A senior delegation from South Sudan, headed by Pagan Amum, is due to arrive in Khartoum to deliver an invitation to President Omar al-Bashir to attend a bilateral summit in Juba with South Sudan’s president, General Salva Kiir, in the first week of April. The delegation includes Deng Alor, Minister of the Cabinet Affairs; John Locke, Minister of Justice; Stephen Dow, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources; Joseph Lual, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs; Michael McCoy, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs; and Wake Mamers, the State Minister at the Council of Ministers.
A leader in the ruling National Congress Party in Sudan, Dr. Rabie Abdul Atti, confirmed that Khartoum is concerned with the security, stability and strength of the State of South Sudan, and it will participate in the proposed summit.
“We feel that the State of South Sudan is not a younger brother, but a child from our own womb,” said Dr. Abdul Atti. “We have an interest in ensuring the growth of this child, as any parent would.” Khartoum accepted the peace agreement with the South, and agreed to its secession voluntarily, he said: “We are not going to Juba with a sense of weakness.”
However, Abdul Atti pointed out that there is no sense in any agreement or understanding with South Sudan as long as it continues to support the rebel movements which aim to overthrow the regime in Khartoum. “The peace process that resulted in the State of South is built on non-interference in Sudan’s internal affairs, but the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM) supports the rebel movements on the borders between the two countries,” he added. “We say it very clearly: any meetings or agreements with the SPLM will make no sense if the South continues to support the insurgency against us; that undermines everything and will have serious repercussions on the peace agreements signed between us.”