Sudan Says Unafraid of UNSC Sanctions

Khartoum — A Sudanese official has dismissed threats by the UN Security Council (UNSC) to impose sanctions on his country and neighboring South Sudan if they failed to conclude post-secession negotiations, saying that Khartoum is not afraid of sanctions.

The UNSC has extended the three-month deadline it gave to the two countries to conclude negotiations until 22 September after the two sides managed to reach an agreement on oil transit fees. Sudan and South Sudan resumed talks yesterday to tackle the issue of border security and creation of a demilitarized buffer zone.

Failure to meet the deadline may prompt the UNSC to carry out the non-military sanctions it threatened to impose on the two countries under resolution 2046 which the council adopted following the outbreak of military confrontations between the two neighbors around Heglig oilfields in April.

The secretary of thought and culture at Sudan's ruling National Congress Party (NCP), Amin Hassan Omer, told reporters in the capital Khartoum on Tuesday that the UNSC does not get to act as a judge on the current issues which need solutions away from international arbitration.

Omer said that failure to meet the deadline would lead UNSC members to find alternative ways to reach positive solutions and encourage the two sides to reach agreements. According to Omer, the UNSC cannot impose solutions or send armies to Sudan. He even discounted the possibility of economic sanctions due to what he described as the UNSC structure and overall directions which makes economic sanctions "hard to implement"

The NCP official said that the UNSC cannot also force the two countries to accept the map proposed by African Union mediator Thabo Mbeki for use to delimit the buffer zone. He added that the Sudanese government therefore is not worried about the threats of sanctions.

Omer said that the issues between the two countries are not hard to resolve if South Sudan refrains from meddling in Sudan's internal affairs.

Reacting to predictions by Sudan's main opposition coalition about failure to reach agreements with South Sudan, Omer derided opposition parties saying they don't know the difference between predicting and wishful thinking.

He also said that the rejection of opposition parties to participate in consultations over the constitution will not "detract from its legitimacy"

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