AU inaugurates 3-man committee over pipeline shutdown in Sudan Oil crisis
ADDIS ABABA– The AU in Addis Ababa on Monday inaugurated a three-man Ad Hoc Investigative Mechanism, AIM, into the allegations by the Republic of The Sudan against South Sudan of supporting armed groups against Khartoum.
The committee is chaired by Angola’s Brig.-Gen. Luis InacioMuxito and Security Advisor to the AU Commission’s Chairperson, with Nigeria’s retired Maj.-Gen. Julius Oshanpin and Brig.-Gen. Jean Baptiste from Senegal as members.
The committee has six weeks to submit its report. The committee was inaugurated ahead of The Sudan’s July 31 deadline to shut down its pipeline used for transporting South Sudan’s oil.
The AU established the committee in response to a proposal by the Chairperson of AU High-Level Implementation Panel on The Sudan and South Sudan with former South African President, Mr Thabo Mbeki, to address the persistent allegations of supporting rebel groups by the two neighbours.
“The mistrust caused by such allegations has jeopardized the implementation of the Addis Ababa agreements signed on Sept. 27, 2013 as well as of relations between the two states,” Tedros Adhanom said.
Adhanom ,the Chairman of the AU Executive Council and Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister, made the statement while inaugurating the committee.
He said the committee would also proffer solution to the crises and address the security challenges between the two countries, including the AU border programme.
It will also address the safe Demilitrised Border Zone between The Sudan and South Sudan to facilitate the full operationalisation of the zone, Adhanom said.
He urged the two countries to respect all aspects of the security agreements and deploy their forces out of the border zones.
“The AU and the regional body, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), further urge that Sudan and South Sudan refrain from any action to shut down the oil pipeline used to transport South Sudan oil to Port of Sudan,” the minister said.
Meanwhile, South Sudan’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, Stephen Dau, has announced plans to sell 6.4 million barrels of the country’s oil worth 300 million dollars before July 31.
Sudan’s President Umar Al-Bashir had insisted that Sudan’s pipelines would be shut down within 60 days beginning on Aug. 7 to curtail South Sudan from the alleged support for rebels.
South Sudan had, however, continued to deny the allegations.