South Sudan’s government spokesperson and Information Minister Dr Barnaba Marial. [Gurtong| File]
By Waakhe Simon Wudu
JUBA, 22 September 2012 [Gurtong] - “To us we do not see any problem in these issues (outstanding matters include oil, Abyei, border demarcation, citizenship and security). We don’t know what the other side (Khartoum) feels about it,” Marial said.
He pointed out readiness of South Sudan government in cementing a comprehensive agreement with Khartoum on the issues, saying President Salva Kiir is travelling to Addis Ababa to meet his counterpart, Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir.
Marial expressed optimism over the mood surrounding the process of the peace talks, saying a deal will probably be reached between the two parties.
“What is important is that the talks are going amicably in a new environment of discussing issues,” he said.
Meanwhile, Marial confirmed that the Sudan and South Sudan border has been opened for business.
“Yes the flights have resumed between Juba and Khartoum. The flights are proceeding and I think air Marshland (a Sudanese airline) is now flying in. It will be having daily flights,” Dr Barnaba Marial South Sudanese Information Minister told the press in Juba.
“The borders (roads) are opened too. I understand there is a free movement. The President of the Republic of Sudan has now given indication that South Sudanese who are now in Khartoum can be moved along the border in to their countries. So the borders are opened,” Marial added.
He said flights and the opening up of the road started early this week.
The development came after Juba and Khartoum signed a deal late last month for opening their borders in a bid to bridge international cooperation between the two countries and also activate business.
However, a mood of pessimism as to whether the free movement between the two countries will continue normally grounds suspicion as Juba and Khartoum are yet to cement a comprehensive deal on post secession issues which have kept bitter relations between the duo including border and security.
Khartoum closed her borders with South Sudan since May last year ahead of South Sudan secession after invading Abyei oil rich region which has remained a source of conflict between the two governments.
The closure brought business between the two countries to stand still crippling their economies and consequently increasing bitterness between them.
The AU backed by a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution 2046 is expected to present a final resolution on all the outstanding issues that will be considered binding.
Juba and Khartoum failed to reach a comprehensive agreement early last month as mandated by the AU and the UNSC. The international community had threatened to impose sanctions on the duo if they fail to sort out the matters.
The duo repeatedly failed to finalise on the issues which brought them to a brink of war in April before the expiry of the peace deal.
Analysts have repeatedly warned that unless the matters are sorted out peace stability in the region will be compromised.