Ethiopia: Sudanese Parties Hold Post-Referendum Negotiations

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On 5 March 2011, the Parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) concluded a six-day negotiation session on post referendum issues at Kuriftu Resort, Bishoftu, Ethiopia.

Facilitated by the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), chaired by former South African President, Thabo Mbeki, the Parties considered general macro-economic issues, oil, Sudan’s foreign debt and currency and banking issues.

The Parties reaffirmed the necessity for the future sovereign Sudanese states to cooperate and to build and maintain two economically viable states.

Both Parties recognised the importance of reaching consensus on the handling of Sudan’s oil and petroleum infrastructure. They also identified the issues on which decisions will be required in the context of two viable states.

Among others, the Parties considered the future of the two stateowned Petroleum Companies, Sudapet and Nilepet, as well as the treatment of existing Exploration and Production Sharing Agreements.

The Parties agreed that the South would establish a new currency after the end of the CPA Interim Period on 8th July 2011.

In view of the importance of future trade between the two countries, the Parties decided to establish a joint committee to consider ways of facilitating trade and trade-related payment arrangements. The joint committee will report to the Parties by the end of May 2011.

In addition, the Parties agreed that each state would protect the rights and operations of commercial banks originating from the other state.

Sudan’s foreign debt is unsustainable.

In the interests of the economic stability of both states, the two parties agreed to embark on a joint effort to secure debt relief from Sudan’s international creditors. Further discussions also dealt with the formula for the apportionment of the debt.

Closing the session, Mr Mbeki urged the Parties to build on the dedication and sense of urgency they had demonstrated in Bishoftu, and urgently to resolve all of the outstanding issues before the end of the CPA Interim Period.

The Parties will continue their deliberations in Sudan, and will return to Ethiopia on April 5, 2011 for another round of intensive negotiations.

Source: African Union Commission (AUC)

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