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

Video Obama: Action on Climate Change 'Economic, Security Imperative'

President spoke to reporters on sidelines of UN Climate Summit outside Paris, where leaders are working to agree on binding measures

IMF Bets on China’s Resolve to Reform

IMF announcement already raising questions about just how much Beijing is committed to such reforms

What Happened When I Landed in Antarctica

Refael Klein chronicles what it's like to visit one of the coldest, most desolate places on Earth

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

By the Numbers

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?i
Carol Pearson
November 29, 2015 1:23 PM
The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle and Kimlong Meng report from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs