After Arduous Negotiations, Khartoum and Juba Agree on Oil Transit Fees
Khartoum – Sudan and South Sudan delegations to Addis Ababa negotiations have reached a complete agreement, under the auspices of the AUHIP, on the issue of oil and transit fees, says statement issued by Sudan's negotiating team.
The statement added that the agreement includes two parts: one part provides for a 3-year interim period and the second part deals with oil transit fees.
The delegation expressed hope that the agreement would pave the way for a comprehensive settlement of the remaining issues.
The statement pointed out that the figures published by newspapers regarding transit fees are inaccurate.
The delegations wrapped up a difficult round of talks that continued for three weeks during which a range of issues including security, oil, border, Abyei territory, buffer zone, withdrawal of forces, halt of support and harboring rebel movements were discussed as well as the need for disengagement between South Sudan and divisions nine and ten in South Kordofan and Blue Nile States.
The two parties reached reasonable understandings on oil, spokesperson of Sudan's negotiating team, Dr. Mutrif Siddiq, said but did not elaborate about the amount of fees.
The agreement does not meet the aspirations of both parties but its implementation would start once security challenges were addressed after the Eid holiday, he said.
On Saturday, AUHIP Chair Thabo Mbeki said Sudan and South Sudan agreed to end their differences over oil and would discuss resumption of oil exports. What remain to be discussed is the date when oil companies should be alerted to get ready to resume oil output and export, he added.
According to Mbeki, the issue of joint border between the two countries would be tackled next month by President Al Bashir and his South Sudanese counterpart Salva Kiir Mayardit.
"We have informed the two parties that the final status of Abyei territory would be discussed by the upcoming summit meeting between President Al Bashir and President Kiir" Mbeki said, adding "The AU asked the two parties to resolve remaining controversial issues by 22 September".
Meanwhile, Mbeki broke the news of another agreement between Sudan, AU, UN and the League of Arab State on delivery of aid to South Kordofan and Blue Nile States.
"An agreement is reached with the Sudanese Government with regard to delivery of humanitarian assistances to the Blue Nile and South Kordofan States which means a breakthrough is achieved on this dossier" Mbeki said.
By Zuleikha Abdul Rasiq, 04/08/2012