Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Sudans Bashir Affirms Reservation on South Kordofan Accord

Sudan’s Bashir affirms reservations on S. Kordofan accord

July 4, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir on Monday reiterated his opposition to certain aspects of the agreement signed with the Northern sector of the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) to de-escalate the situation in South Kordofan.

Sudanese President Omer Hassan al-Bashir is seen in Khartoum, after returning from China, July 1, 2011 (Reuters)Last month, the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) headed by Bashir agreed in the Ethiopian capital to recognize SPLM-North "as a legal political party in Sudan". Officials in North Sudan have said in the past they will not allow the SPLM-North to exist after July 9th calling it an extension of a foreign party.

Many hardliners within the NCP rejected the accord forcing what appeared to be a backpedaling by Bashir who vowed last week to continue military operations in South Kordofan against SPLM units there headed by former deputy governor Abdel-Aziz al-Hilu.

Sudan official news agency (SUNA) reported that during the closed summit of the Inter Government Agency on Development (IGAD) in Addis Ababa, Bashir said that while he concurred with the spirit of the agreement he stressed that the SPLM-North have yet to conform with laws on creating political parties.

The Sudanese leader said once the SPLM-North does that then they are welcome to operate in the North like other political parties already in existence after the South becomes an independent state.

SPLM is the dominant party in the South but people of the Nuba mountains and Blue Nile joined ranks with the them to fight the central government in Khartoum during the civil war years.

Bashir also emphasized that there will be no new arrangements that are at odds with the protocols of Blue Nile and South Kordofan that were part of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

In a meeting with the former South African president Thabo Mbeki who heads the African Union High Level Panel (AUHIP), Bashir called for expediting the formation of the joint committees that will discuss the security arrangements in the two border states.

South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, also held talks with Bashir in Addis Ababa.

The IGAD summit’s final communiqué called on the international community to support the peace process in Sudan for the sake of stability. It also hailed the recent agreement on the disputed border region of Abyei and extended thanks to Mbeki who helped mediate the accord.

"(IGAD) strongly commends President Bashir and ... Salva Kiir for signing the framework agreement for continuing negotiations after July 9, 2011, for the resolution of all outstanding issues in the spirit of the CPA," IGAD said in a statement.

But it said it was concerned about the lack of progress in other areas, including post-referendum discussions over splitting debts and how the south will pay the north to transport its oil to Sudan’s only sea port, on the north’s Red Sea coast.

In a related the issue, the head of the NCP political bureau Ibrahim Ghandour criticized remarks made by governor of Blue Nile state Malik Agar in which he warned of an all-out war that extends all the way to Darfur if the Northern party reneges on the agreement signed in June under the auspices of the African Union (AU).

Agar signed the agreement on behalf the SPLM-North with presidential assistant representing the NCP side.

The north and south, which fought a civil war for decades, have yet to agree on the position of their shared border and how they will manage oil revenues.

The north’s army and fighters with links to the south have also been clashing in Southern Kordofan, the north’s main oil state since early June displacing thousands of civilians and killing an unspecified number.


No comments: