Observers say that both Sudan and South Sudan should restrain from aggression and return to diplomatic negotiations. History has taught us that the two former foes have been at civil war for 39 years out of 56 years of independence, with only 16 years of intermittent peace, before South Sudan eventually decide to secede into a New RepublicJuly 9th 2011.
With barely eight months of independence in South Sudan tension is mounting again for a full scale war, this time war against an independent nation over demarcated border towns between the two sovereign states.
Many people will ask why the border was not demarcated before independence declaration. Well the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that took three years to negotiate did provide protocols to address border issues, the status of Southern Blue Nile, Abyei and Nuba Mountains among others. Those protocols were not implemented as specified in the agreement, and this is where the problem lies. Who is to blame? The border issue is only one of the many issues that must be negotiated and resolve between the Sudan and South Sudan.
They went back into the bush to continue with arms struggle, and fighting along the border between Sudan and South Sudan, warranted Sudan to believe that the rebels were getting support from South Sudan government, who was once their friends. On the one hand, Sudan has recruited opposition from South Sudan and armed them to continue their struggle to topple the newly independent republic of South Sudan. Practically both sovereign states resort in helping each other’s rebels, instead of negotiating peaceful agreement. Khartoum responded to such activities by bombing South Sudan towns on pretext that it was pursuing its rebels. Several civilian were killed in a series of Bombs dropped by Khartoum.
Efforts by South Sudan to United Nation Security Council and international community to pressure Sudan to stop its bombing campaign in a sovereign country went to deaf ears, or without any reaction or solution. The African Union High Panel sponsoring mediation in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to resolve the post independent issues, has been boycotted several times by Sudan, and just few days before South Sudan captured the town of Panthou (Heglig), Sudan walked out of the negotiation, and three hours later, they started bombing the towns in the republic of South Sudan by planes, believed by the South Sudan army to be launching their operation from their bases in Panthou (Heglig), the disputed territory, since there is no border, it is hard to conclude that Panthou (Heglig) is Sudan territory. But what we know is that the 1956 border between South and Northern Sudan lies 30 km North of Panthou or Aliiny now known with its fake name Heglig that was given after the oil discovery 1980s.
Sudan has refused to agree on South Sudan oil transit fee, the international oil transit fee is $ 0.4 per barrel, south Sudan agreed to pay Sudan $ 1.00, but Sudan refused, demanding $ 32.00 per barrel. This is not negotiation by any logic. Secondly, Sudan has refused to sign the Abyei Border Commission (ABC) report, making the demarcation of the border impossible. Thirdly Sudan has rejected the court ruling on the Abyei territory. Fourthly Sudan has refused the Abyei referendum process to take place as stipulated in the CPA, living it in limbo, and its people are still languishing hopelessly. Fifthly, the nationality of people caught up in each other’s boundaries has not been resolved, the example are many, but to mention few for the readers. Sudan is not interested in peace and President Al Bashir should not have an illusion that he will obtain peace through military means, if Sudan government did not militarily defeat the guerrillas during civil war for 39 years. South Sudan has no illusion either to win peace through military aggression, except in defense of its territory.
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