July 22, 2012 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) said that the South Sudanese government is not serious about reaching an agreement over their unresolved issues, accusing Juba and some members of the international community of concocting new sanctions on the country.
- Mohamed Mandour (SUNA)
Talks between Sudan and South Sudan witnessed a setback on Friday after Juba accused Sudan of carrying out new aerial bombardments in Northern Bahr el-Gahzal State. The accusation was followed by its decision to stop the direct talks with Khartoum in Ethiopia.
Earlier this month on 7 July, the two countries agreed to hold direct talks in a transparent manner and to respect each other’s sovereignty. The strategic approach also aimed to speed the comprehensive talks as the deadline fixed by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is looming.
Mohamed Mandour, deputy chairman of NCP in Khartoum State, said that South Sudanese negotiators count on the support of some members of the international community and pressure groups that influence Western governments "to the extent that makes them unwilling to solve disputed issues through the African Union brokered talks".
Mandour added that the South Sudanese negotiators "are obstructing" the talks hoping that by the deadline of 2 August, the UNSC will impose economic sanctions on Khartoum despite its repeated commitment to continue talks in order to reach a peaceful agreement, as he said.
"Obviously, from these practices there is a foreign agenda determining the conduct of the South Sudanese delegation and the path of negotiations in general", he went on to add.
Sudan, which sticks to the security first approach, rejects a map proposed by the mediation to establish a buffer zone between the two countries aiming to stop cross border attacks by rebels. This position hampered any progress in the talks as the mediation, long time accused by Juba of favouring Khartoum, refuses to change its plan.
In accordance with the UNSC resolution 2046, by 2 August the mediation team has to file its conclusions on the disputed issues. After which the Council can impose economic sanctions on the two parties for violating the deadline.
Mandour said that Sudan, which is already subjected to US economic sanctions, is ready for all possibilities adding that the sanctions will increase Sudan’s strength.
After the independence of South Sudan, Khartoum is experiencing a severe economic crisis due to the loss of the majority of the country’s oil revenue. However, the government resisted the "Arab Spring" and the popular movements that brought down several regime in the region.
Some say this situation weakened the regime but others say it allowed the government to play the patriotic card and to easily intimidate the opposition and severely suppress anti-austerity protests organised by youth groups and students.