22 January 2013

Sudan: Washington 'Disappointed' By Khartoum Refusal to Allow Exportation of South Sudanese Oil

London — The American administration criticised Sudanese government continued refusal to allow the exportation of the South Sudanese oil before to disengage with rebels in South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

In a statement released on Tuesday, U.S. State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said its country "remains disappointed" by the failure of recent talks on the implementation of a number of deals, signed last year on security arrangements, Abyei administration and exportation of South Sudanese oil.

During recent negotiations in Addis Ababa, the two countries failed to agree on the withdrawal of troops from the border area of Mile 14 which is claimed by the two sides. Also, they disagreed on the composition of the legislative council of Abyei where the parties have to hold a referendum.

But, the most important point of difference, at this stage, remains the relation between the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North SPLM-N) that fights against the Sudanese army in South Kordofan and Blue Nile. Khartoum demands Juba to disengage with them before to allow the use of its oil infrastructures and maritime port.

Washington, which previously demanded Juba to cut its ties with its former allies, however believes that the Sudanese security interests "will only come if Sudan cooperates with South Sudan and begins direct talks with the SPLM-N to address the Two Areas conflict",said Nuland.

"Lack of resolution on this issue prevents normalized relations between Sudan and South Sudan and compounds the current human rights and humanitarian emergency," she further stressed.

The outgoing U.S. envoy for Sudan and South Sudan Princeton Lyman repeated at different occasions that the mistrust between two sides prevent them from settling the post independence issues.

"I think what happened in the process so far is that they haven't reached that degree of confidence and trust which is essential in carrying out this type of agreement," Lyman said during a visit to Khartoum last November.

He held recently a series of talks with the SPLM-N leaders in Washington to lay the ground for direct talks between them and the Sudanese in order to facilitate to a peaceful settlement for the current crisis in the Two Areas and also the resolution of outstanding issues between Khartoum and Juba.

Sudanese and South Sudanese presidents are to meet in the sidelines of an African Union annual summit to take place this week. The two leader have once again to agree personally on the litigious issues left in the last round of talks.

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