Sudan, South Sudan to hold summit ahead of oil closure deadline

KHARTOUM. South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir will visit Khartoum on Tuesday, both nations confirmed, ahead of Friday deadline to shut economically vital oil pipelines over the Juba’s alleged rebel support.
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir (right) greets his South Sudanese counterpart Salva Kiir.Net photo.
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir (right) greets his South Sudanese counterpart Salva Kiir.Net photo.

KHARTOUM. South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir will visit Khartoum on Tuesday, both nations confirmed, ahead of Friday deadline to shut economically vital oil pipelines over the Juba’s alleged rebel support.

“I can confirm he will arrive on Tuesday,” Emad Sayed Ahmed, press secretary to Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, told AFP on Sunday.

He said the two leaders will discuss “all the joint issues” during the visit, without giving further details.

A South Sudanese embassy official also confirmed Kiir’s visit.

In June Sudan said it was freezing nine security and economic pacts with the South, and threatened to shut the oil pipelines linking landlocked South Sudan with the Red Sea export terminal.

The decision came after Bashir warned the South over backing insurgents, who analysts said had humiliated the authorities with their attacks.

Khartoum has twice extended its deadline to shut the pipelines, which are now threatened with closure from September 6.

Despite the threat, oil has continued flowing for export.

The deadline extensions followed an appeal from the African Union. The regional group asked for more time to investigate allegations — by both Sudan and South Sudan — that they are supporting rebels on each other’s territory.

Kiir last visited Khartoum in October 2011.

The two leaders held a summit in the South’s capital Juba in April, during a period of easing tensions after months of intermittent border clashes, and before Khartoum’s abrupt threat to close the pipelines.

Meanwhile, the Sudanese army has rejected the ceasefire declaration by Sudan People’s Liberation Movement\ North (SPLM-North).

SPLM-North declared a ceasefire to allow for deliveries of relief food to people affected by floods in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.

The spokesman of the army, Col Al Sawarmi Khalid Saad rubbished the declaration terming it as valueless.

“If the rebels were serious in solidarity with the citizens, they would not commit crimes,” he said in a press statement.

 

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