6 July 2013

Sudan: S. Sudan Urges Us to Help Resolve Disputes With Khartoum

Juba — South Sudan says it urgently requires support and meaningful intervention from the American government, if it's to peacefully resolve its dispute with its northern neighbour.

Barack Obama meets with the South Sudan president, Salva Kiir Mayardit. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

The south seceded from Sudan in July 2011, as part of a 2005 peace deal, but still has a number of post-independence issues to be resolve with the latter.

But Juba now says it will require the support of America and other "strategic allies" to step up momentum as it continues to pursue a peaceful approach to amicably resolve its problem with Khartoum.

"As the government, we have shown the honesty and seriousness to fully implement the cooperation agreement we have signed with the government of Sudan in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 27 September 2012, to resolve dispute over post secession issues," said South Sudan information minister, Barnaba Marial Benjamin.

Our honesty and seriousness was demonstrated in the way our government acted to pull back our troops from border areas, he added.

Marial, who was speaking at an occasion to mark the country's second independence anniversary Saturday, also accused Khartoum of delay to pull back its troops from contested border regions, thus hindering work of the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring team.

The minister, however, stressed South Sudan government commitment to the full implementation of the September 2012 agreements, so that the two countries can co-exist peacefully.

"We are committed to fully implement the cooperation to the spirit of negotiation and we look on America to step in so that we are able to resolve the other remaining issues. We would like the international community, particularly president [Barrack] Obama and his administration to push Sudan to show willingness and commitment to fully implement the agreement", Marial said, while appearing on the state-owned SSTV.

Khartoum, last month, threatened it would block its pipeline that transports South Sudan crude oil to Port Sudan, unless the latter ceases providing support to rebel groups opposing the northern establishment, a claim Juba dismisses.

Meanwhile, the US ambassador, Susan Page, has described as cordial the relationship between South Sudan and her country.

"America is a true friend of South Sudan and remains ready to provide needed assistance to build the new nation", the ambassador said on Saturday.

The US administration, under its former leader, George W. Bush, played a key role in negotiations that led to the signing of the 2005 peace deal, which ended over two years of the north-south Sudan civil war. An estimated 2.5 million reportedly died, with nearly 4 million displaced into neighbouring nations as a result of the conflict.

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