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Civil society angry over Khartoum oil agreement

Mr. Charles Onak Judo Chairperson CSCNR (R) and Michael Duku Executive Director of AMDISS in the press conference at AMDISS yesterday (photo by Woja Emmanuel Wani):

By Woja Emmanuel Wani

The Civil Society Coalition for Natural Resources has expressed dismay over the oil arrangement agreement signed by Sudan and South Sudan in Khartoum last month.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday at the Association for Media Development in South Sudan (AMDISS), Mr. Charles Onak Judo of Civil Society Coalition for Natural Resources (CSCNR) said that the recent efforts exerted in the peace process in Khartoum were based on vested interests on South Sudan oil.

“While the progress made in Khartoum is a positive sign of peace, it is paramount that parties should not compromise South Sudan’s natural resources particularly its petroleum to foreign interests,” Judo said yesterday.

He added that it was saddening for South Sudanese political elites to give away the country’s main source of revenue to foreign interests at the expense of the citizens.

Chapter Four of the Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) 2015 provided resource, economic and financial management arrangement which has never been a subject of realization since the commencement of the High Level Revitalization Forum HLRF in 2017, according to Judo.

Judo added that the plan for resumption of oil production and protection of oil fields has suddenly appeared to be a top priority according to the Khartoum Declaration over securing an inclusive and sustainable peace for the people of South Sudan.

He said the point that the rival parties have impliedly agreed “if need be” to allow Sudan to intervene in protecting oil fields, replenish worn-out or damaged facilities and subsequently resume oil production in former Unity state is unpatriotic and callous and shows less concern by the South Sudanese political elites to the plight of the citizens.

Meanwhile the Program Manager of United and Safe the Nation (UASN) Mr. Ayar Deng Monyuach said that the country’s oil cannot be used as a tool to buy peace for the people of South Sudan.

“We need peace yes but it has no connection with the natural resources of our country,” he said. “Peace and natural resources are for the benefit of South Sudanese, it has no connection with the neighboring countries,” Monyuach added.

Despite the parties’ willingness to sign peace agreement, Monyuach stated the Civil Society Coalition on Natural Resources rejected the plan to hand over the South Sudan oil fields to Khartoum to manage.

Civil Society Coalition on Natural resource is a loose coalition of civil society organizations including the trade union of petroleum and mine workers in South Sudan.

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