November 18, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The speaker of the Sudanese parliament, Ahmad Ibrahim Al-Tahir, has warned South Sudan against causing the collapse of the cooperation deals it signed with his country two months ago, accusing Juba of continuing to support rebel groups in Sudan.
- Sudanese parliamentary speaker Ahmed Ibrahim al-Tahir speaks during a meeting in Khartoum on March 28, 2012 (GETTY)
Al-Tahir told reporters in the capital Khartoum on Sunday that Sudan will remain committed to the priority of border security before allowing South Sudan to resume exporting its oil via Sudan.
The Sudanese official called on South Sudan to start implementing the security arrangements of the deal they signed in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on 27 September along with eight other deals covering resumption of South Sudanese oil exports via Sudan and demarcation of borders among other issues arising from the secession of South Sudan last year.
If the security deal is not implemented, there will be no resumption of oil exports through Sudan, Al-Tahir stressed.
The security arrangement stipulates that each country should refrain from supporting rebel groups in the other, and that a demilitarized buffer zone should be established along their 1800-km common border.
According to Al-Tahir, however, South Sudan is still actively engaged in supporting rebel groups operating along the border areas, in reference to the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) and its allies in the coalition Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF).
Al-Tahir said that the border areas are rife with hostile activities and that rebel groups continue to come from Juba with weapons. He added that Juba is yet to sever its connections to the SPLM-N which fought alongside South Sudan’s army against Khartoum during the second Sudanese civil war.
Sudan’s top MP insisted that Juba must first clear Sudan’s borders from any hostilities before resuming its oil exports.
Talks between Sudan and South Sudan on the implementation of the border security deal hit a snag after Khartoum demanded South Sudan cooperation in disarming SPLM-N combatants who have been fighting the Sudanese government in the border regions of South Kordofan and Blue Nile since last year.
South Sudan has halted preparations to resume oil production pending a breakthrough in the floundering security talks.