The United States of America has condemned the attack in Sudan’s disputed Abyei region, in which the Paramount Chief of the Ngok Dinka, Kual Deng Majok, and a United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) Ethiopian peacekeeper were killed.
Reports say two other peacekeepers were seriously wounded in the attack of which one later died.
The attack reportedly occurred in crossfire between UNISFA troops and Misseriya militia in the Abeyi area.
Kual Deng Majok was part of my team which went to Abyei to hold a meeting with Sudanese delegation.
US strongly condemns the attack
In her remarks in New York, US Permanent Representative Susan E. Rice says the US strongly condemns yesterday’s attack on a convoy of the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) and a delegation of the Ngok Dinka, which resulted in the tragic deaths of Ngok Dinka Paramount Chief Kuol Deng Kuol, an Ethiopian peacekeeper, and possibly others.
“We extend our deepest condolences to the victims’ families, to the Ngok Dinka community, to the people of Ethiopia, and to the United Nations and hope for the full recovery of two wounded peacekeepers.” – Ms. Rice
The US urges all parties to exercise maximum restraint in the coming days and weeks and to use the mechanisms in place, including the Joint Security Committee, to ensure an expeditious, effective, and transparent investigation of the circumstances of this terrible incident.
She emphasizes that the perpetrators of this attack must be arrested and held accountable.
Reports say Paramount Chief Kuol Deng Kuol was pursuing a negotiated agreement for Abyei just minutes before the attack.
“His memory and that of the UN peacekeeper who died protecting others can best be honored by redoubling efforts to end the violence and find a lasting solution to the status of Abyei.” – Ms. Rice
Ms. Rice highlighted that those committed to peace will continue to have a partner in the United States.
Sudan and South Sudan Agree on Safe Demilitarized Border Zone
In March this year, rormer civil war foes Sudan and South Sudan signed an agreement 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
The United States welcomed the technical agreement signed between Sudan and South Sudan establishing a Safe Demilitarized Border Zone (SDBZ).
US said it is a firm timeline for the withdrawal of forces, and a way ahead for the deployment of a joint border monitoring force.
The US urges 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.
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.
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, 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.