Home | News    Wednesday 30 January 2013

Germany says goal of Sudan conference is to support north-south peace process


January 29, 2013 (WASHINGTON) – The German government has defended its decision to host an economic conference in Berlin on Sudan, with South Sudan saying that its goal is to encourage dialogue between the two ex-foes.

Germany foreign minister Guido Westerwelle shakes hands with South Sudan’s ambassador in Berlin Sitona Abdalla Osman, as Sudan’s foreign minister Ali Karti looks on (German Foreign Ministry website).

The one-day gathering is sponsored by the Arab-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as the German-African Business Association and took place at the German Federal Foreign Office.

Sudan was represented at the forum by its foreign minister Ali Karti, while South Sudan’s delegation was headed by its ambassador in Berlin Sitona Abdalla Osman.

The economic forum is seen as an opportunity for Khartoum to attract European companies to work in the country which is still reeling under a severe economic crisis that resulted following the secession of the oil-rich South in July 2011. Most Western companies shun the country due to a US trade embargo.

Germany had originally planned the forum for last October but shelved it after thousands of people stormed and set ablaze its embassy in protest against an anti-Islamic film. Sudan’s subsequent apology to Germany prompted the latter to reschedule it.

The foreign ministry in Berlin said that delegations from Juba and Khartoum will present their plans and ideas in the areas of construction, infrastructure, transport, mining, energy and water, health and education, agriculture and the food industry.

However, Germany’s hosting of the conference drew sharp criticism by some Sudanese opposition groups and activists who urged Berlin to scrap the event over what they described as a poor human rights situation in the country and restrictions imposed by Khartoum on humanitarian access to the rebel-held areas in the border states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

Last week the secretary-general of the Sudan People Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N), Yasser Arman, urged Germany not to host the conference and expressed fear that Khartoum would use any funds resulting from it to continue its war on the citizens of the Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains.

The SPLM-N took up arms against the Sudanese government in the weeks before South Sudan made its formal break from the north in July 2011.

More than 220,000 people have since fled into South Sudan and Ethiopia from the two states and the Sudanese government has refused to allow the United Nations access to rebel-held zones in both states.

The UN says about 700,000 people in Blue Nile and South Kordofan face critical food shortages.

Dozens of people staged a demonstration in front of the foreign ministry in Berlin to protest the conference and held signs blasting Khartoum over alleged human rights violations.

But the Sudanese ambassador in Berlin, Bahaa Al-Deen Hanafi, downplayed the protest saying it did not exceed more than 20 people, adding that the German foreign ministry had already notified the embassy in advance.

Hanafi said that the protestors were comprised mainly of "Nazis" that even Khartoum’s enemies did not join.

The low-level representation by South Sudan at the conference was attributed by some diplomatic sources to the negative publicity surrounding it. However, other sources in Juba denied this, saying the absence of South Sudan’s foreign minister, Nhial Deng Nhial, was due to personal reasons. They also noted that Nhial was not present at the recent round of talks in Addis Ababa between Khartoum and Juba.

German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle stressed that the goal of the conference was to boost the peace process between Khartoum and Juba.

"Without economic development there is no security, and without security there is no economic development," Westerwelle said.

The two Sudans are at loggerheads over the territory of Abyei, which was left undecided when they split. They are also in a dispute over revenues from oil that comes mainly from the South but is transported through Sudan.

"In addition to the political dialogue, economic progress is crucial because peace has a lot to do with economic development ... poverty and hardship are often the breeding ground for extremism," he said.

In a meeting prior to the conference with his Sudanese counterpart, Westerwelle emphasised the importance of implementing the remaining items in the 2005 peace agreement with South Sudan. He also urged Khartoum to demonstrate its respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The top German diplomat said that his country will continue to support the peace process but stressed that Juba and Khartoum must cooperate by allowing the resumption of cross-border trade and transportation.

"Cooperation is not always easy but is more productive than confrontation," Westerwelle said.

Karti on his end reiterated Sudan’s commitment to fully implement the agreements signed with South Sudan, particularly ones related to security and others that pave the way for promoting peace and stability in the two countries.

He praised Germany for hosting the conference, pointing out that it would boost bilateral economic ties between the two sides and also called for the strengthening of cultural relations between the two countries.

The Sudanese official underscored that the investment environment in Sudan has become more attractive in light of the guarantees offered to companies investing in Sudan.

Sudan’s deputy ambassador to Germany, Khaled Moussa, said that the conference comes within the framework of Germany’s keenness to explore the potential investment opportunities in Sudan.


