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North & South Sudan negotiators head to Addis Ababa for discussions on security


March 28, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The governments of Sudan and South Sudan have sent their delegations to the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to discuss ways by which they can defuse the recent military flare-up on the borders of the two countries this week.

Sudanese troops stand next to a burnt out vehicle in Sudan’s southern oil centre of Heglig on March 27, 2012 (AFP)

The crisis started with an announcement by South Sudan president Salva Kiir on Monday that the Sudan People Liberation Army (SPLA) managed to take over the oil-rich region of Heglig in the course of repelling an aerial and ground attack by Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) inside Unity State.

But Kiir’s assertions regarding control of Heglig were contradicted by SPLA field commanders and later South Sudan’s army announced that it has disengaged and returned to its old positions inside the country’s borders.

Officials in Khartoum however, said that SAF units fought back SPLA and pushed it off Sudan’s territory.

But the ramifications of the clashes were far reaching and a long-awaited summit between Kiir and his Sudanese counterpart Omer Hassan al-Bashir set for April 3rd was called off by Khartoum. The latter said that environment no longer conducive for such talks.

In an encouraging sign that situation will not escalate, the two countries stressed that they have no intention of engaging in a full-scale war.

On Wednesday, military delegations from the two countries met at the expert level to prepare for the joint political-security meeting that will be chaired by defense ministers from Khartoum and Juba.

Sudan’s Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Rahamatalla Mohamed Osman told Agence France-Presse (AFP) that he was in Addis Ababa “to represent my country in the negotiations... with regards to security along the border”.

“I am not sure we can accept any more offers [from the South],” Osman said, warning the clashes could create a stalemate.

“We are talking about security arrangements at a time when there are attacks,” he added.

The SPLM Secretary General and South Sudan’s top negotiator Pagan Amum said he is also heading to Ethiopia.

“What we expect to achieve is the cessation of hostilities,” Amum said by telephone from the South Sudanese capital.

“We will stop the fighting that is there, and ensure that this does not erupt into war between the two countries" Amum added and urged both sides to “rescue the positive spirit” of earlier talks.

In Khartoum, the Sudanese foreign ministry spokesperson Al-Obeid Marwih said that reversing the decision on Bashir-Kiir summit is contingent on progress at the security talks.


In a related issue, Marwih also criticized the African Union (AU) statement on the clashes calling it "unbalanced" and "equating the victim with the executioner".

The pan-African body said Wednesday it was deeply concerned at an “escalating security situation” on the border between the former civil war foes, and called for troops to pull back 10 kilometers (six miles) either side of the border.

The AU on Wednesday joined the European Union and United Nations Security Council in calling for an end to the fresh fighting around the oil-rich town of Heglig, which includes ground fighting on both sides of the border and aerial bombardment of South Sudan’s Unity State.

In a statement, AU chief, Jean Ping, called on both sides to withdraw their army 10km from either side of the shared border; establish a Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mission (JBVMM); and halt any support to rebel forces operating in the territories of the other country.

Ping further urged on the two states to respect the non-aggression and cooperation pact they signed last month.

Last month, representatives from Sudan and South Sudan met in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, where they signed an initial agreement on issues of nationality and demarcation of their common boundary.

Sudanese President, Omer Al-Bashir, was scheduled to meet his southern counterpart, Salva Kiir Mayardit, on 3 April in Juba to officially ink the Addis Ababa agreement.

Khartoum announced it had cancelled Bashir’s planned trip to Juba after the clashes on Monday. But South Sudan has maintained it has received no official notification and say they expect the talks to go ahead.

The AU said “it is critical that appropriate steps be taken to create an environment conducive to the holding of the planned Summit between the two Presidents and the continuation of the post-secession negotiations”.

The EU and the UN Security Council on Tuesday, called on the governments of Sudan and South Sudan to exercise maximum restraint and engage in negotiations.

Sudan and South Sudan have traded accusations over the eruption of the latest fighting, which is said to be the most grave since South Sudan seceded in July last year.


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  • 29 March 2012 11:58, by Anti Dinka’s

    Very good News
    i don’t care for food today
    Knowing that we have now come-together, Burning of Khartoum is on the way
    we will hand it over to God almighty SPLM/N

    • 29 March 2012 12:13, by mohammed ali

      Anti Dinka, which God will help to burn Khartoum? or burn anywhere? No god will be on side of hatred, unless your god is a brainless cow!However, it is good news, peace is always good news.War , hatred & burning is the devil’s deed,work & curse.every problem should be put on the table. All problems could be solved in peace, even if it takes long time. What we destroy in one day in war, we could ..

