GoS, SPLM Agree on Demilitarization of Oilfields
November 1, 2007 (Al Sammani Awadallah / Agencies)
GoS and SPLM agreed on Thursday to demilitarize oilfields in southern Sudan. The agreement was reached in a joint meeting of the Ceasefire Political Commission (CPC ). According to the arrangements, the oilfields in southern Sudan will be patrolled by joint units after the government and SPLM have withdrawn their forces from there.
"In today's meeting, CPC has taken a series of decisions including the decision on the demilitarization of the oilfields by 9 January 2008," CPC member Al-Dirdeeri Mohammed Ahmed said, indicating that SPLA should pull out of the oilfields before the appointed time so that the joint units could be deployed at the defined positions to safeguard the oilfields.
The CPC, formed by the Sudanese government and SPLM after signing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, is mandated to monitor the implementation of the permanent ceasefire and security arrangements worked out by the two sides.
Al-Dirdeeri said that CPC has also issued a decision prohibiting the Sudanese government and the SPLM from redeploying their forces to the north and south of line 1/1/1956, respectively, in order to preclude any friction between the two sides. He added that another decision taken in the CPC meeting provided that cities in the south should be cleared out of all forms of military existence with the exception of bodyguards for important persons, noting that, with respect to SPLA presence in the White Nile region, a UN team would go to the South to check the redeployment. He said that the SPLM has been allowed until 15 December of the current year to move its troops out of the regions of Al-Deeb and Abu-Matarig in South Kordofan in consideration of the conditions cited by the SPLM at the meeting after affirming its commitment to CPC previous decisions in this connection.
CPC member, Lt. Gen. Elyas Waya, said SPLA is committed to pull out of Al-Deeb and Abu-Matarig regions before the 15th of December, underlining that administrative problems had prevented the SPLA troops from withdrawing at the previously appointed date. He denied any military build up in the White Nile area, stressing that the presence of SPLA troops in that region had been at the request of White Nile State governor for the purpose of controlling illegal movement of arms.
Al-Dirdeeri reiterated that the two sides have reiterated their commitment to both the ceasefire arrangements and the provisions of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.