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June 2011 - Posts

Kiir meets Taha as efforts intensified to kick-start South Kordofan deal

June 30, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – South Sudan leader Salva Kiir Mayardit and north Sudan’s vice-president Ali Osman Mohamed Taha held a meeting on Wednesday and agreed on the importance of maintaining progressive relations between the two sides as the south prepares to declare independence on 9 July.

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U.S. President Barack Obama (C) greets semi-autonomous South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir (L) and Sudan’s Vice President Ali Osman Taha (R), before a high level meeting on Sudan, at United Nations headquarters, in New York, September 24, 2010 (REUTERS PICTURES)

Meanwhile, Sudan Tribune has learned the northern government and the opposition Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) have agreed to start implementing the provisions of their agreement on new security and political arrangements in South Kordofan state as of this week.

Kiir met with Taha on the sidelines of the 17th summit of the AU summit in Equatorial Guinea. According to Sudan official news agency, Kiir said following his meeting with Taha that the south would maintain its diplomatic, social and political ties with the north.

Kiir was also quoted as downplaying the recent violence in north-south border areas as “mere acts of insecurity committed by some elements.”

South Sudan leader, who still occupies the position of Sudan’s first vice-president, was invited to participate in the AU summit in the capacity of an observer.

Relations between north and south Sudan have been strained recently over last month’s seizure by the northern army of the hotly-contested region of Abyei and this month’s violent clashes in the north-south border state of South Kordofan.

The Sudanese government and the SPLM-northern sector on Wednesday signed a framework agreement creating new grounds for political and security arrangements in South Kordofan after deadly clashes between the northern army and SPLM’s armed members in the state killed hundreds and displaced more than 70,000 people, according to UN estimates.

The agreement, which was brokered by African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) headed by former South African president Thabo Mbeki, provides for the integration of SPLM fighters into the northern army and extends the Popular Consultation process that have yet to be completed beyond July 9th.

A senior SPLM official, who opted for anonymity, told Sudan Tribune that the government of the National Congress Party and SPLM agreed to start implementing the provisions of the framework agreement on South Kordofan as of Sunday, 3 July.

The SPLM official disclosed that the NCP and SPLM delegation held a series of intensive meetings yesterday in the presence of Thabo Mbeki to discuss the agreement to cease hostilities in South Kordofan.

He further disclosed that the meetings discussed re-opening roads in the state and facilitating the delivery of aid to the affected population.

Sudan Tribune also learned that the two sides had agreed to cease hostilities and to refrain from negative political rhetoric against each other as soon as possible.

President Al-Bashir: Coming Stage Requires Political Accord and Broad-Based Government

Beijing, June 30 (SUNA) - President of the Republic, Field Marshal Omer Al-Bashir, said that the coming stage be a new one economically and politically, affirmed the keenness to establish a broad-based government in a democratic atmosphere

In a dialogue with the press delegation accompanying him his visits to Iran and China, President Al-Bashir said that all the political parties will be given the chance to participate in a committee for forming the new Constitution that will submitted to Parliament for ratification

He said that youths were already given the opportunity to take part in the government, adding that more concern will be given for enhancement of the performance at the center and states' levels

President Al-Bashir pointed out that the anniversary of June 30 comes this year when country is witnessing a historic stage and when only nine days remained for the declaration of South Sudan as independent country

He said that realization of political and economic stability was the biggest goal achieved during the National Salvation era

He indicated that the rate of economic growth in Sudan was 01% in the year 1989 and is now (in the year 2011) is 08%

On speculations that the position of the Vice - President of the Republic will be given to Darfur region, President Al-Bashir stressed that there is no commitment to give this position to Darfur or any other region, because this position is for all the people of Sudan

President Al-Bashir emphasized that political accord and co-existence between the political forces will lead to political stability in the coming period

S. Sudan officially confirms Bashir’s invitation for independence

June 29, 2011 (JUBA) — Sudanese president, Omer Hassan Al-Bashir has officially been invited to grace South Sudan’s independence celebrations, contrary to earlier speculations that his presence at the event was problematic, Barnaba Benjamin Marial, the information and broadcasting minister has confirmed.

A picture taken on January 9, 2009 shows Sudan’s President Omar Al-Bashir (C) and First Vice President Salva Kiir (R) arriving at Upper-Nile State capital city (Getty)

"We have extended invitation to the National Congress Party (NCP) and President Bashir as part of the implementation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which ends on July 08. President Bashir must speak at the event,” Marial told journalists at the weekly media briefing on Tuesday.

