World Bulletin/News Desk
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir left Tuesday for Khartoum for talks with Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir, with whom he will discuss several issues, including Nile water-sharing and border security.
"The president is going to discuss many issues, including the expediting of the Nile Basin Cooperative Framework Agreement," presidential spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny told Anadolu Agency in Juba.
"He will be expecting Khartoum to discuss this," he said.
The agreement, commonly known as the Entebbe agreement, was signed in 2010 by the five upstream Nile states of Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. Burundi joined a year later.
Egypt and Sudan refused to sign, however, insisting on adherance to a colonial-era water-sharing treaty that gives both countries the lion's share of Nile water.
Sudanese Minister of Water Resources and Electricity Mutaz Mussa was quoted last month as saying his country would not sign the agreement in its present form unless pending issues had first been settled.
Sudan wants to include detailed provisions in the agreement stipulating that advance notification be given to all member states on projects any member state plans to establish on the Nile River.
Another outstanding issue is the method of amending the agreement. Sudan wants amendments to be made by consensus or majority, provided that the majority includes Egypt and Sudan.
Other member states say amendments should be made by ordinary majority, irrespective of whether or not it includes Egypt and Sudan, insisting that no state have veto power.
"President Kiir will also discuss the issue of border security with al-Bashir," Ateny told AA. "As you know, the two parties have been accusing each other of harboring rebels."
The spokesman expects discussions to touch on recent attacks in Bentiu, purportedly masterminded and executed by rebel negotiator to South Sudan peace talks Taban Deng Gai.
"Taba Deng Gai has been in Heglig masterminding and planning the recent attack in Bentiu and the oil areas, so the president will table this for discussion," Ateny said.
"Recently in Raga County there was bombing by planes conducted by Sudan army," he claimed. "This is also going to be raised by our president."
"According to the dossier, the issue of Abyei will also be discussed," said the presidential spokesman.
Sudan and South Sudan have remained at odds over the sensitive issue of border demarcation, with both sides claiming oil-rich frontier areas.
South Sudan declared independence from Sudan in 2011 after a 2005 peace treaty ended decades of civil war.
"The two presidents will devise mechanisms to rise above the issues that the two countries face between them," Ateny told AA.Last Mod: 04 Kasım 2014, 14:20