News / Africa

S. Sudan Conflict Delays Agreements with Sudan

Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) soldiers guard the airport in Malakal, Jan. 21, 2014.
Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) soldiers guard the airport in Malakal, Jan. 21, 2014.
Marthe van der Wolf
The conflict in South Sudan is also affecting relations with its northern neighbor Sudan.

Among other things, South Sudan’s conflict has delayed the implementation of economic, trade and security agreements signed with its northern neighbor, Sudan. 

Negotiations on those issues took more than a year, with the help of the African Union (AU). 

Liz Geare of the U.S.-based group Conflicts Dynamic International believes the outbreak of violence in South Sudan is undermining the progress of building a constructive relationship between the two nations.

“I think one of the important issues to look at is the fact that both Sudan and South Sudan need to have a reasonable degree of internal peace and stability, politically, economically, in order for the relationship between South Sudan and Sudan to thrive,“ she said.

The two neighboring countries separated in 2011, following a 2005 peace agreement that ended decades of war. Disagreements between the two nations led to South Sudan shutting down its oil production, which badly affected its neighbor economically.

Negotiations between the two countries resulted in the signing of nine agreements in September 2012. The agreements dealt with trade, security and oil issues. Both countries have shown little progress in implementing the agreements and the South Sudan war is creating more difficulties.

A senior AU official says any delay should be regarded as a priority issue rather than a breakdown.

Jerome Tubiana, a senior analyst with the Brussels-based International Crisis Group says the current conflict in South Sudan is worrying Sudan.

"Sudan is worried about the oil because there’s an economic crisis in Khartoum and even if oil now is not anymore the main resource, the royalties that were agreed with Juba are still an important resource," he explained. "Even more, I think, they are rightly worried about the situation at the border because already Sudanese rebels, northern rebels against Khartoum, are controlling quite a large part of the border. And now you have another part of the border controlled by South Sudanese rebels.”

Border issues

The border situation is making it difficult for border trade to prosper. It will also create a problem for the pastoralists who cross into South Sudan during the dry season.

Further discussions between the two countries are needed to finalize such border issues. But a senior Sudanese government official who was part of the North-South talks says that everything is practically on hold as the stabilization of South Sudan is now the main priority. 

Tabiana believes the agreements can survive the current conflict, and that they don’t have to be renegotiated, despite the conflict:

“They have not been agreed by the current government," he said. "They have been agreed before the reshuffle, and some of the people who made this talks - especially Pagan Amum, he was the chief negotiator, and now he’s in the opposition.”

Sudan is now part of the peace talks between the South Sudanese government and its opposition. The sides have been discussing a possible cease-fire since early January.

You May Like

Map Shows Every US School Shooting Since 2013

There have been at least 150 school shootings in the United States since 2013, an average of nearly one per week More

Video In US, Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy

Holiday marks date Columbus discovered Americas, but some are offended by legacy because he enslaved many natives he encountered More

Video Kickboxing Champion Shares Sport With Young Migrants

Pouring into Europe by hundreds of thousands, some migrants, especially youngsters, are finding sports a way to integrate into new host countries More

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemeni
Henry Ridgwell
October 12, 2015 4:03 PM
The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemen

The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video No Resolution in Sight to US House Speaker Drama

Uncertainty grips the U.S. Congress, where no consensus replacement has emerged to succeed Republican House Speaker John Boehner after his surprise resignation announcement. Half of Congress is effectively leaderless weeks before America risks defaulting on its national debt and enduring another partial government shutdown.

Video New Art Exhibit Focuses on Hope

Out of struggle and despair often comes hope. That idea is behind a new art exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. "The Big Hope Show" features 25 artists, some of whom overcame trauma and loss. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy as US Holiday

The second Monday of October is Columbus Day in the United States, honoring explorer Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the Americas. The achievement is a source of pride for many, but for some the holiday is marked by controversy. Adrianna Zhang has more.

Video Anger Simmers as Turks Begin to Bury Blast Victims

The Turkish army carried out new air strikes on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets on Sunday, a day after the banned group announced a unilateral cease fire. The air raids apparently are in retaliation for the Saturday bombing in Turkey's capital Ankara that killed at least 95 people and wounded more than 200 others. But as Zlatica Hoke reports, there are suspicions that Islamic State is involved.

Video Bombings a Sign of Turkey’s Deep Troubles

Turkey has begun a three-day period of mourning following Saturday’s bomb attacks in the capital, Ankara, that killed nearly 100 people. With contentious parliamentary elections three weeks away, the attacks highlight the challenges Turkey is facing as it struggles with ethnic friction, an ongoing migrant crisis, and growing tensions with Russia. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Afghanistan’s Progress Aided by US Academic Center

Recent combat in Afghanistan has shifted world attention back to the central Asian nation’s continuing civil war and economic challenges. But, while there are many vexing problems facing Afghanistan’s government and people, a group of academics in Omaha, Nebraska has kept a strong faith in the nation’s future through programs to improve education. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Omaha, Nebraska.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video In 'He Named Me Malala,' Guggenheim Finds Normal in Extraordinary

Davis Guggenheim’s documentary "He Named Me Malala" offers a probing look into the life of 18-year-old Malala Yousafsai, the Pakistani teenager who, in 2012, was shot in the head by the Taliban for standing up for her right to education in her hometown in Pakistan's Swat Valley. Guggenheim shows how, since then, Malala has become a symbol not as a victim of brutal violence, but as an advocate for girls’ education throughout the world. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.

Video Paintable Solar Cells May Someday Replace Silicon-Based Panels

Solar panels today are still factory-manufactured, with the use of some highly toxic substances such as cadmium chloride. But a researcher at St. Mary’s College, Maryland, says we are close to being able to create solar panels by painting them on a suitable surface, using nontoxic solutions. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs