South Sudan accuse the North of imposing a blockade
The Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) accused the north of imposing a blockade on the landlocked region ahead of the transition into a new state next July.
The Director of South Sudan Ports Jacob Daniel told the London-based Al-Sharq al-Awsat daily that GoSS undertook urgent measures to reduce the economic shock that he attributed to the “economic embargo by the north” adding that Juba provided great assistance for traders in the south to import goods from neighboring countries in Africa through the opening of the borders with Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia for the flow of trade.
The Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) Secretary General in the North Yasir Arman accused the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) in Khartoum of seeking to topple GoSS led by Salva Kiir through the blockade that he likened to the one imposed by Israel on Gaza strip.
Airline companies have complained of steep losses as a result of their inability to fly goods into the South.
There was no official confirmation from the federal government but the editor in chief of the independent Al-Tayar newspaper in Khartoum Osman Mirghani wrote in his daily column that he has ascertained that there is a decision taken to prevent flow of goods to the South.
Mirghani said that several truck drivers called him saying that they were not allowed to cross into the South and that some were waiting for ten days at the last stopping point before entering into the semi-autonomous region.
He slammed those behind the decision wondering if this was made to starve Southerners and warned that such tactics would not be in the interest of the Nprth. The editor in chief questioned whether the NCP wanted to punish Southerners for voting in favor of independence.
South Sudan, which holds 75 percent of the African country’s 500,000 barrels a day oil production, voted in January to become independent in a referendum promised under a 2005 peace deal with the north that formally ended decades of civil war.
North and south Sudan have yet to agree on several issues such as over disputed border areas such as Abyei or how to divide up oil revenues or assets.
While the south holds much of the oil wealth, it needs the north with its pipelines, refineries and access to the Red Sea to sell the oil, the main source of income for both sides.