AU urges Sudan, South Sudan to stop 'unilateral actions'

Khartoum, Sudan (PANA) - The African Union (AU) on Monday urged Sudan and South Sudan to end what it calls their current unilateral action, saying it threatens to bring the two countries to confrontation.

In a statement issued in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, African Union Commission Chairperson Jean Ping said he is ''gravely concerned'' by developments in both countries.

He said the unilateral steps taken by the two governments had brought their relationship to a point of breakdown, ''with the immediate danger of destroying the possibility of achieving the agreed goal of two viable states, friendly and mutually supportive”.

Representatives of the two countries are currently in Addis for talks to resolve outstanding issues after the implementation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA),  

Mr. Ping warned that the spirit that led to a peaceful referendum one year ago and the amicable separation of South Sudan was “fast vanishing. “

He noted that against the backdrop of the absence of an agreement between the two states, the Government of Sudan recently began diverting oil originating from South Sudan for domestic refining and for international sale.

In the last few days, the Government of the Republic of South Sudan has initiated the shutdown of all oil production, in an accelerated manner that risks serious damage to the oil pipeline to the north.

He explained that those ''reciprocal unilateral measures threaten grave damage to the economic prospects of both countries and relations between them.”

The statement said the actions had also taken place at a time when the AU High‐Level Implementation Panel  (AUHIP) on Sudan is convening negotiations on the question of oil and transitional financial arrangements.

It noted that the Panel presented a draft proposal to the two parties two days ago, and is revising and finalizing this proposal in line with the detailed responses provided by the two negotiating teams.

“The AU is confident that the differences between the parties can be bridged. Neighboring African states and the international community, including the United Nations, the United States and China, have expressed support for the AUHIP proposal. These negotiations are continuing in Addis Ababa.” the statement said.

In view of the urgency of the issues involved, the AU Commission chief revealed that the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), under the chairmanship of Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, is convening an Extraordinary Summit to support the work of the AUHIP
-0- PANA MO/SEG 23Jan2012

23 january 2012 20:08:17




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