Who Stands in the Way of Resolving Issues between Khartoum and Juba?
Both Khartoum and Juba have expressed their acceptance of Resolution No. 2046 of the UNSC and their willingness to resume talks regarding the disputed issues between the two countries, but the two countries disagreed on a point concerning who will sponsor negotiations between them. Sudan has welcomed the Higher African Mediation Mechanism headed by Thabo Mbeki, while South Sudan wanted IGAD to take over.
Rahmatallah Mohammed Osman, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said upon meeting the representative of IGAD in Khartoum that Sudan is not going to accept transferring files from the AUHIP to IGAD. There is no doubt that this dispute regarding mediators will result in delaying the negotiations, negotiations that the last Resolution of UNSC has urged to expedite. Thus it is necessary to try to explore the logic behind the insistence of both parties certain bodies to sponsor the negotiations.
New Obstacles Facing the Peace Process:
Dr. Ghazi Salah Aldin, Presidential Advisor, has previously said the decision of the government of South Sudan to include the disputed areas in the negotiation agendas will cripple the peace process, adding that the decision of the government of South Sudan reflects the ill-will embedded in the UNSC resolution, a resolution that paved the way for such allegations and claims. He indicated that the resolution of the UNSC did not prioritize the disputed areas in the agendas of the negotiations. He said the government's official stance stresses the importance of resolving security issues with South Sudan and then discuss the disputed issues. He clarified that the stance of the government of South Sudan blows the upcoming negotiations between the two countries to pieces.
The Disputed Areas Are Clear-cut:
For his part Mekki Almograbi, political analyst, confirmed that the disputed areas were determined in Naivasha but Heglig and Abyei were not included in any of the agreements, and both areas are within the Sudanese borders of Jan 1st 1956. He mentioned that Pagan Amum has attempted to include Heglig in the agendas of negotiations in Addis Ababa, but his suggestion was rejected by the government of Sudan and by the African mediation. He explained that the reason behind the last aggression on Heglig was that Dinka Ngok asked the government of South Sudan to compensate them for the loss of Abyei by Heglig, a demand that led the government of South Sudan to intervene militarily.
Upping the Negotiations Bar to Gain More Concessions:
Ali Eisa Abdelrahman, deputy director of the Sudanese Center for Research and Strategic Studies, confirmed that the attempt of South Sudan to include the disputed areas in the negotiations is a new ploy to exercise scheming, intentionally shuffle papers, and up its ceiling of demands to pressurize the government of Sudan to present more concessions during negotiations. He added that the government of South Sudan wants to get the support of the South Sudanese citizens and aims at distracting them from protesting the policies of SPLM in the South by putting more pressure on Sudan, but I have failed to do so.
Proof of Immaturity:
Sidig Tawer, political analyst, confirmed that the political escalation of South Sudan is the greatest proof of the immaturity of South Sudan, confirming that the government of South Sudan has more than once proved its lack of serious inclination to negotiate. This opinion was mirrored by Dr. Hassan Alsa'aouri, who said that if the government of South Sudan had been seriously inclined to resolve the disputed issues, it would have settled them 6 years ago, instead, it procrastinates in implementing all the agreements reached. He asked the government of Sudan to be cautious and alert because South Sudan does not want to resolve issues, it rather wants to wage conflict to favor the interests of countries that want to undermine Sudan politically, socially, and culturally.
The government of Sudan has welcomed the UNSC resolution No. 2046 issued on Wednesday May 2nd 2012, but there were only two sub-articles favoring Sudan positively but limitedly. The government did not release a formal political attitude regarding the Resolution, however, there were several sporadic stances here and there refusing the resolution.
The resolution has six articles, the first of which is halting all hostilities and the so-called aerial bombardment in 48 hours, secondly: activating the mechanisms of investigating the borders in one week, thirdly: engaging in negotiations with the Sector of the North to resolve security arrangements in Blue Nile State and South Kordofan State, fourthly: engaging in negotiations of the disputed issues between the two countries and resolving them including the issues of oil, borders, citizenship, and Abyei without prior conditions and in two weeks, fifthly: the secretary general must present report to UNSC every two weeks regarding the implementation of these agendas, and sixthly: in case one or two parties do not implement any of the articles mentioned, the UNSC will apply article No. 41 of Chapter VII which entails economic and diplomatic sanctions.
These are the main points in the resolution, and it is clear that they all are either: crippling in nature since they cannot be applied on the ground due to the method or the deadline specified by the resolution, or, intrinsically scheming meaning that the resolution was formulated by choosing the worst of options to commit the Sudanese government to, having in their consideration that these kinds of options are already not favored by the Sudanese government.
By Hana Abdul Hai, 16/05/2012