Also invited for the celebrations, he added, are leaders of the other political parties currently operating in the north of the country.

The minister’s remarks comes a day after the governing NCP in north Sudan reacted indifferently to reports suggesting that the U.S president Barack Obama has conditioned his attendance of South Sudan independence ceremony on the absence of President Al-Bashir.

This development stirred up both diplomatic and media confusion especially after it reportedly emerged that a number of Western leaders had conditioned their attendance of 9th July ceremony on the absence of president Al-Bashir.

But the south’s information minister dismissed such media allegations, describing them as "bad rumours".

"We have an open invitation to all those who are interested in attending the July 09 celebration to witness the birth of a new nation," Marial assured.

He however appealed to the Khartoum government to respect the recent resolutions of the UN and African Union (AU) security councils, strongly condemning recent air strikes by northern forces on innocent civilians in Southern Kordofan.

At least 16 civilians, according to Marial were killed, through aerial bombardment and artillery by northern forces in Sudan’s border state of South Kordofan on Sunday. The UN says more than 70,000 people have fled their homes as fighting escalated in the region.

The southern information minister further warned the northern army against any military intervention in southern Blue Nile, saying they risk causing a repeat of the ongoing events in Southern Kordofan, if they attempt to forcefully disarm civilians.

Meanwhile, normal flights to Juba airport will continue till 8 July, but there will be no commercial flight on 9 July. The move is aimed at ensuring the safely of over 20 heads of states earmarked for the celebrations.

NCP shrugs off U.S objection to Al-Bashir’s attendance of South Sudan independence

June 28, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The governing National Congress Party (NCP) in north Sudan has reacted indifferently to reports suggesting that the U.S president Barack Obama has conditioned his attendance of South Sudan independence ceremony on the absence of President Al-Bashir.

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U.S President Barack Obama (FILE)

The possibility that Sudan president Omer Al-Bashir may attend South Sudan independence ceremony, which is slated for 9 July in the region’s capital Juba, has in the past few days stirred up both diplomatic and media confusion.

Al-Tayyar Arabic daily newspaper in Khartoum reported this week that a number of Western leaders had conditioned their attendance of South Sudan independence ceremony on 9 July on the absence of President Al-Bashir.

“A number of European heads of state, including the French President Sarkozy and UK Prime Minister as well as the U.S President Barack Obama, have in principle welcomed the invitation to attend the South’s independence ceremony, but they conditioned their appearance in Juba on the non-attendance of the president of the republic Omar Al-Bashir, pointing to the crimes with which he is charged by the International [Criminal] Court,” the paper quoted an anonymous southern official.

Sudan president Al-Bashir is sought by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide he allegedly masterminded during the long-running conflict in the country’s westernmost region of Darfur. Al-Bashir denies the charges and denigrates the ICC as a tool of neocolonialism aimed at changing his regime.

Since the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Al-Bashir in 2008, Western officials have mostly avoided meeting him. Since his indictment, however, the defiant Sudanese leader has managed to visit a handful of countries, including three ICC member states.

When asked to comment on reports that Obama would not attend the ceremony unless Al-Bashir is absent, the NCP’s political secretary Qutbi al-Mahdi replied: “this is his business and we have no comment on that.”

It is worth mentioning that South Sudan officials gave conflicting statements on whether Al-Bashir will be invited to the ceremony or not. Former federal cabinet affairs minister Luka Byong told the UAE-based Al-Itihad newspaper earlier this month that Al-Bashir would receive an invitation but it is up to him whether to accept or reject it.

But Atem Garang, another leading figure of the ruling SPLM in South Sudan, told the pro-government daily newspaper Akhir Lahza this week that they are yet to invite the Northern government to attend the independence ceremony.

NCP slams U.S “carrot-and-stick” policy

Separately, Qutbi Al-Mahdi distrusted promises by the U.S administration to help relieve Sudan’s hefty external debts in exchange for de-escalating the situation in the country’s north-south border state of South Kordofan, where the northern army has been fighting elements aligned with South Sudan army.

Al-Mahdi told reporters in Khartoum on Monday that the NCP does not pay any attention to U.S promises whether on the debt issue or other issues because the government realizes that the U.S administration “spews such promises to achieve particular ends then reneges on its commitments.”

