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South Sudan questions competence of Mbeki’s mediation

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April 2, 2012 (JUBA) – The government of South Sudan on Monday voiced frustration with the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) led by former South African president Thabo Mbeki and suggested that the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) should step in the mediation process between Juba and Khartoum on post-independence issues.

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Former South African president and chairman of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel, Thabo Mbeki (Photo: Reuters)

Juba dispatched a high-level delegation to Nairobi to ask for the help of the Kenyan government in resolving the border crisis, where the armies of North and South have recently clashed in what was considered the most serious direct military confrontation since Sudan was partitioned in July 2011 .

Along with security issues, the two countries have yet to resolve many other contentious items that resulted from South Sudan’s independence including oil transit fees, citizenship, external debt and water.

The Southern Sudanese delegation was led by the Office of the President minister Emmanuel Lowilla and Information minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin in what could be seen as a bid by Juba to sideline Mbeki’s panel.

South Sudan’s information minister said his government was unhappy not only with the AU report to the UN Security Council about the recent border clashes but also with the overall mediating process.

Speaking to reporters Benjamin said that IGAD should "take over mediation" if the AU process cannot succeed.

The seven-nation IGAD negotiated the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended a decades-long civil war between north and south Sudan. That deal gave Southern Sudanese the right of self determination which they exercised in January 2011 and overwhelmingly picked independence from the Arab-Muslim dominated north.

The "Sudanese army until today continues to bomb our areas yet the African Union does not see it as aggression," Benjamin complained.

AUHIP was originally in October 2009 by the Pan-African body to implement recommendations drafted by the African Union Panel on Darfur (AUPD) also led my Mbeki.

Even though the core of AUHIP’s mandate related to finding a solution to the Darfur conflict, the committee slowly shifted its focus and chose instead to concentrate on mediating between Juba and Khartoum as the latter rejected key proposals he presented on Darfur.

But the panel has had little success in making any tangible breakthroughs despite more than two years of mediation. It has also suffered major setbacks including Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir’s decision to scrap an agreement Khartoum signed on South Kordofan.

Also a planned summit between Bashir and his southern counterpart Salva Kiir to sign AUHIP brokered deals on borders and nationality were suspended as a result of the battles on the borders.

Since last year, Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) has fought Sudan People Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) in the border states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, displacing thousands of civilians and causing a food crisis according to United Nations agencies.

Khartoum persistently accuses Juba of providing support to its former comrades who are seeking to topple the Bashir regime

The two countries now accuse each other of triggering the fighting that broke out last month. South Sudan claimed that SAF bombed their oil fields in the Unity State, triggering their entry into oil-rich region of Heglig in South Kordofan, while Sudan claims that it only responded to SPLA aggression.

"Who does not know that Sudan armed forces have actually been carrying out repeated attacks on areas inside territories of the republic of South Sudan?”, Benjamin asked.

Benjamin said that the SAF bombing campaign was designed to ensure that Bashir’s planned visit to Juba is cancelled as he was due to sign framework agreements that many in the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and right wing parties in Khartoum strongly opposed.

Sudan denies bombing South Sudan and claims Bashir’s trip was cancelled due to the SPLA’s attack on Heglig and alleged southern involvement in the fighting around Teludi, also in South Kordofan, where rebels are attempting to control the town.

Khartoum says that Southern involvement in South Kordofan demonstrates the influence the SPLM-N and their rebel coalition partners in the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) have over the Juba government.

One of Khartoum’s main demands, in order for progress to be made on oil and other issues, is for Juba to officially denounce the SRF and commit to not supporting them.

Benjamin said since South Sudan stopped production, Sudan increased aerial bombardment of the disputed areas and organized ground attacks in late March which were repulsed by the South Sudanese troops. Despite that, he said that Juba is willing to receive Bashir.

He accused Sudan of trying scare away investors, including American and Chinese companies, in the oil-rich regions where there are plans to build oil refineries which he said will be operational in six to seven months. The oil refineries will help South Sudan process some oil to help meet local demand for the commodity, he said.

Echoing the words of South Sudan’s president, Benjamin said South Sudan remains committed to peace and would fight back only to defend its territorial integrity.

"We will not be dragged into a senseless war," he said.

(ST)

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  • 3 April 2012 11:06, by Deng

    This is the deep underlying issue ladies and gentlemen.
    During the S. African struggle for freedom, Nelson Mandela use a different strategy which took the whites people over 27 years of Mandelas prison lifetime to understand the difference between right and wrong. if we had to put it in perspective with S. Sudan struggle, it would have taken a lifetime for N. Sudan to understand there mistake.

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    • 3 April 2012 11:18, by Gabriel KK

      You are right Deng, It will take us another decades for Mbeki to succeed in this role of mediation. This man is just making money from AU and I believe through him tensions and fightings will continue because he is a failure. For the two countries to achieve peace Mbeki MUST GO.

