August 25, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) today accused the government of South Sudan of non-cooperation with the border committee set up by the African Union (AU) to determine the baseline for the demilitarized security zone (zero line).
- Sudan’s Idris Mohamed Abdel Gader (L), African Union-led panel head Thabo Mbeki (C) and South Sudan’s Pagan Amum (R) holding the signed implementation matrix on the cooperation agreements, on 12 March 2013 (AUHIP photo)
The NCP implored upon Juba to work towards the full implementation of cooperation agreements signed last year between the two countries.
Sudan and South Sudan signed a series of cooperation agreements, which covered oil, citizenship rights, security issues, banking, border trade among others. In March of this year, the two countries signed a matrix containing implementation timelines for these accords.
The NCP spokesperson, Yasser Youssef, said in press statements in response to the UN Security Council (UNSC) call this week on Juba and Khartoum to implement the cooperation agreements that they do not accept instructions or lectures on the issue, saying that the matter in its entirety is both a national duty and moral commitment.
Youssef said that South Sudan government must adhere to what it signed, and the international community should provide assistance . He described the cooperation agreements as “historical” but noted that it was put on hold recently for reasons known to all parties.
He said that implementing the pacts in letter and spirit will benefit the two peoples.
Last June, the Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir ordered the closure of pipelines carrying oil from landlocked South Sudan, accusing the latter of continuing to back rebel groups fighting his government particularly in border states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan.
From the very beginning, Sudan has insisted that security arrangements should be concluded before implementing other aspects of the cooperation agreements are executed.
The NCP spokesperson said that the Sudanese government is alarmed by the inability of the border committee to conduct its work, stressing that Juba should remove any obstacles created by local authorities thus hindering fulfilling the work of the committee.
He pointed that Khartoum is mainly concerned about creation of the buffer zone and implementing the security arrangements.