Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the signing of a non-aggression and cooperation pact between the governments of Sudan and South Sudan and urged both countries to maintain the positive spirit that led to the agreement and abide by its provisions.
The Memorandum of Understanding on Non-Aggression and Cooperation signed in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on Friday calls for the respect for each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, non-interference in the internal affairs and rejects the use of force in relations between the two countries.
Mr. Ban also encouraged both countries to reach agreement on all other outstanding issues, according to a statement issued by his spokesperson.
South Sudan became an independent State last July, six months after its people voted overwhelmingly to secede from Sudan.
Tensions between the two countries over unresolved border disagreements have simmered since, with a dispute over tariffs charged by Sudan on South Sudan for the use of a pipeline and port to export oil recently further straining relations.
On Friday, Mr. Ban voiced concern over the lack of progress in talks to resolve post-independence issues, as well as the possibility of an escalation in tensions after unilateral decisions taken by the two governments over the oil dispute.