Relations between South Sudan, Sudan a concern

Pretoria - The South African Government has noted with concern the recently deteriorating relations between South Sudan and Sudan.

This follows President Omar Hasan Al-Bashir’s pronouncement on the  halting of oil flow from South Sudan to Sudan within 60 days as a response to what Sudan considers to be violations of the Joint Cooperation Agreement  signed  in September 2012.

Government views the latest developments as a negative development that undermines the progress made thus far to advance the political, economic and social benefit of the people of Sudan and South Sudan through the African Union-driven peace process.

South Africa has called on the two parties to adhere to their commitments and undertakings, especially the establishment of the Safe Demilitarised Border Zones (SDBZ) from which all troops would be withdrawn.

“The South African Government reiterates its call for the two countries to resolve their differences through negotiations under the aegis of the AU High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP).

“A special summit meeting between President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir and President Salva Kiir Mayardit may help to address the concerns of both parties and to reconfirm the commitments by both Governments to establish peaceful relations,” said Department of International Relations and Cooperation spokesperson Clayson Monyela.

Government also appealed to both President Al-Bashir and President Salva Kirr to act jointly in addressing their concern and differences.

Government further urged the rebel factions in both Sudan and South Sudan to renounce violence, join the recognised peace processes, desist from provocative statements on regime change, and adopt legitimate processes through which their concerns can be addressed with the respective Governments in a constructive and conciliatory manner.

In addition, South Africa called on the Government of Sudan to positively engage the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North with a view to resolving the crises in Blue Nile and South Kordofan States and to ensure that humanitarian aid is urgently delivered to those who have been displaced by the conflict.

Government is of the view that the new tension between the two countries must be resolved as quickly as possible to ensure that the much needed economic and social progress can be put back on track in both countries and prevent a situation that could negatively impact the wider East African region.

South Africa supports the African Union’s initiatives to urgently address the impasse and will continue to render all assistance necessary to ensure that peace prevails. –