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      • 3 April 2012 11:31, by Chok Deng

        Thabo Mbeki is incompetent,he is too closed to NCP,to prove me right AU never condemn Al-Bashir in killing African tribes instead they condemn ICC.What do u expected from AU mediation,but wasting of time,energy,resources and more confrontations between South and Sudan.

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      • 3 April 2012 11:39, by Darkangel

        Seriously what planet is this hairless man in. Khartoum isnt bombing to deter investors you retard. Its attacking rebels you insist on helping. Someone slap this idiot - is he Kiirs retarded half brother or something? is that how he got the job? You stupid army spokesman keeps saying Khartoum wants to invade the oil fields - hes even dumber!!

        South Sudan be warned. You will be the next somalia so

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        • 3 April 2012 13:02, by Bentiu CAPTAIN

          Hey Darkangel or terrorist ,shut up . We know what north Sudan want,THE SOUTH SUDAN OIL. You will never get it even if Obama side with you. Our galant forces are in the front line now ready to fuck any Arab terrorist looking for SOUTH SUDAN OIL at any time.

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          • 4 April 2012 01:29, by deng

            Darkangel,

            Khartoum is performing gangsters styles by fooling the world that S. Sudan is supporting the rebels so that they can buy time to grabbed more lands from S. Sudan.

            Your government in Khartoum is a fool. S. Sudan took 75% of oil, don’t you think we got a gut to ask for loan for warplanes to clear our the desert? Please be advise!!!!

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        • 4 April 2012 01:20, by deng

          Darkangel,

          It don’t matter anyway S. Sudan is always going to be blame even though they don’t supported N. Sudan rebels or not because of the excuse that they fought again N. Sudan government’s with us in 21 years civil war.

          Do you know who fool the world? North Sudan did. When you get your ass defeated by the rebels, you claimed we supported the rebels and there we go, you bomb our oil.

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        • 4 April 2012 01:21, by deng

          Darkangel,

          It don’t matter anyway S. Sudan is always going to be blame even though they don’t supported N. Sudan rebels or not because of the excuse that they fought again N. Sudan government’s with us in 21 years civil war.

          Do you know who fool the world? North Sudan did. When you get your ass defeated by the rebels, you claimed we supported the rebels and there we go, you bomb our oil.

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      • 3 April 2012 12:31, by mohammed ali

        Deng, most of the 27 years Mandela was in prison. Thambo is the man who led the struggle against the Chrisian white man enslavement!

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        • 3 April 2012 13:03, by Mapuor

          Mohammed Ali
          Thabo is not a right person to mediate since he is doing business in Kharoutm.It was clear from what he proposed as oil transit fees.Twenty years was the worst,may be the new border problem will be resolved between Nuba Republic and South Sudan.We dont have borders with Arabs

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        • 4 April 2012 00:32, by Son of Upper Nile

          Thabo Mbeki is a Christian himself so there is no way for you to play with your dirty cards here. Those minority whites returned to their sense and South Africa is now governed by INDIGENOUS Majority. While Sudan is still governed by immigrant half cast minority. Darfur 100% Muslims are killed by 97% Muslims of Bashir folks

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        • 4 April 2012 01:39, by deng

          Mohammed Ali,

          Thabo Mbeki and Koffi Anan are the worst mediators in Africa because they only cared about their big paychecks not sticking needle in your ass.

          How long he been mediating North and South Sudan issues and how much he earn on mediation? Don’t be a fool. These two guys are nothings but pieces of shit.Remember not only you killed us on our lands we killed your asses too.

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      • 3 April 2012 19:16, by Stephen kuach

        Thabo Mbeki will never solve those outstanding issues between the North and the South.he was a corrupted man during his presidency in South Africa,so Sudanese should not have to waste thier time on him.the AU should assign another high delegate for the two Sudanese to solve their problems.

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      • 4 April 2012 08:38, by okucu pa lotinokwan

        Dear South Sudanese Tabo Mbeki has waste alot of time without any success in this mediation between Juba and Khartoum on the outstanding issues,instead he got alot of feik Dollars from the Arabs,Let IGAD come in,since AU are the supporters of NCP also,Omer not to be taken to the ICC Court,really will they mediate in good faith.Mbeki is to go home and rest

        OKUCU PA LOTINOKWAN

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    • 3 April 2012 11:25, by Michael Angelo

      The so called Mbeki cannot mediate in a good faith while he has a personal business in Khartoum. SPLM should not waste time with Mbeki’team period.

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    • 3 April 2012 11:25, by Darkangel

      I dont know who your trying to fool. The whole world is telling you stop supporting the rebels and you keep denying it, do you think they are idiots ?? Just to take your work. Someone tell the idiot minister that nobody knows or seen evidence of your claims, just your loud mouth. US envoy said sudan isnt.