“The failure to fulfill promises and commitments is a moral issue and we know to which extent does America honors its promises,” the ruling party official said.

Al-Mahdi went on to fulminate against the U.S policy know as the “carrot-and-stick,” saying that no free people would accept to deal with America in accordance with this “nefarious” policy.

“That’s why we in Sudan do not afford America’s promises any attention,” he added.

The U.S Administration is currently in the process of removing Sudan’s name from its blacklist of countries sponsoring terrorism, but the administration has warned Sudan government that the process of normalization of ties would be jeopardized if the northern army does not withdraw from the contested region of Abyei which it seized last month.

Sudan accuses U.S. of pressing states to block entry of Bashir’s plane

June 28, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese government on Monday accused the United States of pressing countries to deny the plane carrying President Omer Hassan al-Bashir entry into its airspace as he was on his way to China.

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The aeroplane of Sudan’s leader Omar Hassan al-Bashir lands at Beijing International Airport June 28, 2011 (Reuters)

The accusation came as the Sudanese leader finally managed to make it to Beijing in the early morning hours of Tuesday although a day later than scheduled forcing a cancellation of a meeting between Bashir and his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao.

A drama unfolded on Monday morning as the plane carrying Bashir failed to show up at Beijing airport where Chinese and Sudanese officials including the ambassador were waiting to greet the visiting head of state at the beginning of his four-day visit.

But as time passed it was clear to officials waiting at the tarmac that Bashir’s plane has been delayed for reasons that were unknown to Sudanese and Chinese officials alike.

Chinese foreign ministry official Guan Enxia afterwards went to tell reporters gathered at the airport that Bashir’s scheduled events for Monday had been delayed but offered no explanation.

She instructed reporters to leave the airport and said they would be alerted ahead of time "if or when" Bashir arrives.

Chang Junling, a media official at the Sudanese Embassy in Beijing, said they did not know the reason for the delay or have any other information.

As news spread in Khartoum of Bashir’s no-show, speculations grew over the possibility that his plane was intercepted in mid air in compliance with an outstanding arrest warrant against him for war crimes and genocide he allegedly committed in Sudan’s western region of Darfur.

Adding more mystery into this was Iranian presidential officials telling Reuters that Bashir and his entourage have already left Tehran on their way to Beijing. This conflicted with sources in Khartoum telling Sudan Tribune that Bashir’s plane has returned to Iran after takeoff for unknown reasons.

The Sudanese foreign ministry later issued a statement confirming that Bashir circled back to Iran after flying over Turkmenistan.

"The plane of Field Marshal Omer al-Bashir President of the Republic to the Chinese capital Beijing, which had been scheduled for yesterday evening was delayed because of an amendment that took place on the route of the presidential plane over the territory of Turkmenistan at a time that it was no longer possible to pass through the new path forcing the pilot to return to Iran after flying over the territory of Turkmenistan at 9:30 yesterday evening Iran local time" said the statement.

The statement did not elaborate on why the route had to be changed.

But senior diplomatic sources explained to Sudan Tribune that authorities in Turkmenistan revoked its permission to Bashir’s plane and instead suggested another route. The reason for the action on the part of Turkmen authorities was not known.

Turkmenistan has not signed up for the Rome Statute which is the founding text of the ICC and therefore has no legal obligation to arrest Bashir.

According to the diplomats, Sudanese director of intelligence Mohamed Atta and foreign minister Ali Karti accompanying Bashir rejected the proposed route and voiced suspicion that it was a plot to apprehend their boss.

Following advice from Bashir’s aides the plane returned to Iran which received him again with full military honors. The Sudanese embassies in Tehran and Beijing then started working together on a new route that would alleviate any risks.

The sources said they received permission to fly over Pakistan en route to China adding that they believe that Turkmenistan came under pressure from the West to block Bashir’s plane.

Sudan official news agency (SUNA) quoted head of the political bureau at the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) Qutbi al-Mahdi as suggesting that the United States pressed the states in which Bashir’s plane was supposed to pass through its airspace.

Al-Mahdi noted that U.S. wanted China to disinvite Bashir and therefore said he expects that they exerted same pressure on the countries in Bashir’s route. He did not name these states but said that there are some that gave no weight to what the U.S. wanted and as such Bashir was able to travel to China again.

