Gov't, rebels reach agreement on wealth sharing

Jan 06, 2004 (IRIN)

The government of Sudan and the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) on Monday reached agreement on wealth sharing, bringing them one step closer to a comprehensive peace deal.

Under the agreement, which is due to be officially signed on Wednesday, 50 percent of non-oil revenue from southern Sudan will be given to the central government during the six-and-a-half-year interim period, the SPLM/A spokesman, Samson Kwaje, told IRIN.

A central bank with two arms will be established: one in the north, applying the Islamic banking system, which does not charge interest on loans, and the other in the south, operating on the basis of the Western system, he said. The Sudanese dinar would be retained in the north, while the Sudanese pound would be the currency in the south until an overall national currency was established.

On Tuesday, the two sides were due to begin discussions on the status of the contested areas of the Nuba mountains, Abyei and southern Blue Nile, to be followed by power-sharing arrangements, Kwaje added.

In late December, the government and the SPLM/A agreed to share equal percentages of revenue from the country's production of 300,000 barrels of oil a day, with two percent of the aggregate sum put aside for the oil-producing states. An oil commission with four representatives from each side and three non-permanent members is to manage the country's oil sector.

Both sides are expected to sign a comprehensive deal in late January, say regional analysts.