June 14, 2012 (WAU) - Governor of Western Bahr el Ghazal state, Rizik Hassan Zachariah, told Sudan Tribune on Thursday that Khartoum lacks the evidence to support the claims it lays on the disputed areas.
Zachariah suggested that if Khartoum has evidence that it is the rightful heir to disputed lands which lie on the border between north and South Sudan, it should take it to court, where the dispute can be settled peacefully.
In a deterioration of relations between Juba and Khartoum, the likes of which have been the signing of the peace agreement which ended civil war in 2005, the two nations have been engaged militarily since March.
Various post-independence issues remain unresolved, including border demarcation. With a view to bringing the two nations back from the brink of all-out conflict, the Africa Union High-Level Implementation Plan has been mediating the latest round of talks.
“You see it is in our culture as South Sudanese to live in peace with our neighbour, love them and share whatever little we have as family with our neighbour,” said Zachariah.
He was responding to the remarks made in a televised address on Wednesday by South Sudan’s chief negotiator, Pagan Amum. Amum described international arbitration of the conflict as the “best way” to achieve a resolution, shortly after briefing president Salva Kiir on the outcome of negotiations under-way in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.