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Khartoum-Juba security meeting will likely be postponed: sources

July 21, 2013, (KHARTOUM) - The joint security meeting between Khartoum and Juba scheduled for Monday in Addis Ababa will likely be postponed, multiple sources told Sudan Tribune on Sunday.

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FILE PHOTO - Pagan Amum (left), chief negotiator from South Sudan, lead mediator for the African Union, Thabo Mbeki (centre) and Sudan’s chief negotiator Idriss Abdu Qadir

The sources said that the Sudanese delegation has not left for Ethiopia yet and noted the lack of clarity in the agenda of the meeting. They also disclosed that several action items for the meeting has not been completed.

The meeting was to discuss accusations of rebel support by both nations, as well as monitoring the borders between the two countries.

Farouk Mohamed, a member of the Joint Political and Security Committee (JPSC), said that Sudan has submitted its complaints and observations to the African Union High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) chaired by Thabo Mbeki.

He further said that they are waiting for Mbeki’s report on the obstacles facing the implementation of the joint cooperation agreements particularly with regard to the issue of supporting and harboring rebel movements and determination of the centre line in the demilitarized zone.

In a related development, the pro-Sudanese government Ashorooq TV quoted a source in Juba as saying that China will make a new push to mediate between the two Sudans.

Rahmatullah Osman, undersecretary in Sudan’s foreign ministry, told al-Akhbar newspaper this week that Khartoum would not allow any passage of South Sudanese oil unless Juba cut all ties with insurgents.

"There won’t be any reversal," he said, adding that Sudan hoped like South Sudan that China would mediate.

China dominates the oil industries in both countries, and state firm China National Petroleum Corp is most affected as it runs the oilfields in the South with Malaysia’s Petronas and Indian firm ONGC Videsh.

South Sudan on Friday announced that it had reduced its oil output to avoid any negative affects an abrupt shutdown would have on the environment should Khartoum decide to halt the young nation’s oil export.

A reduction could see the country’s oil production drop to just 100,000 barrel per day, from the 200,000 it used to produce when it resumed production in April following last year’s shut down.

Last June the Sudanese government announced that it will close pipelines carrying oil from landlocked South Sudan within 60 days and insisted output be stopped by 7 August unless Juba ceases to giving support to a coalition of anti-Khartoum rebels, known as the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF).

South Sudan also accuses Sudan of backing rebels in its eastern Jonglei state.

On Sunday the deputy spokesperson of Sudan’s National Congress Party (NCP), Qubais Ahmed al-Mustafa, warned that they are determined to proceed with the shutdown unless South Sudan adheres to the accords signed.

"A responsible government should not focus on internal issues and neglect the global agreements signed with other countries. South Sudan government must adhere to the signed agreement," al-Mustafa said.

He stressed that the aspirations and dreams of people in Sudan and South Sudan makes it imperative for Juba to implement agreements and refrain from aiding rebels.

In September 2012, both Sudan and South Sudan signed a series of deals in a Cooperation Agreement, which covered several outstanding issues including oil, citizenship rights, security issues, banking and border trade, among others.

Last March, the two countries signed an implementation matrix for these agreements.

The most notable provision in the agreement is related to resumption of oil exports by landlocked South Sudan which were suspended more than a year ago because of a dispute over transit fees. Oil started flowing again in April.

(ST)