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  • 30 January 2013 10:26, by Robot

    Whoever knows Sitona would think contrary why she was taken to Berlin as Ambassador????!!!!. is our Govt reconsidering its past in dealing with diplomacy and pertaining people/diplomats they select????, funny enough "The Sudanese official underscored that the investment environment in Sudan has became more attractive in light of the guarantees offered to companies investing in Sudan".

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    • 30 January 2013 14:33, by Peacocktail

      No problem with Our Ambassador. Only that Khartuom should know the World Interest before talking of Investment. Stopping and Stealing South Sudan Oil is a curse to your economy.No Investor shall sacrifice in state where $1 @85 SDG.
      SPLA-N should not worry about the conference.Germany wanted to deal with Sudan diplomatic. it will soon recognize SRF delegation and representative in Berlin.Change oye

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  • 30 January 2013 11:28, by Jalaby

    WOW!! This conference held in Berlin has significant positive impact on Sudan economy and open new page with Europe towards true partnership!
    1. This conference would never take place unless America gave the green light to Germany to host it.
    2. Will open a true partnership between Sudan and EU countries
    3. Positive signal from US to Sudan

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    • 30 January 2013 11:34, by Jalaby

      4. A big slap from US & Europe in SPLA-N face and South Sudan face too because both appealed to America to stop this conference from taking place but it’s clear that US didn’t listen to them but gave them a middle finger instead!!!!
      South Sudan was the reason behind the damage in Sudan relationship with the western countries all this time,

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      • 30 January 2013 11:41, by Jalaby

        I’m just wondering.. why we didn’t separate the south since 1956 but went for a war without any real reason?! What the south added to us since 1956 other than war and damaging our economy and made us among failed state?!
        Do u think if the south is a good entity and can add any benefit to Sudan British Administration would added it

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        • 30 January 2013 11:47, by Jalaby

          to Sudan?!
          I think British Administration decided to add the south to Sudan because they know very well the South is useless and will fail any country if added to it, and that explains why they didn’t add it to Kenya or Uganda despite they disciplined the south in eastern African countries style but they added it to Sudan!!

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          • 30 January 2013 11:51, by Jalaby

            I think goal was to fail Sudan and keep it busy with war with the useless entity part which is the south and never get benefit from the rich resources that Sudan has!!
            I’ve to confess here that British Administration made a great success on fulfilling their goals no doubt by failing Sudan when added that useless part to it!!!!!

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            • 30 January 2013 13:47, by Nuer Empire

              You don’t need to show your trust to people that don’t like you.You killed them in their embasy in Khartoum last year

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            • 30 January 2013 14:20, by Majongdit

              Your confessions that you were just boasting around when you know the reality. Here I quote you:"why we didn’t separate the south since 1956 but went for a war without any real reason?! What the south added to us since 1956 other than war and damaging our economy and made us among failed state?!"
              Failed State! That’s what you are.

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          • 30 January 2013 14:27, by Majongdit

            when i feel i have nothing to do i just try waste time talking to you. i am learning to talk to nothing.
            first, plse improve your english and then remember two things:
            1. If S. Sudan adds nothing then why has Khartoum all of a sudden came to a standstill just one year after independence
            2. you don’t know the cricumstances under which S, Sudan was annexed to Sudan. It was a British-Egypt agreement

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          • 30 January 2013 14:29, by Majongdit

            when i feel i have nothing to do i just try waste time talking to you. i am learning to talk to nothing.
            first, plse improve your english and then remember two things:
            1. If S. Sudan adds nothing then why has Khartoum all of a sudden came to a standstill just one year after independence
            2. you don’t know the cricumstances under which S, Sudan was annexed to Sudan. It was a British-Egypt agreement

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          • 30 January 2013 14:39, by New Government

            you better know the topic in sudan story called coming of an Arabs to sudan.you are almost to flow back to Suada arabia

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          • 30 January 2013 14:51, by jwok

            becuase we stoped our oil you lost your voting right in UN due to finincial issue
            Sudan is useless with South Sudan
            I think you agree with me
            our oil will not pass through sudan

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        • 30 January 2013 11:57, by Deng Bornyang

          @ Jalaby or whatever you called yourself. Try to have some sense in your writings. How could you say that there was nothing advantageous in keeping South as part of Sudan? As oil begin to flow in South to Port Sudan, Sudan where you are now has change dramatically in terms of economics development.
          You are just people who can eat food given to you by someone but do not appreciate in the end.

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          • 30 January 2013 12:03, by sudani ana

            True what you said. But this oil benefit only occured since 1999 to 2011. 12 years of benefit compared to over 40 years of war, disease and death. We would have been better off without this god forsaken land of South Sudan.

