Sudanese lawmakers accepted “with reservations” a United Nations Security Council resolution that calls for Sudan and South Sudan to end hostilities, said Ahmed Ibrahim al-Tahir, the head of parliament.
The 15-member council unanimously passed a resolution on May 2 calling for the withdrawal of all forces from disputed territories, an end to air raids by the north and a negotiated solution to the issue of payments by South Sudan for shipping oil to Port Sudan in the north.
“The National Assembly approves the UN Resolution 2046 on our relationship with South Sudan,” al-Tahir told members of parliament today in the capital, Khartoum.
Relations between the two countries have deteriorated since South Sudan seceded from Sudan in July after a popular referendum on independence intended to end a long-running civil war. The south kept three-quarters of the formerly united country’s oil output of about 490,000 barrels a day. Tensions between the countries escalated last month when South Sudan occupied the contested, oil-rich area of Heglig. It pulled troops out 10 days later, saying it was complying with a UN Security Council request.
The UN council urged Sudan and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North to cooperate with efforts to reach a negotiated settlement on security arrangements in Blue Nile and South Kordofan states, while allowing humanitarian access to the population in those areas.
“Sudan rejects negotiations with the northern branch of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement,” Mohamed al-Hassan, head of the parliament foreign relations committee, told lawmakers. “It’s an armed movement and this is an internal matter.”
The SPLM-N was the northern branch of South Sudan’s ruling party before it became a separate group following the south’s independence. It is banned by the Sudanese authorities.
Sudan also rejects allowing humanitarian agencies that have “hostile activities,” al-Hassan said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Salma El Wardany in Khartoum at firstname.lastname@example.org