Sudan: North And South To Settle Issues

South Sudan has agreed with the North to finalize key issues of oil, currency, and borders by the end of September. This happened during the recently concluded African Union-mediated talks between the North and South Sudan held in Adis Ababa. The mediated talks resumed this week following their suspension prior to southern independence on July 9.

Currency Issue: The two sides have recently launched new currencies. There have been widespread fears in Juba that Khartoum will refuse to buy back the estimated two billion old Sudanese pounds in circulation in the south and even flood the country with the old currency before it is withdrawn.

But the central banks from north and south have agreed to form a joint committee to replace the old Sudanese pound “in a transparent manner,” to build confidence in the new currencies.

Oil issue: North is proposing to impose fees on the landlocked south’s use of northern oil infrastructure. It is also considering to charge pipeline transit fees according to international standards.

Around 75 percent of Sudan’s total crude production of about 500,000 barrels per day is pumped from the south.

In another development, the northern opposition parties held a meeting and declared the present Northern government as illegal due to formation of South Sudan. They called for fresh elections for establishing a new government.

Analysts say that most of the pending issues between the north and the south are settled including the two sides agreement to fix a standard payment per a barrel of oil, but the main struggle now is the state of South Kurdufan.
After the first round of negotiations since independence, South and North agreed that by September 30, they should reach a final agreement that will be the basis of the economic relationship between the two states. The proposed agreement would cover the oil sector and the currency issue. Though this came as a major breakthrough, there are still many important and crucial issues pending between north and south.

The Comprehensive Peace Agreement which was signed in 2005 between the North and South of Sudan ended decades of civil war.
The 9th of July 2011 witnessed the new born country, not only in Africa, but in the world.

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