16 February 2012

South Sudan: Nations Fail to Reach Agreement On Oil, Border Demarcation

Photo: Fred Noy
South Sudan and Sudan have agreed to start the border demarcation process.

Juba — South Sudan and Sudan did not reach an agreement on oil transit fees, border demarcation among others during the five day round table talks in the Ethiopian Capital Addis Ababa despite African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) pressure on the two countries to end their disputes. The Chief negotiator and the SPLM Secretary General Pagan Amum told the press on their return from Addis yesterday that the two countries could not break through with an agreement because of what he described as "Khartoum lies" on transit fees and refusal to commit themselves into the negotiations.

"During the negotiation we could not reach anywhere and so no agreement was possible because the Sudan came again with their 36 dollars per a barrel demand which South Sudan rejected before. Khartoum just wanted to justify that it was based on international law but there is no country in the World that paid even one dollar per a barrel,"Amum said during a press conference at the SPLM National Secretariat. He said Sudan "lies" to the AU that South Sudan has not been paying transportation and processing fees since July 2011 but the Oil Companies in presence of both negotiation teams and the AU broke a chain that South Sudan had been paying all its fees and revealed that Khartoum was charging South Sudan highest transportation and processing fees than agreed.

"The position and facts Sudan used are all lies and incorrect fabrications and attempts to steal and rob South Sudan oil, but we caught them this round and exposed their lies to the World, we have proven beyond doubt to the Sudan and the Panel (AU) that we have paid transportation and processing fees to Sudan," he explained However, he said during the discussion the Khartoum proposal that South Sudan would pay for transportation, marine and processing fees were dropped from the charges which Khartoum presented as 36 dollars and only transit fee which is 6 dollar is the one which has remained for discussion.

The Secretary General further said that border demarcation was also on the agenda at the negotiation table and South Sudan submitted its proposal that the borders stood according to the 1st January 1956 which maps Abyei region southwards, but Khartoum claims the parts of the territory of South Sudan in the bordering State of Unity, Upper Nile, Western Bahr-el Ghazal among others. The five days discussion included Citizenship, Abyei, border demarcation and financial assistance and arrears. Amum said the talks would be resumed on oil, Citizenship, Abyei, border demarcation and financial matters on 23rd of this month in Addis Ababa.

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