Saturday, August 24, 2013
The United Nations Security Council yesterday approved a presidential statement that urged Sudan and South Sudan to immediately implement a series of security and economic agreements and to cooperate with the African Union (AU) to advance towards normalizing the relations between the two countries. The Security Council members expressed grave concern over ongoing challenges to the implementation of the 27 September 2012 Agreements.
The agreements – signed in the Ethiopian capital under the auspices of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIO) – include provisions on security, the common border and economic relations aimed at enabling the two nations to fulfil their obligations under a so-called roadmap for easing tensions and facilitating the resumption of negotiations on post-secession relations.
Since South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in July 2011, the peace between the two countries has been threatened by armed clashes along their common border and outstanding post-independence issues that have yet to be resolved, notably the status of the oil-rich area of Abyei.
In its statement, the Council recalled that Security Council Resolution 2046 (2012) prohibits both States from supporting any rebel groups operating against the other State, following recent accusations by both sides of military support to rebel groups in each other’s territories, and welcomed the establishment and the commencement of work of the Ad Hoc Investigative Mechanism (AIM) which will look into such allegations.
The 15-member body also urged both Governments to maintain dialogue to ensure continued transportation of oil from South Sudan, and called on the Sudanese Government to suspend any actions that would halt the transportation of oil from South Sudan.
Reiterating its concern about the highly volatile situation in the Abyei area, the Council stressed that the parties “must immediately implement pending aspects of the June 20, 2011 Agreement on Temporary Security and Administrative Arrangements for the Abyei Area.” It also called for swift action to disarm communities there in accordance with the decision of the Abyei Joint Oversight Committee (AJOC) to turn Abyei into a weapons-free zone.
In addition, members of the Council urged all parties to refrain from any acts of violence against civilians, expedite safe and unhindered humanitarian access and fully respect international human rights law, emphasizing that “those responsible for violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of international human rights law must be held accountable.”
(mew)(adapted from a UN press release)