President Salva Kiir (Centre in Hat) with his delegation after arriving from Addis Ababa on Friday. [Gurtong | File]
By Waakhe Simon Wudu and Peter Lokale Nakimangole
JUBA, 30 September 2012 [Gurtong] - “What happened on Thursday we in South Sudan are happy about it and I think is a beginning of the step which we have been looking for. This shows that we and Sudan we don’t have problem,” Sheik Juma Sayid Ali, a Muslim elder in South Sudan told Gurtong.
“What has been signed is a grateful thing because what we have been looking for is peace with Sudan. Always Sudan starts problems with us. The implementation of these agreements will depend on them,” he said.
“We welcome the deal,” Dr Leven Moro, Director for External Relations at the University of Juba said adding that “The resumption on the oil production will happen but there will be some difficulties ahead.”
In Eastern Equatoria State, Akulino Oduma, a consultant at the Ministry of Health said that the two countries feared sanctions which could have been imposed on them by international community and had no options but to sign the deals.
The oil shutdown by South Sudan had created economic difficulties as teh two economies depend on oil for most of their revenue.
Dr. Joseph Abulemoi, Director for Press in the office of Eastern Equatoria State Governor urged the government not to be too dependent on oil but should diversify into non oil revenues.
Abulemoi said that the oil reserves are just short term and could easily dry up due to over utilisation where as the non oil revenues are sustainable giving an example of countries like Nigeria and Libya where some communities are struggling in poverty despite the availability of oil.
David Otto Remson welcomed the move by the two countries as it will bring an end to the austerity measures in the country.
He says the latest agreement will now boost bilateral ties between the Sudan and South Sudan but expresses fear that Sudan may sometimes again steal South Sudan’s oil since oil export goes through its territory.
Otto advises the national government of South Sudan to seek a permanent solution by building an oil refinery to avoid future conflicts.
Mr. Abraham Amedeo, a government official in the Eastern Equatoria State government also welcomes the deal signed by the two countries but called for transparency and proper accountability which he believes can only be realised if the international partners are involved to keenly observe and monitor the oil transaction and shipping processes in an attempt to avoid past mistakes committed Sudan.
Christine Chonae an official from the Eastern Equatoria state government concurs with her colleagues adding that the treaty will undoubtedly boost the economy and development South Sudan.
She believes that more job opportunities will be created but she doubts on whether Sudan will honour the deal.
Sudan and South Sudan signed a deal on resumption of oil production in South Sudan, resumption of trade between the two countries and an agreement to guarantee citizens of the two countries living in either state the right to freedom of residence, movement, engage in economic activities and freedom to own property.
The deal was inked by the presidents of the two countries.
The two heads of state also signed a cooperation agreement guaranteeing the completion of the implementation of the remaining post secession issues under the facilitation of the African Union.
However, the two parties also failed to cement a deal on Abyei, the oil reach area and disputed borders.
Analysts have repeatedly warned unless a comprehensive agreement is reached on all the issues, it is inevitable for restoration peace stability between the two countries.