Sudan: Govt Postpones Deadline for Closure of Oil Pipeline

The Government of Sudan has agreed to postpone for at least two weeks the deadline by which it will shut down the pipelines carrying oil from landlocked South Sudan for export through Port Sudan.

The agreement follows calls by the Chairman of the AU High Level Implementation Panel, former South African President Mbeki, and by the Chair of IGAD's Council of Ministers, Ethiopian Foreign Minister, Dr. Tedros Adhanom, who arrived in Khartoum Thursday. They asked for more time so that the AU verification committee, the Ad Hoc Investigative Mechanism (AIM) could complete its investigations of the claims made by Sudan and South Sudan that both had been supporting the rebels of the other side.

The AIM was set up on Monday this week at the same time as the AU Border Program's determination of the centerline for the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone between Sudan and South Sudan.

President Al-Bashir stressed Sudan's keenness to establish good relations with South Sudan to achieve peace and stability through the implementation of the cooperation agreements.

Mr. Mbeki said the AUHIP and IGAD believed these committees should be given time to do their job.

China's special envoy to Africa Zhong Jianhua, who met with President Omar Al-Bashir on Thursday, also presented proposals for a 15 days delay in exchange for holding intensive consultations to remove the points of tension between the two neighboring countries to ensure the flow of oil through flexible and secure borders.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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