The NCP official acknowledged that there are always dangers surrounding Bashir’s travels abroad saying that this is normal for figures who stand in front of colonial powers. He assured that all safety precautions are put in place during these trips.

It is now expected that the Sudanese leader would extend his visit in China as a result of the one day-delay.

This is Bashir’s last visit to China as the head of a united Sudan. Next month South Sudan officially becomes a new state.

China is a major buyer of Sudanese crude oil, and will be keen to ensure the partition of Sudan into two states, Bashir’s north and a more oil-abundant south, will not descend into fighting that could disrupt supplies and damage Beijing’s stake on both sides of the new border.

Trade between China and Sudan grew to $8.6 billion in 2010, a rise of 35.1 percent on 2009 figures, powered by the rising value of Chinese imports of oil, according to Chinese customs statistics.

Sudan was China’s sixth biggest source of imported crude oil last year, when it supplied 12.6 million tonnes, compared with 44.6 million tonnes from the top supplier, Saudi Arabia.

"During President Bashir’s visit to China, both sides will discuss how to consolidate the traditional friendship between their two countries under new circumstances," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei was quoted as saying by a news report by Xinhua news agency confirming Bashir’s arrival.

Lei added that the two sides would also discuss Sudan’s "north-south peace process and the Darfur issue".

The Chinese government have brushed aside criticism by human right groups on hosting the Sudanese leader who is wanted by the ICC saying that it is "quite reasonable" for Beijing to invite him.

On Monday, the US State department spokeswoman said that Washington is opposed to Bashir’s China visit.

"We continue to oppose invitations, facilitation, support for travel by ICC indictees," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters.

"We have a longstanding policy of strongly urging other nations to do the same," she said.

"We have urged China to join the international community in its call for Sudan to cooperate fully with the ICC," in line with UN Security Council resolution 1593, Nuland said.

This is in contrast to her statements last week in which she said that this is a "national decision" by China.

Bashir has been forced to cancel appearances at many regional and international events as a result of pressure by rights groups since the warrant was issued. This month he shunned attendance at a conference in Malaysia despite confirming attendance earlier after controversy started brewing over his invitation.

The eight-year conflict in Darfur between rebels and Sudan’s army has led to the deaths of as many as 300,000 people, mainly due to illness and starvation, and forced about 2.7 million to flee their homes, according to UN estimates. The Sudanese government has put the death toll at about 10,000.

The insurgents took up arms in 2003, accusing the government of neglecting the region.

The arrival of the president's Bashir plane to China .. Photos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The President Omer Al-Basher Arrives in China

 Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir has arrived in China a day after his plane turned back with no explanation.

Mr Bashir's scheduled meeting with China's President Hu Jintao on Monday was cancelled as his flight was rescheduled.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an arrest warrant for Mr Bashir, accusing him of war crimes during the conflict in Darfur.

Human rights groups say China should not have invited Mr Bashir.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said his government had every right to invite Mr Bashir, as it is not a signatory to the ICC treaty.

"China has reserved its opinion towards the International Criminal Court lawsuit against President Omar al-Bashir," he said.

"President Bashir has been visiting other countries on a number of occasions and has been warmly welcomed by those countries."

Oil links

On Sunday, Mr Bashir's plane set off from Tehran - where Mr Bashir had attended an anti-terrorism conference - only to return several hours later.

"The presidential plane was flying over Turkmenistan on Sunday, when they chose a new route," the foreign ministry said in a statement carried by Sudan's official Suna news agency.

No official reason has been given for the delay; AP reported there had been confusion over the flight plan.

Mr Bashir is now expected to meet Mr Hu on Wednesday.

Amnesty International said if China did not arrest Mr Bashir, the country would become a "safe haven for alleged perpetrators of genocide".

The ICC has charged Mr Bashir with crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide over alleged atrocities in Darfur.

China is a major investor in Sudan's oil industry, and has expressed concern that the arrest warrant could destabilise Sudan further.

Since the ICC issued its arrest warrant, Mr Bashir has visited countries including Eritrea, Egypt, Libya and Qatar - none of whom are signed up to the ICC.

He also visited Kenya, which decided not to detain him despite being a signatory to the ICC's treaty.

The treaty obliges signatories to detain anyone wanted by the court.

