JUBA – Addressing the press conference in Juba (South Sudan capital) after returning from Addis Ababa, South Sudan's chief negotiator Pagan Amum welcomed the agreement as a victory for South Sudan and his negotiation team. "The government of South Sudan has succeeded to protect the resources of the people of South Sudan," Amum said.
However, the chief negotiator acknowledged that the negotiations were very tough accusing the international community of favoring Sudan at the negotiation table and during disputes between the two countries.
Amum said the bias was most evident when Sudan began taking South Sudan's oil in lieu of unpaid transit fees from their pipelines and yet "America, the U.K., all were silent.
They were abetting the theft of Sudan," he continued.
"They (international community) were all telling us 'let it flow, let Sudan take it.' Because they don't want it to affect prices," the chief negotiator added.
He also said that international pressure on the negotiations was based on desperation and the search for a "quick fix."
The breakthrough was announced early on Saturday, when lead negotiator Thabo Mbeki told reporters that "the oil will start flowing", at a meeting of the African Union Peace and Security Council in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
The council had met to discuss how to solve the crisis between the two countries after they had failed to reach an agreement on security and oil before a United Nations Security Council deadline expired on August 2.
Former South African president Thabo Mbeki, said, "the two parties have agreed on all of the financial arrangements regarding oil."
"We now have to agree on when the oil companies should prepare for resumption of production and export," he added.
Late Friday, the AU extended the deadline to September 22, requesting that both sides promptly return to the negotiation table and finalize agreement on any outstanding issues.
"The final status of Abyei will be addressed next month at a summit meeting of the two presidents," said Mbeki.
Leaders in the United States and Europe have praised the agreement reached by Sudan and South Sudan to end a drawn-out oil dispute that led to dire economic consequences and prompted fears of war.
The European Union's top diplomat, High Representative Catherine Ashton, said she "welcomed the news".
"I commend both governments for the spirit of compromise that made this agreement possible and hope that it will now be extended to other outstanding issues, including borders, Abyei and security arrangements," Ashton added.
UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said the deal will be an important boost to the economies of both countries and he applauded the two governments for their efforts.
U. S President Barrack Obama released statement praising both countries for reaching the deal. "This agreement opens the door to a future of greater prosperity for the people of both countries," Obama said.
"The leaders of Sudan and South Sudan deserve congratulations for reaching agreement and finding compromise on such an important issue, and I applaud the efforts of the international community, which came together to encourage and support the parties in finding a resolution," he added.
Obama thank the African Union and Thabo Mbeki for their "determinant and skills of leadership in bringing about this agreement."
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who had visited Juba on Friday on her current Africa tour said, "we praise the courage of the Republic of South Sudan's leadership in taking this decision."
"Now is the time to bring this impasse to a close, for the good of the people of South Sudan and their aspirations for a better future in the face of ongoing challenges. South Sudan's leaders have risen to the occasion," she added.
"For Sudan, this agreement offers a way out of the extreme economic stress it is now experiencing," Clinton, said.
"If Sudan would now also take the steps to peace in Southern Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur, and if it will respect the rights of all citizens, it can likewise give its people a brighter future," Secretary State Hillary Clinton stated.
Mbeki said, “an accord had also been reached between Khartoum, the United Nations, the AU and the Arab League to allow for humanitarian access to Sudan's war-torn Blue Nile and South Kordofan states.”
President Obama called for "the immediate implementation of this agreement to provide urgently needed humanitarian assistance to people in these areas (Blue Nile and South Kordofan)."
"I encourage the parties to build on the momentum created by these breakthroughs to resolve remaining border and security issues," he added.
According to the agreement South Sudan will pay $9.48 per barrel to use one of Sudan's pipelines instead of paying $36 per barrel, which the Bashir government demanded.
South Sudan will also compensate North Sudan with the amount of $3.028 billion for the loss of oil revenue following South Sudan's independence last year.
In January, Kiir administration ordered the shut down of oil production after accusing Khartoum of stealing oil shipped through Sudanese pipelines for export.
The Upper Nile Times