Sudan and South Sudan To Meet On Safe Demilitarized Border Zone

Leaders of South Sudan, Sudan Agree To Meet Again

The United States of America welcomed the summit between Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and President Salva Kiir of South Sudan, who met in Juba this week.

A press statement by US Department Spokesperson Marie Harf, welcomed the agreement of the two leaders, to boost the establishment of the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone (SDBZ) and the implementation of the September 27, 2012 agreements for resolving issues stemming from the separation of Sudan and South Sudan.

The US said it takes note of the two Presidents’ decisions to fully establish the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone (SDBZ) by mid-November, open border crossings, and facilitate movement and trade between the two countries including through the convening of a dialogue on “soft borders.”

Line for voter registration in Abyei, 2009.

In addition, the US called on both countries to make progress on resolving the final status for Abyei on the basis of the September 21, 2012 African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) proposal.

“We also call on Abyei community leaders to refrain from actions that could increase tensions in Abyei.” – Ms. Harf

What Is The Conclusion Of The Summit?

President Al-Bashir traveled to Juba, the national capital of South Sudan to attend the summit with President Kiir. They reportedly discussed solutions to relevant issues between the two countries.

Reports say that the two partied agreed to expedite the determination of the zero line to establish a safe demilitarized zone in the border area before mid-November.

In addition, the two countries agreed to work together to halt violence including supporting and hosting armed movements.

The disputed oil-rich area of Abyei has been witnessing growing tension since May when the Nadhir (Chieftain) of Dinka Ngok tribe, Kual Deng Majok, and two of his companions were killed in clashes between members of the Miseriya tribe and peacekeepers from the UN Interim Security Force in Abyei.

Zambian peacekeepers from the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) walk in front of an armoured patrol in the volatile region of Abyei, central Sudan. United Nations military observers (UNMOs) and peacekeeper patrols have been steadily expanding their reach throughout the Abyei area in a concerted drive to increase patrol and observation activities. UN PHOTO

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. 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.

Deal To Share Oil Wealth

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

The parties agreed on all of the financial arrangements regarding oil.

The two countries were given an August 2 deadline by the United Nations to solve disputes from border security to oil payments. The oil impasse between two countries lasted more than six months.

Earlier in June 2012, Sudan and South Sudan made significant progress to end hostilities. The forces of both countries completely pulled out of Abyei.

The withdrawal of police forces from the disputed Abyei was done to comply with the United Nations Security Council resolution endorsing the roadmap of the Africa Union Peace and Security Commission.

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

The United States of America welcomed the redeployment of all Republic of South Sudan Police Services out of the Abyei Area, an important step toward ending the border dispute with Sudan.

The United States commended the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei for its strong support to this process. They also renewed the 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 continuous call by the United Nations and the United States to cease the hostilities between Sudan and South Sudan, violence and tensions continued 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 in March 2012, military clashes 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 was riven by intense fighting over land and resources.

At that time the security situation in the disputed area of Abyei remained 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, but never took place amid disagreement on voter eligibility.

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

Mina Fabulous
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.