HARARE– Zimbabwe and South Sudan are negotiating oil and other bilateral trade agreements as they deepen their political relations, a senior South Sudanese official has disclosed.
- South Sudan’s director for International Organisations, Ambassador John Andruga Duku (left) is welcomed at Harare International Airport by Zimbabwe Department of Immigration principal director Clemence Masango (right) and director of immigration Stephen Museki (New Day photo)
“It’s true we are working on a number of co-operation agreements with Zimbabwe. We need to develop our bilateral agreements and oil and other things will be part of that agreement,” John Andruga Duku, South Sudan’s director for international organisations told Zimbabwe’s News Day newspaper Friday.
He said South Sudan wanted the agreement reached expeditiously.
“We hope to arrive at a win-win situation for all of us and we need to do it sooner rather than later,” Duku further stated.
South Sudan relies on oil for all income, a situation that has significantly compounded ongoing political and economic instability due to the fall in crude oil prices. The young nation got the lion’s share of the oil when it split from Sudan in 2011, but it’s only export route is through Sudan, giving Khartoum leverage and leading to the ongoing pricing disputes.
According to South Sudanese officials, production in the past reached as high as 350,000 bpd but fell after a dispute with Sudan over fees for pumping South Sudan’s crude through Sudan’s export pipeline, which led South Sudan to halt production in 2012.
Meanwhile, a number of South Sudan immigration officials were in Zimbabwe for a week-long study tour hosted by the Department of Immigration.
Majak Akec Malok, South Sudan’s interior ministry director for nationality, passport and immigration led the delegation to Harare.
The South Sudanese delegation was reportedly impressed by the uni-visa scheme that Zimbabwe and Zambia have so far implemented.
Relations between Zimbabwe and South Sudan date back to the days when Juba was fighting for independence from Khartoum. Harare played a key role in negotiations between the two Sudans during the north-south civil war, which ended with the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).
Source: Sudan Tribune