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Sudan Tribune

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Sudan’s North & South sign agreement on securing oilfields

December 6, 2010 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudan Armed forces (SAF) and the Sudan People Liberation Army (SPLA) on Monday signed a framework agreement on securing oilfields and related infrastructure in the South.

The accord states that the Joint Integrated Units (JIU) will continue their in accordance with the current security arrangements for the purposes of protecting the oilfields, companies and their employees as well as boosting the security situation in the region before and after the South Sudan referendum scheduled for early next month.

JIU will be joined by the security forces from the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) as well as South Sudan police.

The upcoming vote is part of a peace agreement that ended decades of civil war between the North and South and is widely expected to create the world’s newest state.

About 75 per cent of Sudan’s proven reserves of 6.3bn barrels are in the south but the pipeline that carries the oil to export terminals and refineries runs through the north. The south needs Khartoum’s co-operation to sell its oil; the north needs revenues from its neighbor’s resources.

Today’s agreement was signed by the Sudanese minister of defense Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein and the SPLA affairs minister Nihal Deng in Falluj town in the Upper Nile State.

The ceremony was attended by Sudan’s 2nd Vice president Ali Osman Taha and South Sudan Vice president Riek Machar.

The agreement states that should the need arises JIU enforcements from other regions will be sent to the Unity and Upper Nile states. The term of the accord is good until July 9, 2011 based on the political directives of the partners after the referendum results are announced.

The two parties agreed on establishing a mechanism chaired by senior officials on both sides to observe implementation of the security plan and immediately intervene to contain any emergency incidents.

VP Taha said that the agreement underscores the intention of the Sudanese peoples to maintain durable peace in accordance with the directives of president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir and his First Vice President Salva Kiir who is also President of the Government of South Sudan (GoSS).

He said that the flow of oil represents the foundation of the Sudanese economy now and in the future, whatever be the outcome of the referendum might be.

The separation of Sudan into a two states will deny the North billions of dollars in revenue generating from vast oilfields in the south of the country. Currently the North and the South are splitting the proceeds of crude in accordance with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in 2005.

(ST)