Home | News    Sunday 8 April 2012

UN South Sudan chief calls for peace between two Sudans

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By Bonifacio Taban Kuich

April 6, 2012 (BENTIU) - The head of the United Nation Mission in South Sudan, Hilde Johnson, called on Sudan and South Sudan to find peaceful solutions to their grievances through negotiations on a visit to Unity State.

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Unity State Governor Taban Deng Gai showing a map of the areas bombed by the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) to a group of journalists in Bentiu town. 5 April 2012 (ST)

Johnson’s visit was to see for herself the evidence that South Sudan says demonstrates the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) bombed areas of the oil-producing state during clashes on the north-south border at the end of March.

Juba claims Khartoum deliberately attempted to damage its oil fields in Unity State and responded by attacking Heglig in Sudan’s South Kordofan State. SAF refute this version of events, denying bombing southern territory and claiming that South Sudan’s army (SPLA) triggered the fighting by entering Heglig.

South Sudan’s President, Salva Kiir, originally claimed that the SPLA had taken control of the oil-producing area but this was later retracted by other officials. The oil-rich area was awarded to Sudan by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in 2009, which South Sudan accepted at the time but recent comments by Kiir appear to indicate that Juba wishes to reassert its claim to the area.

The ongoing skirmishes between SAF and SPLA forces on the Unity-South Kordofan border have been condemned by the international community, who are urging the two sides to negotiate security and other agreements at African Union-chaired talks in Addis Ababa.

On Thursday the head of United Nation Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), Hilde Johnson, meet with Unity State governor Taban Deng Gai to discuss the SAF bombing. The Unity State governor briefed the UN special envoy by showing her a map of areas that had been bombed.

After the meeting Gai told the press that innocent villages and civilians had been affected by the bombings, which he strongly condemned.

The most recent security proposals put forward by Thabo Mbeki’s African Union High Implementation Panel on Sudan was not signed earlier this week after the Sudanese delegation walked out of the talks saying they had to consult on the issue back in Khartoum.

Juba’s chief negotiator, Pagan Amum, said South Sudan was ready to sign but accused the Sudanese Defence Minister, Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein, and his entourage of sneaking out of the hotel without warning.

Upon arrival in Khartoum Hussein said that Juba’s refusal to acknowledge its backing for Sudanese armed groups fighting the government in Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan meant that it was unable to sign the deal.

SAF allege that one of the groups - the SPLA-North - took part in the SPLA’s incursion into South Kordofan almost 2 weeks ago. Juba denies backing the group that formed part of its rebel army during the north-south civil war that resulted in the 2005 peace deal that gave South Sudan to option to secede last year.

Unity State governor, Taban Deng, said South Sudan wants peace with Khartoum, adding that despite South Sudan’s independence in July 2011 the cultural and historical ties of the Sudanese people either side of the border will remain.

“As on the issues of peace, we really want peace between two countries, North and South and we believe we are one people we are all Sudanese, and our people should be enjoying peace and stability, we hope that life will become normal”, said Deng.

Hilde Johnson called upon the South Sudanese government to seriously engage in peace talks with Khartoum despite the recent clashes and the SAF aerial bombardment.

She added that her mandate was not to resolve north-south issues but to build the new nation of South Sudan by solving the internal conflicts that are inhibiting the progress of the new nation.

“With a number of incidents happening in Unity State, so it has been key for me to come here to visit our teams with the United Nations Mission for South Sudan and to acquit myself with what happening, clearly we have seen the United Nations come out strongly the last few days are calling for strength on both sides of the borders and the secretary general has made that clear and my mandate primarily is to support the new independent country and state building and in consolidating peace internally and we are doing what we can implement the mandate even under these difficult circumstances”, said Johnson.

She urged the two parties to establish the border monitoring mission that was proposed by the AU mediation team and added that the capability of the UNMISS in regard to border security was limited until this joint body was established.

(ST)

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  • 8 April 2012 10:20, by Bentiu CAPTAIN

    The UN should know that the "CRIMINAL" called OMER BASHIR that they could not catch wants the "SOUTH SUDAN OIL" and tried to penetrate the NORTH SOUTH BORDER with a PIPE LINE using stupid CHINESE COMPANIES.The South Sudan ARMY(SPLA)DISMANTLED the piple line and captured the company equipment. The UN should talk to the NASTY CHINESE in the UN and its NASTY kid in Khartoum so that they stop theft.

    repondre message

  • 8 April 2012 11:56, by Hitler

    Oil rich area of Heglig is and will always remain part of South Sudan. The rulling of court of arbitration in Hague is an act of neo-colonial mentality. It has no mandate to rule that Heglig belong to the North without local referundum of the people in the area. My president if right, we shall regain that part of the land wether by crok or military might.

    repondre message

    • 8 April 2012 17:19, by Sundayw

      First, change your name or study the history behind the name you have chosen. No one in the world calls themselves with that name! Beyond that, your post is agreeable. But change that name. It is a name of a barbaric leader who murdered millions of innocent Jews in Europe.

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    • 8 April 2012 20:03, by mohammed ali

      Hitler, unfortunately , your government did accepted the ruling of the court. It will more unfortunate if discarded the court rule. You will certainly loose more!

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      • 8 April 2012 21:22, by Sundayw

        Surprise, surprise. South never accepted the ruling pertaining to Heglig (Panthou). How can you accept something that was never decided? As far as we concerned, Panthou is rightfully South and we will take it. There are plans afoot to address all these issues once and for all whether in the field or on paper.

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  • 8 April 2012 12:31, by viper

    Hitler, there is no ruling about Hijlij (panthou) this was a misinterpration by those crimnals of the NCP, just to loot our oil. This issue is not going to last, we will take this Hijlij as soon as possible whether by force or peacefully as you have just said

    repondre message

  • 8 April 2012 17:21, by Sundayw

    The PCA actually never addressed the Heglig because is not even part of Abyei but Unity state. So it was intentionally left out because a court cannot decide an issue that was never brought before it.

    repondre message

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