Sudanese presidency agrees south representatives stay in gov't till July 9

21:46, January 28, 2011      

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The Sudanese presidency has agreed that south Sudan representatives would stay in the country' s legislative executive institutions and that First Vice President Salva Kiir Mayardit would keep his post until July 9.

The presidency, in a meeting late Thursday, agreed on continuation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) institutions until the end of the transitional period on July 9, according to the Constitution.

The meeting, which brought together Sudanese President Omar al- Bashir and his two vice presidents, Salva Kiir Mayardit and Ali Osman Mohamed, and in the presence of Chairman of the African Union (AU) High Panel on Sudan Thabo Mbeki, discussed five major issues including the constitutional institutions, border demarcation, the Abyei crisis, the citizenship and the security between north and south Sudan.

"The presidency has affirmed on continuation of the CPA institutions according to the constitution until the end of the transitional period on July 9," said a statement by the presidency following the meeting.

"The presidency will patronize completion of the dialogue between the CPA parties on some outstanding issues and post- referendum arrangements in a way that sustains peace, stability and comprehensive cooperation between north and south Sudan," the statement said.

Regarding border demarcation, the meeting stressed that the technical committee would continue its work and in an urgent manner to complete field demarcation of the areas agreed upon, provided that the joint political committee would continue looking into the areas under dispute.

Concerning the Abyei crisis, the presidency took the responsibility to care for the area in a way that preserves peace and security and enables the two parties to continue their dialogue on the issues to reach a peaceful solution.

The meeting further stressed the importance of speeding up dispatching the joint integrated units agreed on by the joint defense council in the area to help maintain the security.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the AU panel Thabo Mbeki told reporters following the presidency's meeting that "the presidency has stressed on Kadogli meeting and the agreement which resulted in the meeting to ensure provision of security and stability in Abyei. "

He added that the presidency has also discussed the issue of citizenship which has not yet been finalized and directed the panel to meet with the joint committee to find a solution for this important matter.

He further added that the presidency directed them to meet with Sudan's defense minister and minister of Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) affairs to finalize the outstanding security issues, adding that the presidency also directed for holding a meeting for the governors of borders states between north and south Sudan.

The meeting followed a tension emerged between north and south Sudan as some officials of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) that the southerners would lose their posts in the parliament and the national legislative council and the council of ministers after the announcement of the referendum results.

In reaction, Atim Garang, a leading member of Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), criticized those statements as against what was mention in the CPA regarding the transitional period.

He was reported to have stated Thursday that "the CPA is one package and you cannot take one item and neglect the other. The division of the two countries cannot take place before international recognition of the new state on July 9."

"If the membership of the southern Sudanese in the constitutional institutions were dropped in February, i.e. with the announcement of the referendum result, this means cancellation of the transitional period and thus stopping 50 percent of the oil revenues due for north Sudan during that period," he said.

As the announcement of the referendum results is approaching, north and south Sudan have embarked on working out legal and constitutional arrangements for formation of two states in north and south Sudan.

The primary results indicated that 98.6 percent of the southern Sudanese voters have voted for separation, while only 1.4 percent voted for unity.

North and south Sudan should agree on some thorny issues amid differences on another referendum on the oil-rich area of Abyei which was supposed to be conducted coincident with the south Sudan referendum.

The most important issues include security arrangements, joint borders, oil revenues and their distribution within the framework of the natural resources, nationality, external debts, status of the southerners in the north and northerners in the south, water and status of joint integrated units.

The security arrangements' item is considered the most complicated issue as Sudan has three armies, the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) of north Sudan, the SPLA of south Sudan and the Joint Integrated Units which are composed of elements from the north and south Sudan armies.

The CPA, inked between north and south Sudan, stipulates that the joint integrated units should constitute a nucleus of post- referendum army of Sudan in three months if the referendum resulted in unity of Sudan, otherwise they would be dissolved, which could trigger security tensions between the two sides.

One of the thorny issues is the file of sharing the oil revenues where the two sides need to agree on distribution of the current and future oil revenues. The matter necessitates setting up arrangements on north Sudan oil for the interest of the south beside a cut in the southern Sudan oil for the interest of north Sudan.

Water also emerges as an issue that necessitates arrangements in case of south Sudan separation as many of the Nile tributaries run through south Sudan.

The two sides also discuss issues relating to state's assets concerning internal infrastructure or external assets as well as the external debts which amount to around 34 billion U.S. dollars not to mention issues relating to international agreements and conventions, currency and banking system.

Source:Xinhua
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