Kiir says South Sudan will share some oil with North

June 26, 2011 (KHARTOUM) –The president of soon-to-secede South Sudan Salva Kiir said that the new nation has no intention of totally denying the North oil revenue that is produced in the landlocked region.

Speaking to reporters following his meeting with German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle, the Southern leader said that they do not intend to leave the North without support.

"We do not want to take all the oil revenues, we must leave something for the North to help them in facing the economic challenges," Kiir said.

This week Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir threatened to turn off oil pipelines that transfer the crude from the South to Port Sudan.

"I give the south three alternatives for the oil....either the north continues getting its share, or we gets fees for every barrel that the south sends to Port Sudan," Bashir told supporters at a rally in Port Sudan.

"If they [Southerners] don’t accept that, we’re going to shut down the pipeline," he added.

Both sides have yet to agree on a new formula for sharing oil revenues to replace the 50-50 arrangement currently in place amid differing views on how it should be calculated.

North Sudan said that it stands to receive 36% less income as a result of losing control over the oil-fields in the South prompting Khartoum to craft measures to cushion the impact on the economy.

South Sudan will become an independent state next month after its citizens voted in favor of breaking away from the North in January as part of a 2005 peace deal.

Sudan’s NCP says SPLM pressured by West not to invite Bashir

June 26, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The ruling National Congress Party (NCP) accused the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) of succumbing to western pressure by refusing to invite president Omer Hassan al-Bashir to South Sudan’s independence ceremony next month.

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President Omer Hassan al-Bashir (R), flanked by the south Sudan leader, Salva Kiir (AFP)

South Sudan is scheduled to become an independent country on July 9 following a near unanimous vote in favor of secession from the North in last January’s referendum. This was promised by a 2005 peace treaty that ended decades of civil war between the North and South Sudan.

However, relations between two sides have been seriously strained over the last few months after the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) seized the disputed border region of Abyei. Furthermore, clashes erupted earlier this month between the northern army and SPLA - the military wing of the (SPLM) - in South Kordofan.

Atem Garang, a leading SPLM official and former deputy speaker of federal parliament, told the pro-government Akhir Lahza newspaper that they have yet to invite the Northern government to attend the independence ceremony.

The Southern official said that invitations were sent out to leaders of Northern opposition parties including Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi (National Umma Party), Mohamed Osman Mirghani (Democratic Unionist Party), Hassan Al-Turabi (Popular Congress Party) and Mohamed Ibrahim Nugud (Sudanese Communist Party).

Garang however affirmed that the South wants good relations with the North to enforce principles of cooperation for future generations.

The NCP leading official Rabie Abdel-Aati responded to Garang’s remarks by alleging Western pressure on SPLM so as not to invite his party to the ceremony describing this as a "test" in which the ex-Southern rebel group has failed.

Garang’s position contradicted those of the former federal cabinet affairs minister and leading SPLM figure Luka Byong who told the UAE-based Al-Itihad newspaper this month that Bashir will receive an invitation but it is up to him whether to accept or reject it.

Local media in Khartoum reported this week that the SPLM is facing the dilemma of inviting Bashir who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges that he masterminded war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Darfur.

Southern officials are keen on securing the maximum attendance by officials from U.S. and Europe, according to the sources and are therefore wary of the impact Bashir’s presence may have. Western officials have avoided making contact with Bashir since the warrant and in some situations threatened a walkout if he showed up in conferences they were attending.

Sudanese president arrives in Iran for terrorism conference

June 25, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir arrived in the Iranian capital on Friday to participate in an anti-terrorism conference, state media reported.

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FILE - Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (R) and Sudanese President Omer Hassan al-Bashir talk during an official departure ceremony for the Sudanese president in Tehran, Iran, April 26, 2006.(UPI)

Sudan official news agency (SUNA) said that Bashir is accompanied by foreign minister Ali Karti, interior minister Ibrahim Mahmood Hamid, minster of presidential affairs Bakri Hassan Saleh and director of National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) Mohamed Atta al-Moula.

The trip by Bashir is in defiance to the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has issued two arrest warrants on charges of crimes against humanity and genocide in the Darfur region, where a bloody conflict has raged for eight years.

Iran is not a signatory to the country’s founding treaty and is therefore has no obligation to arrest the Sudanese leader.

