Sunday, 13 March 2011


Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir (Reuters)

Tensions flared between the North and South Sudan as the latter accused president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir and his aides of planning to overthrow the government in the South which is dominated by the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM).
On Saturday forces loyal to renegade General Athor launched a surprise attack on Malakal, capital of the south’s oil-producing Upper Nile state before being repealed by SPLA.
The South is set to officially become the world’s newest state next July after Southerners voted overwhelmingly to in favor of independence in January’s referendum.
The ruling National Congress Party (NCP) recognized the outcome of the vote earning praise from the international community which feared that the North would seek to undermine the self- determination vote.
"We in SPLM have details of a plan by the NCP to overthrow the government of south Sudan before July," said the SPLM Secretary General Pagan Amum told journalists today.
"The NCP has been creating, training, supplying and arming militia groups in southern Sudan with the aim to destabilize and overthrow the government," Amum said.
"This plan is being overseen by the President of the Republic ... himself." he added without giving details.
He called on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to send a committee to investigate crimes carried out by Athor’s forces and “the conspiracy” of the NCP.
Amum said the SPLM decided to freeze talks with the NCP on post-referendum arrangements “until it stops its policy for obstructing stability in South Sudan, and until after the Security Council’s investigation is concluded,”.
The SPLM official also revealed that they are examining alternative ways to transport oil produced in the South instead of using Port Sudan in the North.
South Sudan president Salva Kiir “has directed me to study the possibility of stopping the export of oil from the south through the north after July,”.
The separation of Sudan into a two states will deny the North billions of dollars in revenue generating from vast oilfields in the south of the country.
Currently the North and the South are splitting the proceeds of crude in accordance with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in 2005.
Most of Sudan’s proven daily output of 500,000 oil barrel is extracted from oilfields in the south whereas the pipelines infrastructure and refineries are based in the north. Both sides need to maintain cooperation on oil after secession to sustain their economies which depend greatly on oil revenues.
South Sudan has been mulling the construction of a pipeline to transport crude oil from landlocked South Sudan capital city of to Lamu, a port on the Indian Ocean. But even that would take years to complete.
Khartoum denied Amum’s accusations labeling them as "ridiculous".
"If the government of the south wants to export oil through any other means, it is up to them. We don’t want to take something that is not ours," NCP information official Rabie Abdel-Aati told Reuters.
Bashir’s adviser for security affairs Salah Gosh said that these allegations are baseless made to cover the SPLM’s internal problems.
Gosh told Sudan’s state media that the NCP and SPLM agreed that the security and stability will govern the relations between the North and South. He said that the NCP is following with concern the tensions in the South.

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