February 28, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese foreign ministry issued a statement today reaffirming its desire to implement the nine cooperation agreements signed last September with South Sudan that were brokered by the African Union (AU) mediation team.
- Sudanese President Omer Hassan al-Bashir (Center L) stands alongside his South Sudanese counterpart Salva Kiir (Center R) following a meeting in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, on July 14, 201 (Getty Images)
"The Government of the Sudan would like to reiterate its commitment to the comprehensive and coordinated implementation as provided for in the Cooperation Agreements of 27 September 2012 and the outcomes of the Heads of State summit report of 5th January 2013," the statement carried by state media said.
The statement comes days after remarks attributed to South Sudan president Salva Kiir in which he told African leaders that he is not interested in talks with Khartoum that drag on indefinitely
The September deals are on hold as the two countries have yet to finalise security arrangements that involve setting up the buffer zone.
Sudan insists that the security aspect is concluded before implementing the other deals particularly one pertaining to restarting oil flow from South Sudan through the north’s pipelines. Juba shut down its output of 350,000 barrels day a year ago in a row with Khartoum over pipeline fees.
As well as getting oil flows restarted, both sides also need to decide on ownership of large strips of the almost 2,000 km (1,200 miles) long border.
The Sudanese foreign ministry stressed that the implementation of the agreements "is to be comprehensive, in a coordinated manner and without selectivity or conditionality".
"The Government of the Sudan is willing and resolved to continue positively the negotiations on implementation of all agreements reached by the two sides and urges the other side to honor its obligations and avoid backtracking in order to ensure smooth and unhindered implementation of the agreements" read the press release.
The two countries recently exchanged accusations of cross-border attacks and amassing troops on both sides of the north-south border.