      Stop your crying. Now you blame the AU mediation because its telling the truth. Run to Kenya

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      • 3 April 2012 11:29, by Darkangel

        You are lucky Sudan is restraining itself on its side of the border. Your government is playing you idiots like dogs, while you cant even find food.

        This major assault on Sudan right now by S. Sudan, SPLM-N, JEM, SLA and Uganda wont be unnoticed by the world. Sudan is restraining and people are seeing your evil backstabbing ways. Whats IGAD going to do - ITS part of the AU Benjemin you donkey !!

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        • 3 April 2012 11:40, by Chok Deng

          The so-called Thabo Mbeki has nothing good in his records but he is a time-wasting man and full of weakness.So long he is gaining from the process,then he don’t want to solve the problems instead he is prolonging it with his thugs in Khartoum.Kick him out,our issues will be demarcated by guns.

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      • 3 April 2012 11:34, by Darkangel

        Someone should tell you pompous wind bags, delusional drunks that you cant win against khartoum. Im sure you and your president are waiting of the US/Israel to come and save your retarded ass’s from defeat ! You WILL be defeated and you will BEG for your oil to be pumped to Sudan. Yasir Arman, Fat Agar, Alnur can stay in this hell hole of S.Sudan - please give them citizenship - they got nowhere !

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      • 3 April 2012 11:54, by morogot batal

        DARKDEVEL
        - for how long have you been arming militias in south sudan ?
        - and upto now..do your devel mbiki condemn one day ?
        - you have been throwing darfur kid on fier,what does mbiki said ?
        - thier are more than eleven big grave in juba upto bilinyang road each one burried more than 40 people alive in it.what does mbiki done?
        - you bomb south including refugee camp,what does mbiki done ?............

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      • 3 April 2012 12:23, by Hitler

        Dakkangleo or who ever: what evidence do you have that South Sudan is Supporting the Rebels. Darfur Issue has been long before we attain independence. Why did Bashir al Luti blame us since. Kordofan and Blue Nile are all in the North. Are you suggesting they become part of the South? Ok if that is so declare it and it will be part of the South. Why then do you cry if they are part of the South and

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    • 3 April 2012 11:42, by Dinkawarrior

      Thabo Mbeki is a money mouth man! He has nothing do with mediation but to make money through our blood! Let everybody know that there is a curse for anyone who wants to benefit from our blood. Just wait for their carrying, their sins against South Sudan will teach them how to behave like a real human being.

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  • 3 April 2012 11:12, by Dinka Dominated SPLA/M

    Yep we are about to kick Thabo Mbeki out of this since he didn’t do anything good since he took over as a panal leader, some in Erup told us seven month ago that he don’t think Thabo Mbeki can slove and things among the people of Sudan since he is friend and business partener with Bahir but we ignor him thank to our intelligent report about the way and behavious of Thabo Mebkei in the peace proces

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    • 3 April 2012 11:43, by Darkangel

      Mbeki is probably scratching his head at you incompetent southerners. You keep saying you want peace, but you keep doing the stupidest things - supporting the rebels, closing the pipeline and now directly attacking Sudan directly. You people are lost without Garang - at least he knew diplomacy - unlike your illiterate, retarded generals and president.

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      • 4 April 2012 01:09, by deng

        To Darkangel.

        I was upsad and will end up upsad but the only day I will be happy is when our response will shake the Arab world and we have a gut to do that. Just continuous to bomb S. Sudan and you will paid for it. Do you think we aren’t cappable as S. Sudanese of carrying strike inside big cities specially Khartoum knocking out all those skylines motherfuckers? We will get you suckers.

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  • 3 April 2012 11:14, by Lorolokin

    I said this before that with Pingpong on the AU chair and Mbeki as its mediator nothing will materialize specially with regards to South - Sudan peace talks.
    IGAD must step in we are sick of Mbeki,Mbeki don’t want to bring Peace coz if peace prevail where will he find some coin again.

    Kinkak.

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  • 3 April 2012 11:20, by viper

    Mbeki, a man who was told by his own pple of South Africa to leave the presidential palace due to his weaknesses was not suppose to be accepted as a mediator couz our fellow Africans have relieved him from national duties due to his inabilities and we were suppose to do the same to him and call for an independent body to mediate our talks with Sudan

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  • 3 April 2012 11:24, by The Republic of South Sudan

    I like that! Don’t just bark like Pagam Amum, Gier Chuang & Salva Mathok. Dr. Marial has presented our problem logically and evident based. Kiir would have learn from these people if he needs to convince the learned South Sudanese that he is a leader. He should stop using handkerchief in front of Head of the states when he ran out of English vocabularies which really embarrass all South Sudanese.