      • 29 March 2012 12:20, by mohammed ali

        ..only recover partially in decades.Life will never be recovered!We both in desparete need for our resources.Certainly we are, in Sudan & concerned, honest & decent S.Sudanese " excluding SPLA theifs", in desparete need for our resources.There is no need to waste in war & hatred. We had had enough waars!God bless those who seek PEACE.

        • 29 March 2012 12:33, by Rommel

          I don’t know which God that poster is referring, but I can’t imagine it being all that different from the God evoked by Bashir in their Jihad in South Sudan. Quranic
          exhortations to jihad were conspicuous during the second civil war.

          • 29 March 2012 17:25, by mohammed ali

            Rommel , any god you believe in will bless peace. Basheer who negotiated with you in good faith and accepted you decision in good faith, and untill few days accepted you invitation in good faith while you were conspiring to stab him from behind , believe in the one God who will certainly bless peace!

            • 29 March 2012 17:41, by Rommel

              Mohammed Ali:

              You embody two extremes; you have a distorted and cynical outlook on current events and a roseate perception of your leaders and their every intention. Your armed forces initiated the attack, to which South Sudan’s armed forces duly responded.

              • 29 March 2012 21:26, by zulu

                The details of who started what, when and why remain sketchy. Khartoum blames the SPLM and Juba blames SAF; given their track records the credibility of both sides is certainly questionable. But one thing is more certain – if there is one military trick that Khartoum has mastered very well it is the engineering of scenarios similar to the Gleiwitz incident[2] which started the Second World War. Su

                • 29 March 2012 21:29, by zulu

                  Khartoum blames the Such pretexts for wars were repeated in Abyie, South Kordofan, Blue Nile and possibly now with South Sudan. In this context the ploy was designed to generate reaction from SPLA. In Khartoum those against the deal took their chance and gambled by bombing some areas inside South Sudan, however they got lucky this time as SPLA reacted; a sigh of relief could be heard inside Khart

                  • 29 March 2012 21:35, by zulu

                    inside Khartoum corridors of power, now it is easy for them to abort Addis Ababa Framework Agreement, they had halfheartedly pretended to accept. So Romel, the exegesis given by this author epitomizes how naive Mohamed is, and this pattern of behavior will repeat in the near future as the SAF is accusing SPLA of amassing troops along its border in the Blue Nile region.

        • 29 March 2012 12:34, by Emporio

          mohammed ali

          you were wagging war against south by the name of god i think southerners want to help you more when they ask god to burn down khartoum because we want to make more of your people go to paradise,

          • 29 March 2012 17:32, by mohammed ali

            Emperio, if I am not mistaken, you were celebrating war , yesterday! Why do you want to burn Khartoum. There are now 400, 000 southerners living in Khartoum living in peace. Do understand what will happen to them if you spread such nonsens! Burn yourself with your own hatred, at least you will get rid of the evil inside you!

        • 29 March 2012 13:14, by Mach

          Khartoum would never go for ceasefire if they knew they had any chances of defeating anyone in the Southern part of their country.

          They just saw clearly what happened in Heglig, having big loud mouth here in the forum is one thing but a reality in the field is another.

        • 29 March 2012 21:32, by guer(r)illa’s graduate

          Mr. Ali,
          I can’t get hold of you in one position, which makes you a very confused young man in arab’s young generation. War, agitation and peace don’t mix, maybe war and agitation. Now you want to hide the most seen atribute of the god you worship; Violence! ’’ treat them bad or kill unbelievers for they’re going to hell anyway’’ which book contains such words? Your assignment! The Bible says, ’’ love your enemies.’’

          • 29 March 2012 21:44, by guer(r)illa’s graduate

            ... Continuation...
            Ali, as an advice; please keep your debates away from religion because you won’t have stands to defend the god you worship. Again, your brothers are uncontrollable beasts when it comes to religion. As per my religion, I am pround to be part of the most tolerant religion on earth. I know this because many are trashing this religion but no one has been stonned to death! In regards to the news,

            • 29 March 2012 22:00, by guer(r)illa’s graduate

              ... continuation...
              ’’ give Caesar,s what belongs to Caesar and give God what belongs to God’’ Jesus said. Ali, we - South Sudanese- would like repeat this 2012 years old saying to Khartoum government; gives South Sudan what belongs to South Sudan and takes what’s rightful yours! Ali, when are going to stop the parasitic life? This is twenty first century! Peace will prevail when you stop looting others’ resources.

