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Sudan resumes strengthening bilateral ties with South Sudan ahead of talks


August 31, 2012 (JUBA/KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese government is resuming strengthening and restoring bilateral relations with its former region South Sudan, with whom it is in engaged in a number of post secession disputes, days before talks between the two states are due to begin in Ethiopia.

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Undersecretary at the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Rahamat -Allah Mohamed Osman (file)

The Undersecretary at the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Rahamat-Allah Mohamed Osman visited Juba on 30 August apparently in an attempt to restart the seriously damaged relations between the two nations.

It was the first official visit between the two countries since they engaged in a brief border war in April over the disputed oil region of Heglig/Panthou.

Despite having six years of a peace deal to resolve numerous issues including demarcating the new international border, oil, security, and the disputed region of Abyei, South Sudan seceded in July last year with all these thorny issues unresolved.

The two countries reached earlier this August an agreement over oil transportation fees, talks on other outstanding issues are due to resume in Ethiopia after the funeral of former Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi.

Rahamat-Allah’s visit was brought about by an invitation by South Sudan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to their counterparts in Khartoum and is considered a step towards boosting efforts to resolving conflicts between the two sides.

In a statement broadcast by South Sudan Television on Thursday, Osman said diplomats and politicians were "different groups" and do not share the same views.

“Diplomats advocate for dialogue and peaceful settlement while politicians have different approaches”, said Rahamat-Allah at Juba International Airport in a statement broadcast live on state television on Thursday evening.

The Sudanese diplomat explained that his country has entrusted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the role of creating peaceful relations with other countries. Sudan needs to treat South Sudan in a special way because the new country has more added value than other neighbours, he said, adding that his country had committed itself to promoting peaceful cooperation with South Sudan.

"Our relations could reinforce the ongoing negotiations process to reach a good result between the two countries for the interest of the citizens in both the north and South,” he said.

Few official statements have been made about what was discussed in the meeting, which was held behind closed doors. But sources within South Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs claimed the visit was a step towards boosting bilateral ties between the two nations.

“I was not in the meeting but I am told by my colleagues that number of issues aiming at promoting bilateral ties were raised and discussed. Issues relating to regular interaction between diplomats at both embassies to raise and discuss issues of concerns were brought up and the two sides have agreed to set up committees to look into them”, an official with the South Sudan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation told Sudan Tribune on Friday.

The official further added that the meeting had discussed making use of expertise in fighting poverty; improving living conditions in identified areas; establishing small and medium-size enterprises and industrial clusters; and making use of traditional and ancestral contacts to reactivate and promote peaceful coexistence between the two states. Other issues raised at the meeting included intensifying diplomatic efforts to resume trade exchange at the border states.

South Sudan Undersecretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Charles Manyang Wol said the two ministries would exchange constant visits in order to revive and strengthen bilateral relations. He declined to offer comment on the agenda of the discussions.

The official, however, said the future stability of the economies of the two countries depend entirely on their relationship. Before relations soured and Sudan closed the border Sudan was South Sudan’s biggest trading partner and was the new nation’s only route export its oil.

"South and North share a lot in common. The future of our economies entirely depend our relations. This future is in our hands. It is waiting for us. Our generation and the next generation deserve [a] strong foundation. Relations between our citizens rely on political relations between the two states. They need peace and free movement required by the international relations," he explained.

"Let us begin that future together," he added.

In Khartoum, it was reported that Rahamat-Allah signed an agreement on the resumption of direct flights between the two countries as it was stopped four months ago.

The Sudanese official also said Khartoum and Juba are discussing ways to resume fluvial trips and to open land roads.

The two countries agreed in September 2011 to open crossing points and to organise border trade between the two sides. In November 2011 also the two neighbours inked security arrangements on the common border.

But the relations between the two sides deteriorated following the increase of attacks in South Kordofan by the Sudanese rebels that Khartoum says are backed by Juba and in January South Sudan stopped pumping oil through Sudan depriving both countries of much needed income in hard currency.


