Ban welcomes talks between Sudan and South Sudan

25 May 2012

Ban welcomes talks between Sudan and South Sudan

24 May 2012 - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the announcement of the Sudanese and South Sudanese governments to resume talks in Addis Ababa next week.

The talks will take place under the auspices of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel.

"The Secretary-General encourages the parties to reconvene in an atmosphere of goodwill and calls on them to demonstrate the flexibility necessary to reach agreement on outstanding issues in accordance with the guidance and deadlines set by the African Union Peace and Security Council and the UN Security Council,' Mr. Ban's spokesperson said in a statement.

South Sudan became independent from Sudan in July 2011. Peace between the two neighbours came under threat in April after South Sudanese forces moved into Sudan's oil field in Heglig before eventually departing, and Sudanese forces bombarded South Sudanese territory.

Almost one year after independence, unresolved issues between the two countries, including demarcation of their common border, continue to heighten tensions between them.

In a unanimously adopted resolution in early May, the Security Council determined that the prevailing situation along the border between Sudan and South Sudan constituted "a serious threat to international peace and security".

Last week, the Council demanded that the two countries finalize the establishment of a Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism for the contested border area in line with an agreement they signed in 2011.

"He stresses the necessity of commencing the work of the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism for peace and security along the border and confirms UNISFA's readiness to immediately support its operations," the spokesperson added.

Established in 2011, the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNIFSA) is expected to support the operations of a Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism between the two countries.

Last week, the Security Council extended the UNIFSA's mandate for another six months.

The Council called on the two countries to immediately end hostilities and resume negotiations, and voiced its intention to take "appropriate measures" if the parties did not comply.