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          • 30 January 2013 12:04, by Deng Bornyang

            War was all about your irrational ideology of benefiting on the expense of the South.However, much we have some problems here and there like any other country, it is the best choice to go as an independent state. Whoever, stolen money from the government still he or she is our son. And there is a room for less corrupt son of our country who can still benefit from that money than you.

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        • 30 January 2013 15:35, by PT92
          Jalaby, I know you are an NCP clown that twisted everything that come out of everyone mouth including themselves when it doesn’t suite them well. Don’t get every shit twisted suckers!

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          • 30 January 2013 20:44, by Paul Ongee

            We need to note that the condition beyond the Chief Oil Thief’s (COT/NCP) control contributed to “its” inability to pay arrears is the loss of 75% of oil revenue to South Sudan on July 9th, 2011. Setting preconditions of 50% share for Abyei Legislative Council (ALC) and the controversially included Mile 14 in the September agreement is unacceptable.

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            • 30 January 2013 20:45, by Paul Ongee

              AU made a mistake for including “Mile 14”into the so-called “Cooperation Agreement” as if CPA was never meant for “cooperatively” resolving issues or implementing all the CPA Protocols on a timely basis. Why Mile 14 was not in the CPA of 2005 and recently brought up by Sudan without AU questioning the rationale?

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              • 30 January 2013 20:46, by Paul Ongee

                Sudan believes that it can easily get the AU attention off the main agenda when it comes to the issues of realistically demarcating the border between South and North. What Sudan believes it can do to override the agenda of the ongoing negotiations is to constantly create preconditions. Sudan knows how much time will be spent by AU/UN on negotiating the newly created agenda besides the issue of Ab

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                • 30 January 2013 20:47, by Paul Ongee

                  Abyei or SPLM-N until 2015.
                  Sudan knows that AU is extremely weak, inactive and is always struggling to learn how to say the simple word “No” in the summit as well as on the ground. The coup-addicted country knows that AU does not bother to ask who does what, where, when and why given not its geographical location but religious and political affiliation.

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                  • 30 January 2013 20:49, by Paul Ongee

                    Sudan has been given latitude to set preconditions on the pretext of focusing attention on its new demands while hoping to prolong negotiations and finally get the focus on the main agenda completely lost. This is how AU often fails and finds itself challenged by a country whose leadership, in some cases, says “we cannot be neither governed by a Christian President nor judged by a western court.

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                    • 30 January 2013 20:50, by Paul Ongee

                      This is how the “fourth fake black Arab class regime” positions itself and survives within its political and geographical location/interest in Africa, Middle East, Arab League, IGAD, AU, UN and international community. Otherwise IGAD, AU/UN and international community would continue dwelling on endless demands constantly created by Sudan just for its geographical, political and economic survival.

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                      • 30 January 2013 20:54, by Paul Ongee

                        With the issued ICC arrest warrant and the war mentality, Sudan is ready to commit suicide with South Sudan who really wants peace and political stability in the neighborhood but Sudan interprets mediation efforts of South Sudan and AU as a political and economic choke. On its enemy list, South Sudan rated “Enemy No.1”. Why is it hard to say "No" to Sudan that is the not the right way of doing thi

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                        • 30 January 2013 20:56, by Paul Ongee

                          Sudan used the word “Enemy No.1” in the context of separation, loss of resources and the capture of Panthou/Heglig in April last year. The current political and military attitude is just to entertain few domestic and international audiences that though he is suffering politically and economically, “I am still here setting preconditions for implementation of agreements and surviving the separation

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                          • 30 January 2013 20:58, by Paul Ongee

                            The pledge of nearly US$4 billion dollars by South Sudan is not enough for the resource-starved country. Insistently, Sudan needs more sustained economic aid to reach 2015 and beyond. If AU itself needs expertise and economic aid from the West/East to achieve its vision,

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                            • 30 January 2013 21:00, by Paul Ongee

                              Any political force (s) challenging the National Criminal Party c on domestic front is easily controlled or silenced and branded “terrorists”, like Bashar Assad of Syria, struggling to exclude himself from the axis of evil. They always blame the West for their own intransigence to transform democratically and resort to branding freedom fighters that “terrorist are spreading across the country."

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                              • 30 January 2013 21:01, by Paul Ongee

                                AU and UN need not only provide sustained economic support to Sudan but also to learn how to say “No” to Sudan regardless of its deep religious and political affiliation if they really want peace between Sudan and South Sudan; and among African countries. AU needs not only to formulate tough laws but enforce them and hold any country accountable for every serious violation or crime committed.

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