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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 1 September 2012 08:02, by Dinka Dominated SPLA/M

    They came with wisdome and we accepted it, I hope nobody can blame us in this situation

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    • 1 September 2012 08:09, by Robot

      Ah ah, too belittling, why send the undersecretary and claim to be talking sense, delaying tactics of NCP!!! i am not sure if our govt are still serious on Arab’s "PLAN B".

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      • 1 September 2012 10:46, by zulu

        Nay, there is no belittling here. These duchbags banned themselves from travelling to south sudan and Israel. Look who is beshamed now. They closed the border, but broke their own barrier. Numbskulls indeed.

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    • 1 September 2012 14:27, by South South

      Yes, Sudan is running to Juba to ask for help. The country of Sudan is going down and they need our oil. Why Sudanese young men are for sell now in the market in Khartoum, Cairo and Libya. Here is the link:http://www.sudanile.com/2008-05-19-19-45-21/44091---------q-q----------.html

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  • 1 September 2012 08:35, by 4Justice

    It doesn’t cost much to have a small scale soap, vegetable oil, sugar, production factory for local consumption instead of constantly begging Sudan to open the borders. Even Somalia people consider as a failed State does have factories!

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  • 1 September 2012 08:59, by Mapuor

    Its indeed true that bilateral relations are important economically.But South Sudan should also work hard to offer Sudan something.Lulu oil production should be boosted as shea butter is considered to contain anti aging elements and has alot of medicinal uses.Soap yaaa jamaaa should not be imported. Haaaa

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  • 1 September 2012 09:10, by mohammed ali

    All steps towards peace are good and welcomed. Sudan Tribune in it’s crusade to belittle Sudan put a title with which it is trying to show Sudan as if it is begging for that relationship! While Sudan responded to an invitation from the minister of FA of SS during his visit to Khartoum! Sudan Tribune should stop it’s cheap propoganda and refrain from preaching hatred !

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    • 1 September 2012 09:32, by mohamed mahgoub

      So what stops u from begging actually u have to beg hard to get yourself out of all the problems u get yourself into

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      • 1 September 2012 09:36, by mohammed ali

        So called Mahgoub, we Sudanese donnot beg, it is our nature!That is just in case if you donot know us!You may be used to begging, we are not. It is disgustting to beg, try to get rid of that bad habit!

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        • 1 September 2012 10:11, by mohamed mahgoub

          U already did the begging and grant u the conditional $3 bn u seem to have a very memory,who told u sudanese r not begging every street & corner in khartoum is full of them its hard to see that when seeking & living outside the country for one like u ,the NCP turned us to a Buchanan of beggars roaming allover the world ,its a grim reality

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          • 1 September 2012 15:15, by mohammed ali

            Mahgoub, so why are you lying and say you are Sudanese! I am living inside Sudan, and I have never beg an asylum visa.It is not NCP who turned you into begger, it seems that is something inherited deeply inside you.Where this Buchanan and what is it? Do you go to beg there?!

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        • 1 September 2012 17:57, by panchol

          Mohamed Ali
          You assume to be Arab, don’t you? Mahguob is an African who beg his African brothers. Go to middle East.
          leave us alone.

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          • 1 September 2012 18:56, by mohammed ali

            Panchol, YES , indeed I am ARAB.I am here and am going to remain here forever. YOU personally no longer belong to this land, you will remain in the country from where you begged an asylum visa after sold and enslaved yourselves to others. Race does not mean anything to me . It has got a meaning to brainwashed morons suffering from inferiority complex.Am very much proud of what I am.

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          • 1 September 2012 18:57, by mohammed ali

            Panchol, YES , indeed I am ARAB.I am here and am going to remain here forever. YOU personally no longer belong to this land, you will remain in the country from where you begged an asylum visa after sold and enslaved yourselves to others. Race does not mean anything to me . It has got a meaning to brainwashed morons suffering from inferiority complex.Am very much proud of what I am.

