brink-in-oil-dispute.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1

INTERVIEW-Olympics-South Sudan race to compete at London Games
Reuters
Declared independent last July, South Sudan also wants to send a wheelchair basketball team, made up of amputees injured in the conflict in the country, to the Paralympics, Cirino Hiteng Ofuho told Reuters in an interview. “Right now we are discussing 

Russian, Chinese arms sales propel Sudanese conflict
Catholic Online
Ukraine has reported to the UN register that it exported 90 tanks to Sudan in 2010. Both Russia and the Ukraine have also supplied military equipment to South Sudan, he added. Amnesty International said an estimated 70000 people were displaced from 

Two Sudans Near Brink in Oil Dispute
New York Times
KHARTOUM, Sudan — Sudan and the breakaway nation of South Sudan are locked in an exceedingly dangerous game of brinkmanship over billions of gallons of oil, seizing tankers, shutting down wells and imperiling the tenuous, American-backed peace that 

Rebecca Hamilton, Juba, Sudan
Published on February 10, 2011

Across the globe, southern Sudanese are celebrating their imminent independence from the rule of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and his predecessors in Khartoum. These northern rulers spent much of the past half-century engaged in a brutal effort to Arabize and Islamize the southern people. International attention is now focused on helping the chronically underdeveloped region of southern Sudan manage the transition to statehood. But what is missing from the conversation is recognition that the looming partition of Sudan creates not just one new nation, but two.

During the past month in southern Sudan it has been easy to get swept up in the rejoicing of a people who have finally realized their multigenerational struggle for freedom. In the jubilant words of a primary school teacher soon after he cast his vote, “This is our end-of-apartheid moment!”

But for me, the euphoria has been tempered by panicky calls and e-mail messages from friends and civil society leaders in the north, whose reactions to the imminent loss of the south form a complex web of emotions: Happiness for the southerners’ emancipation; sadness for the loss of the north’s connection to the rest of Africa; terror that the world will now “leave us to Bashir.”

Bashir himself has done nothing to allay northern fears, telling the population that if the south secedes, there will be “no question of cultural or ethnic diversity. Shariah will be the only source of the Constitution, and Arabic the only official language.”

Northerners are of course overwhelming Muslim. But they are also multiethnic and multilingual. Moreover, there is a big difference between the kind of Islam traditionally practiced in Sudan and the kind Bashir’s ruling National Congress Party, or N.C.P., has thrust on the population since its 1989 military coup.

The southern case against the N.C.P.’s vision of Sudan is well understood. Less appreciated are the longstanding efforts of many northerners to also reject the imposition of this unitary Islamic-Arab identity on “our beautiful Sudan.” For them, the south of the country has been a counterweight.

Many northern opposition leaders have in fact been over-reliant on southerners (and their Congressional supporters in the U.S.) to fight this identity issue for them. With the south now out of the equation, dissident northerners fear being left without allies at a critical moment in the battle to define their new country.

The N.C.P. is more vulnerable than it has been in years. The most telling whisper of the regime’s fragility comes not from any report produced out of New York or Brussels, but from the tea stalls that line the streets of Khartoum.

Rising sugar prices mean that a sugar-laden glass of tea — the primary calorific intake for many impoverished Sudanese — has gone up by almost 50 percent in the past three months. New austerity measures have lifted government subsidies on bread and fuel, stretching meager household budgets to breaking point. When the opposition leader Hassan al-Turabi suggested that a popular uprising was on the cards last month, he hit a sore spot; the N.C.P. arrested him immediately.

On Jan. 30, al-Turabi’s warning gained credibility when youth activists, organizing through Facebook, drew hundreds of protesters onto the streets of Khartoum. Beatings and tear gas from riot police dispersed the crowds, but sporadic protests have continued ever since. While the parallels should not be overstated, especially since opposition to the ruling regime is far from ubiquitous, N.C.P. leaders cannot discount the possibility that, like Tunisia and Egypt, the people’s frustration with their leadership cannot be contained forever.

Until now, the extraordinary ability of Bashir to weather designation as a state sponsor of terrorism, comprehensive U.S. and E.U. sanctions, and finally an indictment by the International Criminal Court for atrocities in Sudan’s western region of Darfur, has generated a mythology of invincibility around him.

But petro-dollars dispersed through a vast patronage network have been vital to enabling him maintain his grip on power. And the bulk of these oil revenues are about to head south. Bashir’s senior adviser predicts the northern economy will take a hit of “not less than 30 percent.” Absent the benefits they are accustomed to, the loyalty of Bashir’s supporters will be tested.

To his great credit, Bashir has allowed the southern referendum to take place, despite knowing a free vote would see the south secede. And he has been promised much by the West for doing so. Those promises must be delivered if future promises are to have any credibility.

But Bashir’s laudable position on the referendum does not wipe the slate clean, nor should it buy him a free pass on current or future human-rights abuses in the north.

While international attention has been consumed by the southern referendum, Khartoum has stepped up its military campaign in Darfur; at least 40,000 civilians have been displaced in the past month alone. And a handful of brave local journalists and Darfuri activists have just spent their 100th day of incommunicado detention in the custody of the N.C.P.’s ruthless internal security thugs.

Beyond Darfur, the popular consultations to address the administration of pro-southern populations falling just north of what will soon be an international border have not transpired. And desperately needed reforms of national-security laws and media censorship have been repeatedly promised and never delivered.

As Sudan splits, the temptation to deploy all donor and diplomatic energy toward ensuring the viability of the new southern nation is enormous. However, serious attention must also be given to those fighting for a prosperous and democratic new northern nation.

It is too early to tell what the outcomes of the spate of recent uprisings will be, but if Tahrir Square has shown us anything, it is that ignoring the legitimate grievances of any population is a high-risk strategy over the long-run.

To view this article as it ran, click here.


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.

‘Daylight robbery’

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.