October 5, 2012 (KHARTOUM) — Sudan and South Sudanese security delegation are to meet Saturday in Juba to discuss issues pertaining to rebel groups and their presence in both countries, South Kordofan governor Ahmed Haroun said on Friday.
- Sudan’s Minister of Defence Abdel-Rahim Hussein shakes hands with his South Sudan counterpart John Kong Nyuon (R) after signing a security agreement between the two countries in Addis Ababa on 27 September 2012 (Reuters)
The two countries on 27 September signed nine political, economic and security deals aiming to settle a number of unresolved issues the two parties were discussing since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in January 2005.
Speaking to the Sudanese radio on Friday about the agreements signed last week Haroun praised the efforts done in Addis Ababa and said that two countries achieved a "qualitative leap" and moved themselves from the "theatre of war" to the "park of peace".
He disclosed that security delegations from both sides will meet in Juba on Saturday to discuss "finishing touches " to end presence of rebels movements in the two countries and the disengagement between the South Sudan army, SPLA, and "the ninth and tenth divisions", an expression used in Khartoum indicate the rebel combatants in Blue Nile and South Kordofan.
The governor further said that "preparatory delegation of the Sudanese security committee has already arrived in Juba."
Khartoum and Juba traded accusations of supporting rebel groups. During the negotiations the Sudanese delegation indicated that none of the signed agreements would be implemented if South Sudan continues its support to the Sudanese rebels from the Two Areas and Darfur.
For the Blue Nile and South Kordofan; Khartoum says it demobilised and disarmed the former members of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and it asks that Juba observers the reciprocity and disarm the former SPLA members.
Haroun also expressed hopes that South Sudanese President Salva Kiir releases, during a visit of President Omer Al-Bashir to Juba, Telephone Koko, a prominent former member of the SPLM from the Nuba Mountains opposed to Abdel Aziz Al-Hilu who the leader of the Movement in South Kordofan and was former deputy governor.
He further praised South Sudan’s chief negotiator, Pagan Amum for showing, during the talks, a positive spirit that helped the parties to move forward and to finalise a deal, he said
Speaking about the economic benefits of the agreements for his state, Haroun said the agreement will allow state’s farmers to export their agricultural products to South Sudan which is a key market for them adding that the banks which financed the produced crops will put the farmers in jail if they fail to sale it.
The Sudanese government earlier this year banned the exportation o f agricultural products from the border states to their traditional markets in the neighbouring South Sudanese states like Upper Nile, Unity, Warrap and Northern Bahr El-Ghazal and Western Bahr El-Ghazal.
The two countries are expected to continue their negotiations as they failed to reach a deal over the disputed areas and the organisation of a referendum in Abyei Area.
On the oil issues, Sudan still asks Juba to pay financial compensation for damaging Heglig oil infrastructures. It also demands $1.8 billion for the confiscation of its assets by a the South Sudan oil company Nilepet.
The two issues are left unresolved in the agreements signed on 27 September.
Juba denies damaging Heglig oil installations but Sudan says it can prove its claims. On the assets of Sudan oil company, Sudapet, South Sudan oil minister Stephen Dhieu Dau said Friday that the two parties remain committed to settle this issue within two months .
Oil companies have started works to resume pumping operations of oil South Sudanese to Port Sudan for exportations after an eight-month shutdown.
President Omer Al-Bashir is expected to visit Juba soon to mark the normalisation of bilateral relations.