By Isaiah Abraham
June 14, 2012 — South Sudan is negotiating with the Republic of the Sudan on post independence unresolved issues such as border demarcation - disputed areas, oil transit arrangement, Abyei status, citizenship and now security. The talks are sponsored by the African Union with the backing of the United Nations Security Council Resolution S/RES/2046 (2012) of May 2, 2012. Before then the two countries (Sudan and South Sudan) were on the verge of full scale war.
A southern land called Panthou in Western Upper Nile State, occupied illegally by Khartoum in 2008 was retaken by the Southern Army (the SPLA), and some powerful people and countries around the globe roundly (but unjustifiably) condemned South Sudan and asked it to immediately withdrawal its troop unconditionally. The President of South Sudan bowed, and Khartoum forces entered it. There is lull on the ground as things stand, an equilibrium moment generated by hope and only hope on the negotiation table in Ethiopia.
Ten days ago the two sides broke up talks because there was no head way or progress in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. The two sides might resume their negotiations on the 19/6/2012, but analysts have already inauspiciously predicted gloom as one side is bent to frustrate the entire efforts through its intransigence and blackmailing.
Border Demarcation impasse, security and violations
The United Nations Resolution or African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) roadmap would have helped, alas, its tight schedules and lack of clear methodology to monitor violations makes it an exploitable and weak project that failed to deliver. There is also that element of politicking by key Security Council Members, a scenario that is used perfectly by Khartoum to ignore resolutions issued by the same.
Otherwise, the roadmap by (AUIP) was cyst ally clear as it called for immediate cessation of hostilities, including aerial bombardment, unconditional withdrawal of protagonists forces to their respective known borders, stop harboring of each side dissidents, scale down of propaganda against one another, and resumption of unconditional talks between the two countries.
Khartoum never accepted any of the above cited resolutions, as it continuous to bomb and rain fire unto the territories of the Republic of South Sudan (until last week). They are still in areas deeply inside the territory of the Republic of South Sudan, they are much on the sabotage mission to destabilize the government of the people of South Sudan, they are, they are…
The question that poses itself is that when will Juba stop becoming impressionable before the guile of the so-called International Community? The UN is a terrible body that is badly structured, and will continue to be selective and discriminative as ever. On the ground, they have caused us problem due to the map they have crafted without any authorization from the authority. Khartoum and the outside world are misled to believe that the territories in disputes are for the Northern Sudan. UN did it. I see them (UN field staff) consume too much money, without protecting peace or people. Abyei massacre by marauding Misseriya in 2008 was a case in point. It was before the watchful eyes of the UN.
UN is biased
The UN and the African Union owe our people answers, when they deceive us to withdraw from Panthou, and allowed our people to be killed thereafter. After UN resolution 2046, Khartoum shouldn’t have been allowed to bomb and shell innocent civilians in the republic of South Sudan. To offer lip service and empty threats without an action is too bad indeed. South Sudan must be protected from this rogue country called the Sudan. If UN or the AU can’t do, we can protect ourselves and our territories. Sudan doesn’t care about anything and the UN shouldn’t make mistake again to interfere with facts regarding South Sudan or the Sudan. They have for long ignored our cry for help from powerful and elder brother called the Sudan.
Time has come for our people to stand up and defend their land. Governors are doing excellent job in that regards; our army under Gen. Mamur, Gen. Oath, Gen. Dr. Majak and the group will not disappoint! Khartoum will be forced out of Abyei, Panthou, Kafia Kingi, Joda and Hafra Al Nahas sooner. There is no hope in The Hague for any arbitration, the same bodies will follow the case up there and foiled the wish of our people through their biased lens. We want our stolen lands back, not an inch give to the North! Sudan doesn’t want us to live and enjoy peace.
Please discuss oil transit deal only
Khartoum will not budge or accept any deal on the territories they have occupied. They thought since the international community is with them and are firmly on the ground, there is no hurry to discuss such matters. So if that is the case, the South shouldn’t waste time talking about territories stolen. Nothing is coming out there. Our men will do it on the ground one day! The only agenda in the next round of talks should be about oil transit arrangement.
The two countries economies are in real trouble and both sides are ready to compromise. As Africans we have an obligation to help our brothers in the Sudan with our ‘food’. We must share with the Sudanese on a reasonable agreement not the exorbitant and wild charges of over $30 a barrel. No one will go for a loss like that. Time line is also needed (2 years is enough) and more robust control mechanism, internationally supervised. A deal is possible there.
Isaiah Abraham lives in Juba; Isaiah_abraham@yahoo.co.uk