The South Sudan's National Legislative Assembly today ratified the Standard Gauge Railway Protocol, to subsequently facilitate the country's oil transit to the international market.
JUBA, 18 June 2015 [Gurtong]- The move followed a presentation of a joint report prepared by the committees of Physical Infrastructure, Legislation and Justice, by the Member of Parliament's Hon. Martin Mabil Kong during a parliamentary session presided over by Hon. Mark Nyipuoch.
The Minority leader, Hon. Onyoti Adigo Nyikwec joined fellow legislators in welcoming the protocol's ratification though with mixed reactions in anticipation of high cost with less profit.
He however, in his concluding remarks noted that the Protocol would be more sustainable than the delicate oil pipeline.
Hon. Mabil explained that the Protocol would provide the country employment opportunities.
The Northern Corridor cooperation partners share the cost of operation and maintenance of the railway regional enterprise.
The protocol seeks to address infrastructure, energy, trade and regional integration in the Northern Corridor linking to the Great Lakes region via the Kenyan seaports.
In December 2014, the Executive Director for Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), Mr. Edmund Yakani said the trend by the East African countries to proceed with infrastructural projects with South Sudan places much insignificance on the Addis Ababa peace dialogue.
Mr. Yakani said proceeding with the Lamu Port and South Sudan, Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor project will create conflicting interest over South Sudan’s resources by the neighboring countries.
He claims that Sudan is equally logging her proposal to the IGAD to permit a separate pipeline deal.
President Salva Kiir, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, Former Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki, and Former Ethiopian Prime Minister, Late Meles Zenawi, Launched in 2012 the LAPSSET project which involves the construction of a new port at Lamu; an oil pipeline from Lamu to South Sudan and road and railway links to the west and to southern Ethiopia.
Experts believe that the completion of any one of these projects could transform regional socioeconomic development and enhance cross – border trade.