Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Sudan and South Sudan

Delivered in Plenary - 23rd May 2012

Mr President

The ECR Group is deeply concerned about the risk of war breaking out between Sudan and Africa’s newest State, South Sudan. We, as a group, fully support efforts by the ex-President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, to mediate via the African Union and bring the parties to the negotiating table – namely President Salva Kiir and President al-Bashir. But they must exercise maximum restraint to avoid precipitating a bloody war, particularly in the areas which are legally disputed territories like Abyei and Heglig.

Clearly, demarcation and delimitation of the border and the division of energy resources need to be political priorities. Alarmingly, we now know that Juba will shortly run out of money because the pipeline for exporting oil has been shut down. China also has a key role in mediating.

The situation is precarious and has dashed all hopes that the recent separation of Muslim-majority Sudan from the Christian and animist South will provide a lasting peaceful solution to this conflict.