Sudan and South Sudan Make Progress to End Hostilities

With the recent completion of South Sudan of its police forces has recently completed withdrawal processes of its police forces from the disputed Abyei, the United States of America today stated that Sudan and South Sudan have made significant progress to end hostilities.

At a Security Council Stateout in New York, Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations Ambassador Susan E. Rice confirmed that 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.

Recruits for the Southern Sudan Police Service (SSPS) perform a training exercise at their academy in Rajaf, South Sudan. The recruits will provide security for Southern Sudan’s upcoming referenda, scheduled for 9 January 2011.

UN Photo/Paul Banks

“These are positive developments, and we welcome them.” -Ms. Rice

She notes that it’s important for the North to complete the withdrawal of all of its police elements, including the oil police.

In addition, the US welcomes that two parties have returned to the negotiating table as of early this week.

Many difficult issues remain and the progress in these talks is very nascent, she added.

“The fact that they’re back at the table and continue to work through these issues is certainly better than the alternative.” -Ms. Rice

Mr. Rice also highlighted that there have been mutual allegations of military activity and skirmishes along the border.

There have been allegations also of aerial bombardments, she noted.

She cites that it’s been not possible for UN elements to confirm any of these reports definitively, what is absolutely clear is that the two sides remain closely poised, in close proximity, and seemingly on a hair trigger.

“So this is still quite a dangerous, quite a precarious situation along the border.” -Ms. Rice

Hence the importance of activating the Joint Border Verification Monitoring Mission, for the two sides to send their personnel to that mission, and for the two sides to quickly implement their obligations to demilitarize the border, Ms. Rice stressed.

Earlier this month, 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 is reportedly willing to comply with all aspects of resolution 2046, which calls on both sides to resume negotiations on post-partition issues and signed pact with three months.

Meanwhile, the United States of America 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 commends 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.

Earlier this year, South Sudan’s military 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 this year, military clashes have erupted in the border region of Sudan and South Sudan.

Media reports say South Sudan accused Sudan of sending warplanes to bomb two border areas.

Meanwhile, Sudan accused the southern army of attacking the oil-producing Heglig region wherein parts of which are claimed by both warring nations.

The military clashes prompted Sudan’s President Omar Al-Bashir to suspend plans to attend a meeting with his South Sudanese counterpart Salva Kiir on 3 April.

On 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 this year 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. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.