The two-day International Conference of the Global Campaign against Terrorism will confront the "double standard" of the world powers on terrorism, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast said today.

He said powers enter the scene under the pretext of campaign against terrorism when their interests are at stake and they negotiate with terrorists when consider it linked with their interests.

Both Iran and Sudan are on Washington’s list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Bashir will head to Beijing on Sunday night in response to an invitation he received from his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao.

Methanol poisoning kills at least 61 homeless people in Sudan

June 24, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – At least 61 homeless people between the ages of 13-25 have died almost simultaneously in different parts of the Sudanese capital over the last three days after they drank a combination of methanol and other toxic substances.

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Bodies of the homeless who died as a result of drinking methanol (Al-Rayaam newspaper)

The Sudanese Ministry of Interior launched an extensive investigation into the mysterious death wave with several police officials suggesting that the poisonous substances were deliberately given to them by "ill-intentioned people".

Sniffing glue and drinking locally made alcoholic beverages is very common for homeless in Sudan who are known as "Shamassa".

The consumption of alcohol is strictly forbidden in predominantly Arab-Muslim north Sudan, where Islamic sharia law applies.

Well placed sources in the interior ministry told Sudan Tribune that 34 bodies were found in Omdurman and 27 in Khartoum. Six of the homeless were admitted to hospital and treated for the poisoning.

A statement carried by the official website of the Sudanese police on Thursday said that there were 17 deaths reported in Omdurman and Khartoum so far.

The head of Khartoum state’s criminal police department, Major General Mohammed Ahmed, was quoted as saying in one of the statements that all the deaths were caused by the consumption of methanol and other toxic substances.

"The police have put their hand on the gang that was supplying these toxic substances and has arrested six suspects," Ahmed said, while urging the community to raise awareness of dangers of drinking industrial alcohol such as methanol.

It is estimated that there are around 35,000 homeless children in Khartoum who are mostly from areas that were going through armed conflict in South and Western Sudan.

Sudan’s Bashir threatens to turn off oil pipelines

June 22, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir on Tuesday threatened to shut down the pipelines that transfer oil from the landlocked South to Port Sudan on the Red Sea unless a revenue sharing deal is reached by next month.

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Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir addresses supporters in Port Sudan, capital of Red Sea State June 21, 2011 (Reuters)

South Sudan is a little over two weeks away from declaring its independence officially which came after the referendum held last January which resulted in an almost unanimous vote in favor of secession from the North.

But several contentious post-referendum arrangements have yet to be agreed on between the ex-foes mainly including border demarcation, citizenship, splitting national debt and oil sharing. The latter is a sensitive issue as both sides are largely dependent on oil proceeds to fund their budgets.

The ruling National Congress Parity (NCP) and Sudan people Liberation Movement (SPLM) are negotiating a compromise on those items among others with the mediation efforts of the African Union (AU) in the Ethiopian capital.

While the south holds around 75% of Sudan’s oil reserves, the north has the refineries and pipelines. The south needs Khartoum’s co-operation to sell its oil; the north needs revenues from its neighbor’s resources.

Currently the North and the South are splitting the proceeds of crude in accordance with the terms of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in 2005.

Southern officials initially said that they could temporarily continue the oil sharing formula but as relations between the NCP and SPLM deteriorated sharply in recent months the idea was dropped.

Today the Sudanese leader said that Southerners have three options with regard to the oil.

"I give the south three alternatives for the oil....either the north continues getting its share, or we gets fees for every barrel that the south sends to Port Sudan," Bashir told supporters at a rally in Port Sudan.

"If they [Southerners] don’t accept that, we’re going to shut down the pipeline," he added.

Bashir slammed statements by Southern officials in which they threatened to deny the North "even a single gallon of oil".

"We will not beg or accept their conditions. Our choices are known to them; splitting [oil revenue] or our full right in the oil that passes through our land or let them find another exporting alternative," he said.

South Sudan president Salva Kiir has reportedly discussed with Kenya’s president Mwai Kibaki this month the possibility of using Kenyan ports to export its oil. However, some analysts have questioned the feasibility of such a venture.

Officials in North Sudan have stepped up their warnings over the economic impact of the South’s secession on the economy.

Last week the minister of finance and national economy Ali Mahmood Hassanein said that the North will lose 36.5% of its income after the South goes away. He said there are contingency plans are in place that aim to cushion the fallout.

