Calling China "a significant coordinator", South Sudan spoke highlyof China's mediation efforts to ease Sudan-South Sudan tension onMonday, one day before Sudan and South Sudan resume talks. "China, an old friend of Sudan and a new strategic friend of SouthSudan, is playing a significant role mediating between the twocountries. ... I believe, South Sudan President Salva Kiir hadurged Beijing to use its friendship with Sudan to resume thetalks," Mondaysemaya Kumba, acting charge of affairs at the SouthSudan embassy in Beijing, told China Daily. Kumba said that South Sudan is willing to discuss all problems withSudan "once and for all" during the talks in Ethiopia on Tuesday. |
The talks were suspended after border fighting last month. The resumed talks would cover issues that brought the two nationsto the brink of war in April: establishing the border and how muchthe landlocked South Sudan should pay to transport its oil throughSudan, and the division of national debt. South Sudan voted last year to break away from Sudan, but the twocountries never reached an agreement on those two prominent issues,among others. China welcomes the attitude shown by the two countries and theresumption of talks, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said onFriday. "We hope the two can earnestly follow the African Union roadmap andthe UN Security Council resolutions to resolve the outstandingissues through negotiations." South Sudan has said it is ready to comply with all articles in theUnited Nations resolutions, while Sudan committed itself to endhostilities but expressed reservations about some UN demands, whichthreaten sanctions for non-compliance.
Kiir stressed ahead of the talks that "amicable dialogue on theoutstanding issues with Khartoum is the only option for peace,"according the South Sudan government's website. Juba holds high expectations on the meeting, and is ready to resumeoil production immediately after making sure that Sudan wouldrecognize the sovereignty issues, Kumba said. The country, which relies on oil for around 98 percent of itsincome, shut down its oil production in January after Khartoumstarted holding part of the south's oil as compensation for what itcalls Juba's unpaid debts. International pressure and peoples' longing for stability andrevitalizing economy have pushed the two countries to return to thelong-running talks, said Li Xinfeng, an expert on African studiesat the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
"Both China and the West want the two to achieve peacefuldevelopment, but the chronic Sudan-South Sudan disputes can hardlybe resolved overnight," he added.
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