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Sudan Praises UNSC's Post-Mbeki Statement, Tells ICP of  "Final End" in Kordofan, Oil Fee Comparisons

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 6, updated March 7 -- Sudan on Tuesday declared "balanced" the UN Security Council's Presidential Statement, agreed unanimously eight days after hearing from the Thabo Mbeki High Level Panel.

  Afterward Inner City Press asked Sudan's Permanent Representative Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman, and then his South Sudanese counterpart David Choat, about oil transfer fees and the impact on the statement of what Council members were told behind closed doors on February 27, including that South Sudan cut off oil thinking Khartoum would fall in eight months while Juba could last twelve.

  Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman replied that "the briefing by Mr. Thabo Mbeki informed the Council about the intransigence of the South, and the problems the South causes to the North, and this contributed to the balance of this Presidential Statement."

  Inner City Press asked South Sudan's Permanent Representative David Choat about Mbeki's briefing. He said, "I do disagree with some of the views, that do not reflect us, we are not an obstacle to the negotiations. We have given proposals that are in line with international standards, in line with the IMF."

  On attacks, Choat said that "Jau is part of South Sudan, part is in the North of Sudan. When the opposition fought the Sudan Armed Forces, they fought six miles inside Sudan so our forces did not participate. We are unfairly accused."

  Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman in turn denied that Sudan "bombarded the territorial integrity" of South Sudan, challenging them to provide proof.

   Inner City Press for the second time asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokesman Eduardo del Buey if the UN Mission in South Sudan had been able to confirm or deny the bombing of oil wells in Unity State. Del Buey said he had no information.

  Later a Security Council member told Inner City Press they were told the area is mined, that is why UNMISS is not going there. What about the Bangladeshi helicopters?

Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman, previously at the stakeout, "final end" not shown

  On the questions of barges, Choat said South Sudan would not accept returnee flows along routes with land mines. Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman on the other hand said that South Sudan confiscated barges.

  Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman, responding to Inner City Press' question about oil cut off to overthrow Bashir, called South Sudan immature; he said Sudan has resources.

   "The oil, it is us who made it, with guts and will," he said. "The blockage of oil will never effect North Sudan, it will rather effect the people of the newly state of the South, especially if we bear in mind they are lacking everything."

  Inner City Press asked South Sudan Permanent Representative David Choat about the oil dispute. He said, on camera, that while South Sudan is offering in oil transit fees 69 cents per barrel, Sudan is demanding $36 per barrel. Choat cited the IMF as support and asked, who pays that? We could not find it anywhere.

  Afterward off camera Choat told Inner City Press that for similar oil transfers, Chad pays Cameroon 41 cents a barrel, and Azerbaijan pays Turkey only 27 cents a barrel. Inner City Press asked Azerbaijan's Permanent Representative, who replied, we have a special relationship with Turkey.

  Sudan and South Sudan, not so much. Inner City Press asked Choat what South Sudan is going. We are explore options, he said, mentioned memoranda of understanding with Kenya and Ethiopia for "different pipelines if in fact the agreement is not reached."

   Inner City Press asked Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman visas -- including denials of visas to UNAMID staff in Darfur, on which he like the UN didn't answer -- and about Sudan's complaint of a "blockage by South Sudan."

  Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman told Inner City Press that no one on the Security Council has done anything about Sudan's complaint that South Sudan blocked entry by UN sanctions prober "Mister Byran" from going to Tumsaha to see of the Justice and Equality Movement fighters were there, with weapons from Gaddafi's Libya.

  On Southern Kordofan, Inner City Press asked about Bashir's statement he would soon pray in Kauda. Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman replied, "if things continue to be like this, we will decide to put a final end to such aggressions against the government."

  Will there be some response or Q&A session from from the US Mission to the UN, its Ambassador Susan Rice? Inner City Press has asked. Watch this site.

Update of 5:44 pm -- at 4:57 pm the US Mission sent out this statement by Ambassador Rice:

"I welcome the UN Security Council’s unanimous decision today to issue an important and long overdue presidential statement on the situation in Sudan and South Sudan. The Security Council expressed alarm about the risk of resumed conflict between North and South, which would halt the incipient progress made by South Sudan and profoundly damage the interests of both sides. The Security Council demanded not only the cessation of military operations in the border regions and a return to direct talks but full cooperation with the United Nations and other humanitarian agencies to ensure immediate and unhindered access for humanitarian assistance in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile. In addition, the Council urged progress on the many critical, outstanding post-independence issues, including Abyei, oil and financial arrangements, border demarcation, and procedures for determining nationality. The United States remains deeply concerned about the grave humanitarian situation in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, where hundreds of thousands endure the daily threat of violence and looming famine without an urgent infusion of life-saving assistance."

But what about what Thabo Mbeki told the Council on February 27, and what Sudan's Permanent Representative on March 6 said in the Council then at the stakeout, including about a "final end" in Southern Kordofan?

Update of March 7, 5 pm -- Inner City Press on the evening of March 6 raised the issue to US Ambassador Rice. On the morning of March 7, Inner City Press e-mailed the US Mission seeking comment. At 5 pm on March 7 as Ambassador Rice left the Security Council, Inner City Press asked her about Sudan's Permanent Representative comments about a "final end" in Southern Kordofan
and she replied, "he says a lot of things, some of which are not true, as you know."

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