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  • 3 April 2012 11:37, by morogot batal

    since we dont have good mediators,why dont we go deeply using our former akm.47mm to mediate our peace like be4 ?any spla in public service including ministers has to go back puting in uniforms and thier forches then we trace where are those peace we sign for severals time hiding.plse dont depend on politics.political is the vice president of satan.while our people are dying day to days

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    • 3 April 2012 11:43, by Dinkawarrior

      Thabo Mbeki is a money mouth man! He has nothing do with mediation but to make money through our blood! Let everybody know that there is a curse for anyone who wants to benefit from our blood. Just wait for their carrying, their sins against South Sudan will teach them how to behave like a real human being.

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    • 3 April 2012 11:46, by Darkangel

      HAHAAHAHA - i dont think your FAT LAZY ministers fit in their old uniforms - or you lazy benefit seeking scums in the west would leave that comfort. Open your big mouths here on ST and let you poor 4.8 Million die of Hunger while your generals take all the money to America and Australia.

      Admit - your illiterate country is being ripped off by Dinka gangsters in government. Now they want war !

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    • 3 April 2012 11:51, by Chok Deng

      To Morogot Batal;
      You are right bro,there is nothing fruitful coming out from this fake mediations,then let us spare these little resources for our defences,all RSS officials should put on their uniforms and join SPLA in their respective positions.Fake Arabs don’t understand the language of peace but the one of war,then very soon and not later they will sign ’’all the agreements’’.

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  • 3 April 2012 12:05, by Hitler

    Thabo Mbeki is a total disgrace and failure to the Pan African Course; I have never seen Thabo Mbeki ever succeeded in any fruitful negotiations since he was president of the Republic of South African. He has even forgotten the very fundamental cause of the aspirations and struggle for which His people (ANC) and himself involved in SA cause that led to their Independence. Shame!

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    • 3 April 2012 12:20, by zulu

      Darkangel,
      You little dirty filthy mouth needs to get your ass to the front line and see if you can withstand the hungry man’s ak 47. South sudan is simply defending its territories and has not gone into sudan nor supported rebels. You cannot claim that aliny or panthow is your territory. That would be a farce. You boming south sudan and expect it to be silent.
      you liars as the world knows it.

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  • 3 April 2012 12:29, by Martin Kat

    In all this time the government of S Sudan know that South Sudan is a farm of Africa Union members where they get their food as you know AU is forms by African head of states this why they does nothing for African people due to self interest.

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  • 3 April 2012 13:14, by MKee

    Just because S.sudan force chased away those rats the other day, that why I have seen frustrattion in sudan. I think the way forward is tit for tat. If they bomb inside s.sudan they have to be chased and some destruction have to be done inside sudan. Those Mbeki’s and his friends have got a project which they don’t want to complete. They received bribeS from sudan that’S why they talk soft on it,.

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  • 3 April 2012 13:24, by MKee

    Other wise what sort of evidents do Mbeki’s group wanted in order to be convienced of the atrocities done by sudan inside south sudan.

    South have never gone to bomb sudan territories, while north keep doing it. We can be fooled by these money minded people who just want to get money instead of propsosing real deals.

    Look out guys money is talking here!!!

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  • 3 April 2012 14:18, by Gunkills

    Mbeki is a failure man. Go through is carer, nothing he have ever achieve. He was the one who was to led ANC to collapse until he was force to resign from the presidency and the party also. AU should have choose another person then Mbeki. Africa Union are the cause of two Sudans situation. UN keeps asking AU to hand over the situation to them but Mbeki refuse bcoz his business will end with Bashir

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  • 3 April 2012 15:17, by 4Justice

    Thabo Mbeki in his Knights Of Malta outfit

    I suspect El Bashir is a brother Mason too

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  • 3 April 2012 17:13, by Corrector

    But Ofcourse, the "the whole world is wrong and everyone is against us and everyone hates us" argument. Classic.

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  • 3 April 2012 20:59, by James Maker Akok

    Yeah, thank you Benjamin for the ways you talked, we want our leaders South Sudan to talk in that way you talk.

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  • 3 April 2012 22:05, by Born-to-Rule

    South Sudan government should be concerns about incompetence of "Former South African President and Chairman of African Union High Level Implementation Panel Thabo Mbeki". African Union is allowing Bashir to travel freely within African continent without arresting this criminal. The African Union is corrupted to the core. South Sudan need not to be a member of this Union.

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  • 4 April 2012 03:37, by somebody are Tonj

    Mbeki is simply not competent enough to carry out these negotiations, who in GOSS will listen to him? This man hasn’t got the stature at all, he just ’looked’ like somebody who could do something, but he really cannot. After Koffi gets done with Assad, I’d be happy for him to mediate with Khartoum, in our interest.

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