A deadly shelling of the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JBVMM) interim headquarters in Kadugli, Sudan’s Southern Kordofan state has killed one United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) peacekeeper from Ethiopia.
Reports say the shelling was perpetrated by the elements of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N). The shelling also wounded two Ethiopian UN peacekeepers.
The U.N. logistics office in Kadugli was used to support the U.N. peacekeeping force deployed in the Abyei region, an oil disputed region by Sudan and South Sudan.
US condemns the attack
In a press statement by Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki says the United States strongly condemns the shelling of the UN logistics office.
“We extend our deepest condolences to the loved ones of the UNISFA peacekeeper, and also to the Government of Ethiopia, which has lost three UNISFA peacekeepers already this year.” – Ms. Psaki
The US urges all parties to stop conducting military activities in areas occupied by non-combatants, such as Kadugli.
In addition, Ms. Psaki highlighted that the attacks on UN peacekeepers may constitute war crimes.
She points out that the use of indirect fire against civilian targets by the SPLM-N and the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), along with indiscriminate aerial bombardment of civilian areas by the SAF, violate international law, and have resulted in civilian deaths and widespread displacement.
The incidents also underscores the need to immediately restart the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP)-facilitated direct talks between the Government of Sudan and the SPLM-N to allow for immediate and unhindered humanitarian access and the cessation of hostilities in the Two Areas, Ms. Psaki added.
She stresses these talks are an important first step toward resolving the conflict between the SPLM-N and the Government of Sudan, and are intricately linked to the resolution of a number of remaining issues.
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.