Currently the economy in the North is marred by soaring inflation rates and chronic shortage in hard currency. Furthermore, Sudan has a crippling $38 billion in external debt.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in a report released last April said that the North "will need to adjust to a permanent shock" particularly given the limited access to external financing. Sudan is under comprehensive economic sanctions since 1997.

“With oil revenue constituting more than half of government revenue and 90 percent of exports, the economy will need to adjust to a permanent shock, particularly at a time when the country has little access to external financing. The size and nature of the necessary adjustment could have significant implications for growth and macroeconomic stability”, said the IMF report.

Under that scenario, it is also assumed that North Sudan will witness a 10% decline in non-oil GDP to reflect the share of the South in total non-oil economic activity as well as a decline in oil related services; an increase in service receipts to reflect the transportation fees charged for the transportation of South’s share of oil; a decline in both transportation payments and investment income payments to reflect lower oil production; a decline in imports of goods to reflect the shares of the oil sector and the South; an increase in imports of petroleum products to reflect the shortfall in domestic production..

To confront this scenario, the IMF stressed that North Sudan will need to reduce spending, lift fuel subsidies, reduce tax exemptions and enhance revenue administration.

Headlines of major daily newspapers issued in Khartoum today Wednesday the 22nd of June 2011

ALAHRAM ALYOUM : Albashir said we will not beg the south government and he threatens to close the petrol pipe line ------ ending of the southern workers term of work in the private sector and they were to be considered as foreigners after the 9th of July

ALRAID : Albashir : we will close the oil pipeline if the southerners refused the division or the rent ------ investigation on the loss of the international air line of the Sudanese planes landing in Heathrow airport----- Beijing welcomes Albashir's visit and refused Washington criticism ---- after 46 years, Dr. Bona Malwal resigned the political work ------ the parliament recommended the formation of an investigation committee to review the procedures of the privatization of Sudan air

ALWAN: Albashir : Hosni Mubark plotted with Israel against us ----- minister of agriculture in the northern state: we wont take the citizens lands to build the dams ----- Sudan and Ethiopia agreed to face the security challenges on the borders

ALAKHBAR: Hilda Jonson is a UN representative in south Sudan

ALSUDANI : A'ajaj killer was executed ------ China defend its invitation to Albashir ------ Sudan and Egypt agreed on water investments in south Sudan.

AJRAS ALHURYA : the UNISCO called the world community to support the education in the south ----- Russian foreign ministry welcomes the signing of Addis document on Abei -------- under secretary of the welfare ministry called for making legislations for women empowerment ------ minister of irrigation : the Egyptian portion of the Nile water wont be affected after the announcement of the south state

AL KHARTOUM : Albashir determined three choices for oil exportation through the north ------ America and Russia welcomed the Abei agreement

ALTAYAR :the government : Heathrow flight line is missing and there is no document for its being sale

ALAHDATH : Council of ministers called for developing taxes levying methods ------ National Congress : Aldoha document is the way to Dafur peace ----- ministry of mining pledges to bridge the gap with the oil resources ------ ministry of transportation will take measures against any official proved to be responsible of Heathrow airport deal ------ the German foreign minister to arrive at Khartoum today

ALSAHAFA: Albashir to visit Tehran on Saturday

AKHBAR ALYOUM : the central Bank provides large amounts of hard currency 

 AKHIR LAHZA: the staff and workers of the University of Khartoum to end the strike today

World welcomes North-South accord on Abyei

June 21, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The international community on Monday welcomed an accord signed in Addis Ababa between the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and the National Congress Party (NCP) in which they agreed to withdraw all their troops from the contested region of Abyei.

sudanese online
A wide view of the Security Council as Members hear a briefing from Thabo Mbeki (on screen, right), former President of South Africa and Chair of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel on Sudan (AUHIP), June 20 2011 (UN)

The African Union High Level implementation Panel (AUHIP) headed by former South African president Thabo Mbeki broke the news of the deal via video conference from the Ethiopian capital with members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in New York today.

Under the deal inked between the signatories to the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Sudan People Liberation Army (SPLA) would withdraw any troops they have from the oil-rich district after which Ethiopian troops would be deployed to fill the void.

The agreement details the mechanism by which the Abyei administration council to replace the one dissolved by president Omer Hassan al-Bashir following SAF’s takeover of Abyei last month. Its chief shall be picked by the SPLM but must be approved by the NCP. The deputy however, would be nominated by the NCP and endorsed by the Southern ex-rebel group.

