South Sudan Seeks International Support On Row With Sudan

Hon. Grace Datiro, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in a previous event [Gurtong File]

Last weekend the Sudanese president Omar Hassan Al-Bashir ordered the Oil Minister Awad Al Jaz to begin shutting down the pipelines carrying the crude from South Sudan for allegedly supporting the Sudanese rebels in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile States.

The Juba government has however repeatedly denied the allegation. According to Datiro, the move by Khartoum is not only a setback for South Sudan but also the African Union High Level Implementation Panel, the brokers of the September Cooperation Agreement.

The agreement covered issues of oil, citizenship rights, security issues, banking, and border trade among others.

“Renewed international support and pressure is needed for the cooperation agreement to be implemented and resolve the outstanding issues of Abyei and claimed border areas,” Datiro told the press.

The minister argued the two economies of Sudan and South Sudan are both oil dependent and shutting its production again will be detrimental.

“It undermines the economies of both countries badly, affecting the lives of more than 40 million people. It’s a blow not just to oil companies but also other investors who look at our oil industry. It undermines the spirit of the agreement we had established in Addis Ababa,” she said.

Relatedly, on Friday, the Council of Ministers in South Sudan resolved to send the Vice President Riek Machar to Khartoum to meet and forge a way forward to avoid oil production.

The visit of Machar is expected to ease the tension between the two countries whose economies severely suffered when the oil was shutdown in January last year.

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