10 February 2013

Sudan: Bashir Says Sudan Has No More Concessions to Offer Juba

Khartoum — The Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir has toughened his stance toward his country's ongoing post-secession negotiations with South Sudan saying that they have no more concessions to offer.

In remarks at a hospital inauguration in Khartoum, Bashir stressed that previous agreements signed with Juba are not subject to revisions or change and they must be implemented as signed.

"We handed the South [Sudanese] a fully sovereign state but rather than focus on building their state they have become devoted to creating conflicts," the Sudanese president said.

"We are advocates of peace but peace will not be at any cost. We have given everything and we do not have anything new to offer" Bashir added.

The two countries have been negotiating for years over issues such as borders, Abyei, oil and citizenship with little progress despite regional and international pressure.

Last September they signed a number of cooperation deals that would allow for resumption of oil exports from landlocked South Sudan through Sudan's pipelines.

But Sudan is insisting that security arrangements be agreed upon and that Juba halts its alleged support to anti-Khartoum rebels before it allows oil exports to flow again through its territory.

Khartoum has long accused South Sudan of supporting the Sudan People Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) insurgents fighting in two Sudanese states bordering South Sudan - as well as other rebels in the western Darfur region. Juba denies the charges.

Delegations from the two countries are scheduled to meet next week in the Ethiopian capital to discuss security issues.

In a related issue, Sudan's ruling National Congress Party (NCP) said it is discussing the African Union Peace and security Council (AUPSC) demand that Khartoum negotiates directly with SPLM-N.

Sudan has rejected talks with SPLM-N and scrapped an AU brokered framework agreement in June 2011 it signed with the rebel group.

Hasabu Abdel-Rahman, the NCP deputy political secretary, said that no talks are possible without South Sudan severing links with SPLM-N in the two border states, which Khartoum still refer to as the 9th and 10th division of the SPLA - the former southern rebels who are now the official military of the Republic of South Sudan.

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