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On Sudans' Aug. 2 Deadline, Rice Says "Lot to Do," Of ICJ Plans & Oil Rumors

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 17 -- As the August 2 deadline for agreement between Sudan and South Sudan approaches, Inner City Press late on July 16 asked US Ambassador Susan Rice if she thought the two countries will strike a deal by then.

  Rice exclusively told Inner City Press that "there's a lot to get done in a short period of time... they ought to."

  This followed upbeat coverage of the one on one meeting on July 14 between the two countries' presidents, including reports that they had agreed on an $8 a barrel oil transfer fee, much lower than the $36 a barrel Khartoum had demanded, but up from Juba's less than $1 a barrel offer back on the arrangement between Chad and Cameroon.

  Last week, well placed sources told Inner City Press that South Sudan is opposing any extension of the August 2 deadline, and intends to "take the issue of the border to the Hague," the International Court of Justice.

  The African Union panel's Thabo Mbeki is now slated to come and brief the UN Security Council on July 26. Whereas at the Council's last session on the issue Sudan emphasized "progress" that is being made, and that the Colombian presidency of the Council for July said the August deadline wasn't set in store or "the Bible," South Sudan now disagrees.

  South Sudan anticipates that Mbeki will come painting a positive picture and asking for an extension. And South Sudan will oppose any extension, saying they'll take it to the ICJ.

  Another of Mbeki's panel members, as exclusively reported by Inner City Press, diagnosed that South Sudan is betting the Omar al Bashir will be overthrown, now that he cannot spend revenue from oil or oil transfer fees. The austerity protests are growing.

  At the July 13 UN noon briefing, Inner City Press asked again for any Ban Ki-moon or UN reaction to the tear-gassing and detention of protesters. Ban's spokesman responded with a generic statement about the right to protest. Oh, and leaders should listen to their people.

  Meanwhile Inner City Press asked for the United STATES position on Sudan joining the Human Rights Council and received in return this, from a US official:

"We are obviously very much opposed, but this is not a done deal, and we urge members of the AU to do the right thing and stop an ICC-indicted war criminal from taking a seat on the Human Rights Council."

  But what's the US position on extending the August 2 deadline? Or would the US fully support South Sudan taking the border issue to the Hague? Watch this site.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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