Three of the five heads of the departments of the administrative council would be nominated by the SPLM and the remaining two by the NCP.

A police service would be established for the region, with the size and composition determined by a joint committee co-chaired by northern and southern officials.

The development represents a major breakthrough by Mbeki’s panel following over a week of marathonic talks between the North and South that saw countries like the U.S. weigh in to press for a resolution.

The U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton welcomed the accord but said the real test would be how both sides implemented the deal.

"The agreement signed today is an important first step — but the real test of the parties’ commitment will be the full implementation of its provisions in the coming days," Clinton said in a statement.

"We will work within the UN Security Council to seek a resolution authorizing the agreed-upon interim security force to support the swift deployment of the Ethiopian peacekeepers".

"At the same time, I urge all parties to follow through on their commitment to withdraw their military forces and take steps to facilitate the return of the tens of thousands of people displaced by recent fighting."

The U.S. top diplomat commended Mbeki and head of UN mission in Sudan (UNMIS) Haile Menkerios for their efforts.

"I know these negotiations have not been easy. I commend both parties for resolving their differences peacefully after the outbreak of violence" Clinton said

The United Nations Secretary general Ban Ki-Moon also welcomed the deal and urged adherence to it.

The secretary-general "calls on the parties to abide in full by its provisions to demilitarize the area and establish an administration and police service and to provide their full cooperation to the United Nations and government of Ethiopia in deploying peacekeeping troops and police to the area," said the statement attributed to Ban.

The status of Abyei was supposed to be determined through a referendum that was to be held in January but disagreement on who is eligible to vote stalled the process.

Observers say that Abyei could be the ’Kashmir’ of Sudan. The South will officially become a new state on July 9th.

Headlines of major daily news papers issued in Khartoum today

Khartoum / 21/6/2011 /SUNA/ ALAHDATH : 13 days left to implement the Abei interim agreement ------- an agreement on Abei between the two partners and the deployment of 800 Ethiopian soldiers------ Karti : Washington pressed to including Abei and Southern Kurdufan in the Security Council agenda.

 

AKHIR LAHZA: the two partners agreed on an interim situation in Abei area ------- an agreement between the National Congress , SPLM , to make Abei free of arms and the deployment of the Ethiopian forces -------- 67 died and injured in clashes between the army and Abdul Wahid forces ------ the announcement of the Sudanese certificate result on Friday - ALWIFAG:the area northern 56 boundaries affiliate to the north ------ minister of defense : SPLM wanted to change Kadogli into another Bin Ghazi ------ Albashir : Halaib won't be a conflicting point and our boundaries are north of the Red Sea - ALKHORTOUM : Addiss Ababa : an agreement between the north and south ------ Albashir : Halaib will be a center for exchange of interests with Egypt ------ Egypt assures its keenness towards Sudan's stability.

 

ALWAN : Almahadi sends his deputy to Silvakiir and postponed his meeting with Albashir ------ minister of defense : SPLM planned to make ALhiloo as president of the republic.

 

ALTAYAR : Albashir : Halaib is an area of integration.

 

ALHURRA :Ghazi called the parliament to present a real support to the foreign ministry.

 

ALSAHAFA : Aldirdiri : the Security Council won't interfere in the Ethiopian forces deployment.

 

ALSUDANI : governor of the Central Bank requested the reduction of his salary by 40% ------ the government : the Libyan regime had endeavored to destroy the life in Sudan.

 

ALAKHBAR: Libya requested from the Sudan not to c lose its embassy in Tripoli ------ next Sunday the beginning of the new academic year.

 

ALRAID : National Congress : the agreement about Abei meets the requirements and no interference by the security council ----- Mbeki : Abei is a disarmed area with the withdrawal of forces and the deployment of Ethiopian forces ------ minister of defence pledges to end the rebellious in southern Kurdufan. ALWATAN : the extensions of the National Assembly's session until next July ------ minister of foreign relations called the parliament to solve the internal issues and close the door before the foreign interventions.

 

ALAYAM : the parliament agreed on terminating the UN mission in Sudan ---- two committees to follow up the implementation of Aldoha peace document of Darfur ----- German foreign minister to arrive at Khartoum tomorrow.

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