The Security Council today lauded the agreements reached by the leaders of Sudan and South Sudan in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on Thursday as a “major breakthrough” for peace.
“The members of the Council warmly congratulate the leaders and negotiators on both sides for demonstrating courageous leadership to find durable solutions to the challenging disputes that divided them,” said a statement read out to the press by Ambassador Peter Wittig of Germany, which holds the Council’s rotating presidency for this month.
“These agreements represent a major breakthrough for the establishment of peace, stability and prosperity in both Sudan and South Sudan and give cause for genuine hope that the peoples of these two countries will realize the fruits of lasting peace and friendship.”
South Sudan became independent from Sudan in July last year, six years after the signing of the peace agreement that ended decades of warfare between the north and the south. However, the peace between the two countries has been threatened in recent months by armed clashes along their common border and outstanding post-independence issues that have yet to be resolved.
The talks, held under the auspices of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel, were designed to enable the two nations to fulfil their obligations under a so-called roadmap aimed at easing tensions, facilitating the resumption of negotiations on post-secession relations and normalizing the relations between the two countries.
The Council underlined the importance of the immediate and full implementation of the agreements as well as the need to continue working with relevant parties to resolve outstanding issues, such as the final status of the Abyei territory and disputed and claimed areas.
They also reiterated their grave concern about the worsening humanitarian situation the states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile in Sudan, and urged the Government to expedite the unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance to the affected civilian populations as rapidly as possible.
The two states, which lie on the border with South Sudan, have been beset by fighting between Sudanese forces and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) since last year. The SPLM-N was previously part of the rebel movement that fought for the independence of South Sudan.
The Council strongly urged the Sudanese Government and the SPLM-N to engage in direct talks to agree to and implement a cessation of hostilities and create a conducive environment for further progress on political and security issues.