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          • 1 September 2012 19:17, by mohamed mahgoub

            We don’t have begging in our African culture,it migrated along with the invaders like the Arabs ,

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    • 1 September 2012 09:36, by Chol

      Ali, read the article and you’ll see who is begging; you don’t need to blame Sudan Tribune site, don’t shoot the messenger! If you think you’re ashamed for begging South Sudanese, you don’t need to come to South Sudan, stay dignified! By the way, the look in your diplomat face clearly shows Khartoum is no longer paradise without South Sudan.

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      • 1 September 2012 09:44, by mohammed ali

        Chol,"Rahamat –Allah’s visit was brought about by an invitation by South Sudan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to their counterparts in Khartoum " I did not say SS is begging , but if you consider the visit is begging , you better read this quotation and explain it to me.This is written in the article you are asking me to read again!

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        • 1 September 2012 10:26, by 4Justice

          Mohamed Ali,
          you are 100% correct, begging is not only disgusting but dehumanizing. I used the word begging in the context of pleading with Sudan to open it’s border as opposed to "begging" for money or food from others. Some on this forum have to consider learning English before engaging in any meaningful discussion.

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          • 1 September 2012 10:34, by 4Justice

            Can’t you people read? It is very clear who invited the other first!
            "Rahamat –Allah’s visit was brought about by an invitation by South Sudan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation"

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          • 1 September 2012 16:23, by Chol

            Ali and 4Justice, if South Sudanese are beggars, they have to be very wealthy beggars. South Sudanese are the ones with billions of dollars from their oil stockpile being solicited by Sudanese. Last month Sudanese were thrilled because they believe to have been offered $ 3.025 billion by South Sudanese. It is one thing to read but it’s another story to comprehend the substances of the article!

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            • 1 September 2012 16:25, by Chol

              Just because you invited someone to your home doesn’t automatically make you a beggar! The contents of what you discussed in the meeting are what make you a beggar. According to Ali and 4Justic logic, Ethiopians would be beggars because they invited Sudanese and South Sudanese to have conferences in their country!

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    • 1 September 2012 22:03, by Observer

      M Ali,
      And you are on a crusdade to belittle South Sudan any chance you get and to express your hatred.
      If Tribune publishes what you like you are happy but if it publishes stories that you don;t think are favourable to Sudan you get upset and resort to your usual name calling.
      S.T is based in France- a democratic country with a free press and freedom of speech- spot the difference between?

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  • 1 September 2012 10:41, by 4Justice

    steal 4 billion dollars only to beg for food and money, that’s degrading type "BEGGING" the 4 billion would have built over 100 factories ranging from soap, oil, sugar to cement NOT A BEGGER!

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  • 1 September 2012 11:51, by solider

    it is 17 billions ,not only 4 b.

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  • 1 September 2012 13:06, by kimo

    the whole world(the west,america,un and other Donners)are talking bitterly about the 75 thieves in suoth sudan,and how they steal 4 billions and escaped punishment.this will be a big problem in way of getting any assistance from the international community.No body will respect south sudan government.Shame on you spla,shame on you salva kirr,shame on you people of s. sudan who remain silent about i

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    • 1 September 2012 17:37, by Dhong Bang Aweil

      I think this is how Arab deceives people. Take care in ongoing relationship that they want otherwise , they want to secure our country

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  • 1 September 2012 22:08, by ViVa Sudan

    southners don’t u see how you are inferior coz all ur comments R about Arabs & Isalam i will not ask why its seems u just 4 got u need SUDAN more than we need u so Econonmic biletral relationship DOESN’T ’VE any relation with Religion or Race by da way WE ARABS & MUSLIM WE LOVE OUR RACE & YOU R AFRICAN ITS DA AFACT SO DON’T DENY WE COULDN’T LEAVE TOGETHER BUT U CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT PAYING to US

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  • 2 September 2012 05:34, by kimo

    inferiority test:you are inferior if you think some one is better than you or you think you are lower than some one, or you think some one thinks you are inferior..i hate ppl taking about arabs,jalaba,and the rest of it.the more self confident you are the less different from others you feel

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