21 December 2012

Sudan: 'Khartoum's Preconditions Endless', Mr Pagan Amum

press release

Juba — South Sudan should develop an alternative outlet to the sea to export its oil and develop its trade with the rest of its neighbors as Khartoum's preconditions and obstruction are not about to end, says Mr Pagan Amum, South Sudan's chief negotiator to the post independence talks with Sudan.

Mr Amum who was speaking on December 19th at Juba International Airport soon after arrival from Addis Ababa where they have been engaging in the next round of talks with Khartoum government after the September 27 agreements inked by the two heads states, said Sudan was not interested in implementing the peace pack.

Sudan and South Sudan have been experiencing an impasse in implementing security arrangements. Khartoum insists South Sudan should disarm rebel a group fighting its government in the Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan. The government calls Khartoum's demand as "unrealistic" as it would be meddling with the internal affairs of a foreign country.

"It is time South Sudan shifts focus from pursuing a mirage with Sudan to other concrete alternatives for economic viability as Sudan's preconditions and obstructions are not about to end", he said.

He said despite the readiness by South Sudan government to ensure the immediate implementation of all the agreements reached including the final status of Abyei, Khartoum still imposes preconditions to the implementation. "The position of Sudan is that they don't want the oil to flow; they don't want to open the border corridors to allow free movement of people and services", Mr Amum said.

Mr Amum who is also the Secretary General of South Sudan's ruling party said as long as Sudan continues its preconditions, the two countries will find themselves in a state of no war, no peace, no flow of oil, and no trade.

He observed that there are discussions for a summit to take place soon between President Salva Kiir and his counterpart Omar El Bashir but maintained reservations for such talks to yield any results. "I am not convinced that such a summit can produce anything special; they met last time in Addis Ababa to resolve these issues of Abyei and borders", he said.

Mr Amum said it is up to Sudan to decide on whether to implement the September agreements. He urged South Sudanese to unite and manage the crisis that is caused by "being born in a very difficult neighborhood" like Sudan that does not want to see a strong South Sudan.

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