June 13, 2012 (KHARTOUM) — Sudan and South Sudan have no choice but to implement peace and security road map prepared by the African Union and endorsed by the UN Security Council under Chapter VII, warned Jean Ping , the union’s commission chief.
- Jean Ping, Chairman African Union Commission (Getty)
Sudanese and South Sudanese delegations met in Addis Ababa from 28 May to 7 June to discuss the establishment of a buffer zone on the border, end of support to rebel groups, activation of a joint committee to monitor the border, formation of a investigation team.
However, the parties failed to conclude an agreement as they rejected the maps proposed by each side to establish the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone (SDBZ). Further, South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayadrit said they consider to resort the international arbitration to resolve their difference over the border with Sudan.
Khartoum, on the other hand refused a map for the common border prepared by the African mediation team because it include "The 14 miles” area located south of the Bahr el Arab/Kiir River, among the disputed areas. It also maintains an oil police force in Abyei.
In a statement released on 12 June, Jean Ping reminded the two parties that they have a frame time to conclude an agreement over the issues included in the roadmap as their meetings since the 2d May 2012 are conducted under Chapter VII of the UN charter.
"These are mandatory steps to be implemented within the timelines outlined in the Roadmap," he emphasized, before to call them to implement "their obligations under the Roadmap, immediately and without precondition."
Ping further went to explain that the adoption of a "temporary security line" does not mean to define the disputed common border between the two countries, but aims to implement the security measures for purposes of a cessation of hostilities.
"Objections by either State to the proposed SDBZ based on claims to sovereignty or the final status of disputed areas are irrelevant and are founded on a basic misunderstanding of the purpose of the SDBZ."
The head of the African Union commission released his statement after a trip by the head of the mediation team, Thabo Mbeki to New York to attend a meeting of the UN Security Council on the security issues in Africa.
The Security Council will hold another closed door consultations meeting on Thursday 14 June to discuss the Sudan-South Sudan situation.
Despite the withdrawal of South Sudanese troops from Heglig on 20 April, the two countries continue to mobilize troops and broadcast hostile propaganda. The two parties also continue to accuse each other of transgressing the UN resolution 2046.
In a briefing to foreign diplomats in Khartoum on Wednesday, Mutrif Sidiq a member of the Sudanese negotiating team said South Sudan’s demand to seize the international arbitration to settle the border dispute raises doubts about its seriousness to pursue negotiations.
He further said South Sudan still harbors the Justice and Equality Movement rebels warning that this issue, which violates the UN resolution will affects the upcoming round of talks announced for the 21 June.
The roadmap gave the parties three months to reach agreements over the disputed issues including border demarcation, Abyei status, oil transportation fee.
After 2 August, the African Union mediation panel is requested to submit its proposals to settle these disputes to the UN Security Council.