      • 30 March 2012 07:48, by George Bol

        You are one of South Sudanese. You should think twice why I always know you. You dor need to disregard your cowardice and respect your brothers.You are always after Jallaba even though they are in their own country. Why are you "dor" so slave like this? you and Jallaba are our brothers but coward brothers who like enemy more than their country mate.Tell me if you are not from the South?

  • 29 March 2012 12:01, by E. Defense Forces
  • 29 March 2012 12:55, by Tambura

    Kiir is a man without vision, and will lead this country to hell. How come good leader sent delegation to nogetiat, on their back when their are still talking than jumped to media telling all the world that your troops attack twon? Why u didn’t just go and take it by force,If your troops that strong? The army is fool to obey that kind of order they are the one have pay for it with their lives-

    • 29 March 2012 13:08, by Tambura

      - This government will never do good for our country, our people r dieing everyday they don’t know what to do, they are lack of leadership, vision, will never deliver service to our people lack of judgement, greedy tribalsim.They should put the country first. Therefore I am asking all of you to vote for new generation in next election, we know the best for our country. Vote 4 SSNG, 4 ur future.

      • 29 March 2012 13:57, by 4Justice

        Idiot buys stupid helicopters instead of high altitude surface to air missle defense system, idiot waste money on stupid offices instead of high altitude surface to air missle defense system, idiot pay salaries to idiots instead of buying high altitude surface to air missle defense system, stupid buy stupid expensive cars but can’t buy high altitude surface to air missle defense system.

      • 29 March 2012 20:46, by Tiger

        I feel you brother,every South Sudanese within the South and those who are in the abroad blame the president.he’s naive,visionless,toughless and trying to gain some favor for his song of peace.honestly do we need anything from the North or North are in need for our help,i guess they’re desperate for our resources.a lot of visionless like president are defending his move.

        • 29 March 2012 20:53, by Tiger

          shortly after South Sudan gained it’s independence,our party officials fell down on their knees and started crumbling our resources and forget the long conflict between Sudan & South Sudan.every Southern Citizens thought that the government would have buy some high tech military equipment,such as anti air missile,radars,F-16 and defend system because after the inpt,there will be a border war.

          • 29 March 2012 21:02, by Tiger

            I have been sick after i heard the news the spla had been defeated,some stupid commanders said the tanks batteries were not charged and the batteries were low,what a bastard commanders who are misleading the spla.those are the people who have no experiences at all.they were just being promoted because of kinship to get pay with a lot of money.shame on you people.you turned the spla up sidedown.

  • 29 March 2012 13:56, by 4Justice

    Idiot buys stupid helicopters instead of high altitude surface to air missle defense system, idiot waste money on stupid offices instead of high altitude surface to air missle defense system, idiot pay salaries to idiots instead of buying high altitude surface to air missle defense system, stupid buy stupid expensive cars but can’t buy high altitude surface to air missle defense system.

  • 29 March 2012 14:00, by 4Justice

    The RSS is led by and intellectually disabled fool! i’m done, good bye sudan tribune

    • 29 March 2012 14:25, by Born-to-Rule


      Whew!. it’s good you got it out of your systems and you are feel better.

      South Sudan will respond to Khartoum on its own terms went time is right. No country will push it to war even Khartoum. But if south is pushed against the wall, south will retaliate and Khartoum will fell wrath of war in the capital Khartoum.

      So, don’t despairs!.

      • 29 March 2012 17:23, by never

        i am very sure that spla forces can not stand in the way of sudan forces. why? because bombardment with types of weapons sudan have are not with spla. instead of spla to work on equiping their military personal, kiir and his ministers are stealing money for their own used! i am glade warries like dink bor are not a part of that administration.

        • 29 March 2012 23:40, by Son of Upper Nile

          I am sorry our president was fooled to be dragged into this war. I believe South Sudan is not for war as it has huge challenges. I know they are few minority of Deng Majok’s family SPLM leaders plus Pagan Amum which are still dreaming of new Sudan Vision. But frankly speaking South Sudanese want peace in order to develop our country. Now Jalaba hit Unity to drag SPLA into Heglig then strike with Air Force and SPLA withdrew after heavy causalities. What do we achieved

          • 30 March 2012 07:50, by George Bol

            Son of upper Nile,

            Calm down my dear. We will solve the Khartoum aggression without you. Why shivering while hot stuffs are still ahead?

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