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Vol 53 No 3

Published 3rd February 2012


The South goes for sovereignty

Juba turns off the oil and turns up the pressure in its fraught negotiations with Khartoum over oil, cash, security and citizenship

Few outside the Juba government had expected it to start shutting down oil production on 22 January. Warnings from the Government of South Sudan had been widely seen as brinkmanship. The National Congress Party (NCP), plus African Union, Chinese and Western mediators, had apparently forgotten the capacity for decisiveness of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), which helped it to win Independence for the South. The talks should resume on 10 February but no one expects speedy agreement. This was clear when the AU representative, South African ex-President Thabo Mbeki, announced on 31 January that they would cover several outstanding issues from the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement since ‘the interim transitional period ends at the end of March’. This broadening of the agenda is a tactical victory for the GOSS, which for the first time has the NCP literally over a barrel.

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