Peter Matambanadzo Senior Reporter
Southern Sudan has accused Sudan of reneging on the Comprehensive Peace Treaty that
was signed by the two countries seven years ago. This is now threatening peace, security and stability in the two countries.
Visiting South Sudan Information and Broadcasting Minister, Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin, said this after meeting President Mugabe at his Munhumutapa offices yesterday.
“I have been sent by my President with a message to his Excellency President Robert Mugabe with regard to the present negotiations between the Republic of Sudan and Republic of South Sudan with regards to the outstanding comprehensive agreement issues, which have not been implemented,” he said.
Dr Benjamin accused Khartoum of taking an intransigent position on implementing the peace agreement signed in 2005.
“It is another scenario when people meet and think there is light at the end of the tunnel, but Khartoum goes back and has completely failed to implement what we have agreed upon when we signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005,” he said.
Dr Benjamin said the contentious issues included the referendum, oil as well as trade between the two neighbouring countries.
He said the main purpose of his visit was to brief President Mugabe to understand what position South Sudan has offered as a solution to the conflict.
“We are offering to be peaceful neighbours between North Sudan and South Sudan, co-operate in trade, security matters, enhance peace bilateral relations and resolve all outstanding issues peacefully - not through war,” he said.
Dr Benjamin said because of the financial debt the South Sudanese government has offered financial input recommended by the African Union.
“In fact the Republic of South Sudan over three years is offering US$8,2 billion dollars in-order to circumvent the financial gap and viability of the two States so that we can live side by side.
“We have also offered to cancel all the money they owe us. They owe us a lot of money before we gained independence, which we are ready to forgive and forget for the good relationship.
“We have also enhanced trade between the two countries, secondly we have accepted the African Union high implementation demarcation map they have drawn — for demilitarisation, accepted unconditionally but Khartoum has refused,” Dr Benjamin said.
He said he had also come to outline all the efforts made by South Sudan. “The deadline is coming on August 2 and it seems we are not agreeing with the Republic of Sudan and there is a possibility the African Union Peace and Security Council may propose a solution and would like a solution to be proposed on the proper understanding of our position,” he said.
Zimbabwe is a member of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union.
Meanwhile, the visiting Malawian Agriculture and Food Security Minister Professor Peter Mwanza, paid a courtesy call on President Mugabe and called for strengthening of ties between the two countries.
He said there should be increased co-operation in the agriculture sector for economic growth of the two countries.
“I came to study the agricultural show grounds. The honourable minister (Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Joseph Made) invited me to come. So I reported this to His Excellency (President Mugabe). When he was in Malawi I indicated I wanted to visit Zimbabwe and I spent the day viewing the grounds. I have concluded my mission and came to brief the President,” he said.
Prof Mwanza said during his hour long meeting with President Mugabe they discussed a number of issues, including agriculture.
“The president is very knowledgeable on so many things. We discussed issues of education, health and the situation here,” he said.
He said Zimbabwe was advanced in mechanisation, livestock and seed farming and Malawi would draw a lot of lessons from the country and collaborate in these sectors. Prof Mwanza commended Zimbabwe’s land reform programme, describing it as a people orientated programme.
“Land reform programme is commendable. It’s a fine programme that is empowering Zimbabweans. Empowerment is not one step it has stages. What the Government is doing to ensure that small holder farmers are participating in development is very commendable,” he said.
Bilateral relations between Zimbabwe and Malawi are built upon historically rooted socio-cultural, economic and political ties.
Malawi has supported Zimbabwe in all international and regional issues. Malawi has also in the past donated maize to Zimbabwe.