February 17, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - The United States is preparing a donor conference to support South Sudan to overcome the severe economic crisis the new nation has experienced since December 2011, said Princeton Lyman, US special envoy to the two Sudans.
- Princeton Lyman (Reuters)
"We’re going to host a conference soon to bring together donors to ask, how do we adjust our programmes and mobilise resources to make sure South Sudan can weather this delay," Lyman said in statement to Al-Jazerra English published on Friday.
Khartoum and Juba failed to implement a cooperation agreement providing to allow the exportation of South Sudanese oil through Port Sudan on the Red Sea.
Juba hopes to export its oil through the Kenyan port of Lamu on the Indian Ocean after the construction of a pipeline in 2014. Minister Stephen Dhieu Dau told a cabinet meeting on Friday that the World Bank and African Development Bank agreed to fund the project.
The American envoy said the economic situation in South Sudan however requires a quick reaction.
"A collapse would be calamitous not only for South Sudan, but for the whole region", Lyman said to show the emergency of the situation.
The outgoing envoy further appeared pessimist over the resolution of the disputed issues between the two countries after the independence of South Sudan in July 2011.
"Both sides see the worst in each other’s conditions. I think right now the problem is with Khartoum’s definition with how to get its own security needs addressed", he said.
The envoy was alluding to Khartoum’s demand that Juba should disengage with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – North (SPLM-N) which fights against the Sudanese army in the Nuba Mountains area of South Kordofan and Blue Nile state.
American officials recently urged negotiations with the SPLM-N saying that Khartoum can resolve its security concern by negotiating with the rebels.
On Saturday 16 February, Sudanese president Omer Al-Bashir said that the two countries can resolve their differences under the African mediation if South Sudan implements the nine agreements he signed with president Salva Kiir on 27 September 2012.
Speaking at the summit of the Community of Sahel-Saharan (CEN-SAD) Summit held in the Chadian capital Ndjamena, Bashir reiterated his accusations that Juba harbours and supports Sudanese rebel groups.
He also charged Uganda of following Juba and harbouring "rebel elements" and Sudanese opposition adding it provides them with military training.
He urged the meeting to condemn these "acts of hostility and interference in the internal affairs of Member States".