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Historical and Current Issues Going on Between North and South Sudan in Africa

Historical and Current issues going on between North and South Sudan in Africa Sudan and South Sudan have signed a “non-aggression” pact over their disputed border following talks in Addis Ababa where African Union-led negotiations between the two sides are being held. The deal was signed by Thomas Douth, the head of South Sudan’s intelligence bureau, and Mohammed Atta, Sudan’s director of national intelligence and security. The two countries agree to non-aggression and co-operation,” Thabo Mbeki, the chief negotiator and former president of South Africa, told reporters on Friday.

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According to the pact, the two sides agreed “respect for each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity” and to “refrain from launching any attack, including bombardment”.

The countries’ disputes center on four issues: demarcation of the oil and mineral rich disputed border between the two countries, the price the South will pay the north to move southern oil through the northern pipeline to Port Sudan for shipment, surreptitious support by both governments of rebellious groups in each other’s territories, and final implementation of provisions of the two countries’ peace agreement to resolve peacefully the governance of Blue Nile Province, the Nuba Mountains, and the Abyei region.

Nearly two years have passed since the governments of Sudan and South Sudan started negotiations. The negotiation teams first met in July 2010 to sign the guiding principles for South Sudan’s referendum and secession process; however, progress has been slow. Today this stalled negotiation process threatens the peace and stability of the two Sudans and the region at large. Therefore, its successful conclusion should be a priority for both governments and the greater international community.

The outbreak of violence in South Kordofan in June 2011, and in Blue Nile in September 2011, has undermined the already tenuous security environment and blocked progress on critical outstanding negotiation issues. The conflicts in South Kordofan and Blue Nile are central to the negotiation process. The Government of Sudan has called for South Sudan to stop its alleged support of the Sudan People’s Liberation

Movement-North, or SPLM-N, and for security to be established along their contested border. The north-south border area has been militarized for several years; this ominous military buildup by both countries brings them one step closer to war. A year ago the Southern government stopped all oil production about 70 percent of historic Sudan’s known oil reserves are in the South when it discovered the Khartoum government was diverting oil, selling it on the spot market, and taking all of the revenue.