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Sudan and South Sudan Agree on Safe Demilitarized Border Zone

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Forrmer civil war foes Sudan and South Sudan signed an agreement Firday to establish a safe demilitarized border zone between the two countries in a special meeting Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Reports say both parties agreed to immediately and unconditionally withdraw their forces from the contested areas within the next two weeks.

In addition, the withdrawal will reportedly allow establishment of a safe demilitarized buffer zone.

Reports say the agreement will become a venue for possible to the resumption of oil exports from the south.

US Hails the new agreement

south
A South Sudanese girl at independence festivities. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
In a press statement in Washington DC, Department Spokeperson Victoria Nuland says th United States welcomes the technical agreement signed between Sudan and South Sudan establishing a Safe Demilitarized Border Zone (SDBZ).

"It is a firm timeline for the withdrawal of forces, and a way ahead for the deployment of a joint border monitoring force." - Ms. Nuland

She adds that at the same time, the parties should begin the immediate implementation of all nine September 27 Cooperation Agreements.

Each of these agreements should be implemented independently without conditions or delay, Ms. Nuland underscored.

The US lauds the parties, the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel and the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei for their continued efforts to implement the African Union Roadmap and UN Security Council Resolution 2046.

Ban Ki-Moon Hails new border agreement

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday hailed the agreement signed by Sudan and South Sudan.

Ban said there should be "no further conditions" in the way of immediate implementation of the September 27 agreements including the agreement on oil.

The UN chief also reiterates the UN's readiness to "support the operations of the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism and assist the parties in the implementation of these agreements.

US Concerned with delayed implementation of September 27 agreements

With the delayed implementation of agreements between Sudan and South Sudan, the United States of America has expressed concern and disappoinment that the two countries have failed to make significant progress to implement the September 27 agreements.

US said Sudan's intent to postpone the restart of oil production until the implementation of security arrangementsruns counter to the fundamental principles of the cooperation accord and continues to undermine the economic and security situation in both states.

US asserts continued delay in resolving outstanding issues, particularly in accepting and implementing the African Union-endorsed proposal on the final status of the disputed region of Abyei, further undermines the peace process.

The US suggests that the creation of the safe demilitarized border zone between the two countries is vital to ensure that both countries honor their commitments to cease support to proxies and, most importantly, prevent inter-state conflict.

September 27 agreements

In September 2012, the United States of America hailed the agreements between Sudan and South Sudan on security, oil, financial, nationality, and trade issues.

Reports say the leaders of both countries signed a cooperation agreement after talks in the Ethiopian capital that began on Sunday

The agreements include an oil deal last month ensuring the resumption of oil exports.

In addition, both parties also agreed on a demilitarised border buffer zone where troops must withdraw 10 kilometres from the de facto line of control along the disputed frontier.

Sudan and South Sudan struck a deal to share their oil wealth

Earlier in August 2012, Sudan and South Sudan have finally struck a deal on how to share their oil wealth.

Reports say the parties have agreed on all of the financial arrangements regarding oil.

The two countries were given August 2 deadline by the United Nations to solve disputes from border security to oil payments.

The oil impasse between two countrieshas lasted more than six months.

Earlier in June 2012, Sudan and South Sudan have made significant progress to end hostilities.

The forces of South Sudan have completely pulled out of Abyei, that the forces of Khartoum, the SAF forces are also now out of Abyei.

In addition, South Sudan has recently completed withdrawal processes of its police forces from the disputed Abyei to comply with the United Nations Security Council resolution endorsing roadmap of the Africa Union Peace and Security Commission.

South Sudan reportedly complied with all aspects of resolution 2046, which calls on both sides to resume negotiations on post-partition issues and signed pact with three months.

The United States of America also welcomed the redeployment of all Republic of South Sudan Police Services out of the Abyei Area.

The US said the withdrawal of police forces in Abyei is an important step toward ending the border dispute with Sudan.

The United States has commended the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei for its strong support to this process.

The United States renewed call upon the Government of Sudan to honor its acceptance of UNSCR 2046 and the AUPSC communique, including by redeploying all of its armed forces from Abyei and by immediately ending aerial bombardments in South Sudan, which are a clear violation of Resolution 2046.

Amid the continous call from the United Nations and the United States to cease the hostilities between Sudan and South Sudan, violence and tensions continue to escalate in the region earlier this year.

South Sudan's military was involved in the attack on and seizure of Heglig, home to Sudan's largest remaining source of oil following the South's secession.

Late of March 2012, military clashes have erupted in the border region of Sudan and South Sudan.

In July 2011, South Sudan, Africa's 54th nation was born. Millions of people celebrated a new national identity and new national promise. For more than two decades, Sudan has been riven by intense fighting over land and resources.

However, the security situation in the disputed area of Abyei remains fragile, with both South Sudan and Sudan failing to withdraw their armed forces as agreed under a demilitarization pact reached in June 2011.

South Sudan became independent from Sudan on 9 July. A referendum on the status of the Abyei area on the border was to have been held in January this year, but never took place amid disagreement on voter eligibility.

Dozens of people have been killed in 2012 as a result of clashes in Abyei and surrounding areas and tens of thousands of have been forced to flee their homes.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain english. Read more stories by Mina Fabulous. Contact Mina through NewsBlaze.

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