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Southern Sudan Denies U.S Sanctions Divide Entire Sudan


The government of Southern Sudan has dismissed accusations that U.S. targeted sanctions will divide and undermine the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

This follows Presidential adviser Ghazi Salahuddin's sharp criticism of Washington's decision to exclude certain areas, including Southern Sudan, from economic sanctions.

Ghazi argues that the sanctions on northern Sudan are obstacles, which undermine the unity of the country.

But the Southern Sudanese government denies the sanctions will affect the CPA, which ended more than two decades of war between the North and South.

Ruben Marial Benjamin, the deputy head of mission and a political affairs officer of the Southern Sudanese government to the United States said that President Bashir's Party is hindering implementation of the CPA.

Meanwhile, the United States treasury has announced an amendment on the economic sanctions on Sudan that will allow export and re-export of agricultural products, medicines and medical devices to specific areas in Sudan, including Darfur, South Kordofan, and the Blue Nile, as well as Southern Sudan.

Marial Benjamin said the targeted sanctions will not hurt the country's unity.

"It is not going to divide the country because those sanctions have been there for almost a decade now and the country is still one," said Benjamin.

He said Ghazi Salahuddin is not being truthful.

"The sanctions mean Southern Sudan, Southern Blue Nile, Southern Kordofan, and Darfur, and around Khartoum, these are the suffering areas actually. The main goods and services to people…actually Ghazi Salahuddin is the one handling those cases. He is lying on that," he said.

Benjamin denied the sanctions interfere with efforts to implement the CPA.

"Absolutely not, not those sanctions that are affecting the CPA. But the policies of the NCP (National Congress Party) are the ones affecting the CPA," Benjamin said.

He said the NCP has often thwarted implementation of the agreement.

"Since the CPA was signed, they (NCP) have been obstacles to the CPA. They don't want to implement. They drag their feet on issues that are very crucial for us…They themselves are the problems to the CPA," he said.

Presidential advisor Salahuddin said the North can live without the sanctions, contending that Washington must be blamed for the obstacles to the CPA.

But Benjamin said Salahuddin has often undermined the CPA.

"Ghazi Salahuddin is one of the people in the NCP that is trying to hurt the CPA. Even during the negotiations in the previous years before the CPA was signed he was one of the people who at some point dismantled and hurt the negotiations. He is not happy about the CPA therefore, he is looking for other ways to hurt the CPA," Benjamin said.

He accused the NCP of training and providing logistics to armed groups who engage in terrorist activities against Southern Sudanese, a charge the north sharply denies.

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