Home | News    Wednesday 28 March 2012

Sudan’s parliament backs suspension of deals with Juba

March 27, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese parliament voiced support on Tuesday to the cancellation of President Omer Al-Bashir’s planned trip to neighbouring South Sudan following the eruption of clashes between the two countries’ armies on the disputed border.

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Sudan and South Sudan’s army clashed on Monday around the oil-rich town of Heglig inside the Sudanese border, prompting Khartoum to scrap a summit scheduled to be held on 3 April between Al-Bashir and his South Sudanese counterpart Salva Kiir Mayardit in Juba.

The summit was expected to witness the signing of two agreements on borders and nationality as initialed by the two countries’ negotiators in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa earlier this month.

The deputy speaker of Sudan’s National Assembly, Samia Mohammed Ahmad, told reporters on Tuesday that the parliament “in principle” still adheres to the agreements made with South Sudan.

However, she added that the parliament supports suspending these agreements as well as Al-Bashir’s trip to Juba until the security situations on the borders are settled.

In response to allegations that the authorities had embarked on a campaign of forced conscription in line with the state of mobilisation declared by President Al-Bashir, the senior parliamentarian categorically denied the existence of such a campaign. She stressed that mobilisation is not being conducted on grassroots levels.

Another parliament member, Hagu Gasim Al-Said, meanwhile revealed that members of the parliament are planning to start public mobilisation campaigns in their respective constituencies to support the Sudanese army (SAF).

Al-Said turned to accuse France and the US of being involved in the Heglig events and held Washington and Paris responsible for the breakdown of negotiations between Khartoum and Juba.

He further alleged that the US was moving to support the rebel Sudan Revolutionary Forces (SRF) to attack Heglig under additional support from South Sudan.

Sudanese officials routinely accuse South Sudan of supporting the SRF, a coalition of rebel groups seeking to overthrow the government in Khartoum.

(ST)