After African Union mediator, former South Africa President Thambo Mbeki reached a deal, the two Sudans-South Sudan and Sudan- are poised for a January 13 road map that will see the stalled oil wealth run back through its northern corridor without fear of siphoning off or economical foul play.
On January 5, the Associated Press reported on how Presidents Silver Kiir and Omar El-Bashir, from the south and north respectively, clinched the deal that would help the two warring neighbors coexist side-by-side, while reorienting the ailing economy of South Sudan, now suffering a dollar deficit.
“The presidents agreed that steps should be taken without further delay to demarcate those parts of the border which have been agreed,” were Mr. Mbeki’s parting remarks, on the Achilles Heel that will prove the-do-or-die of this deal, security, along the northern pipeline.
Late last year, the new Republic of South Sudan cut off the pipeline leading into Sudan, sparking riling remarks by the latter country, eventually leading to a stalemate in oil flow to the northeastern siphoning base of Port Sudan.
South Sudan, in its tender years of autonomy and self-governance, banks on oil revenue that forms 98% of its GDP.
The major obstacle to an earlier concession was the fact that either Khartoum or Juba failed to honor September 27, 2012 set of resolutions that would, among others, transmute oil concession into a broader demographic issue bordering on amicable border demarcation, security implementation, creation of a buffer territory, as well as, for the south to cut ties with militia supporting it to advance on Khartoum.
Juba also pointed out to mutual economic association with its northern neighbor as another major premise for any deal signing.
Territorial disputes have always been at the heart of the negotiations. Sudan, for one, continuously insisted on security before any business links, while South Sudan descried lack of honesty in oil –revenue sharing.
Now that a deal has come to life, South Sudan will most likely benefit most for much of its forex income emanates from the oil trade, which it cannot do amicably without the shorter Port Sudan route.
The January 13 2013 agreement will see two key things happen, including the demobilization of armies from either side of the border, in time for the implementation of a timetable for petroleum export, already out.