Sudan Optimistic of Agreement with S. Sudan on Security Dossier
Khartoum – Sudan and South Sudan will resume negotiations tomorrow Tuesday amid optimism the two parties will converge on the controversial security dossier.
The atmosphere is conducive to reach agreements, says undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Rahamtullah, who added that great strides had already been made on border, trade and oil issues.
He said the security dossier particularly "Mile 14" is the main obstacle but breakthrough is possible should the hurdle is surmounted.
The undersecretary, returning from a visit to South Sudan, revealed agreements between the two countries on resumption of flights between Khartoum and Juba and to allow time to Sudanese nationals in South Sudan to legalize their status, a similar measure taken by Khartoum towards South Sudanese nationals in the North. Over three thousand Sudanese nationals live in Juba alone.
He said he had received assurances from South Sudanese Interior Minister on the issue of Sudanese nationals residing in South Sudan, stating that Sudan Embassy in Juba issued over thousand passports and many other Sudanese are desirous to obtain the document.
Meanwhile, sources anticipated indirect talks to resume between the Sudanese Government and SPLM-N in a separate track from the main negotiations which will be the last round between the two countries to resolve outstanding issues in accordance with the UNSC resolution 2046 within a month but the deadline does not include South Kordofan and Blue Nile areas which are internal issues.
It is to be noted that President Al Bashir and AUHIP Chair Thabo Mbeki met before the former traveled to Ethiopia to take part in late Melez Zenawi's funeral and their discussions focused on obstacles hindering negotiations between the two countries.
Mbeki submitted some proposed solutions to President Al Bashir to seek his approval before they are put up for negotiations scheduled to resume tomorrow. Reportedly, Mbeki requested President Al Bashir's flexibility on the order of issues on the negotiation table but the Sudanese Government insisted that the security dossier should be addressed first. According to sources, Khartoum did not give its final approval to Mbeki.
A diplomatic source speaking on condition of anonymity said it was likely that the upcoming round of talks to include four tracks as AUHIP Chair Thabo Mebki is required to report back to the Security Council 22nd September on the progress made at negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan.
If the two parties are able to agree on solutions on controversial issues it would be the last round of negotiation but should they fall short of an agreement Mbeki would propose to the Security Council the way forward but the two parties would be consulted on the proposals which would not include the two areas of South Kordofan and the Blue Nile States, the source said.
The source also expected President Al Bashir and President Kiir to meet in September to discuss the outstanding issues, stating the summit had already been agreed; only coordination remains.
By Zuleikha Abdul Raziq/ Najat Ahmed, 02/09/2012