June 24, 2012 (KHARTOUM) —Sudanese delegation in Addis Ababa talks once again accused Juba of seeking to fail the ongoing process after statements by South Sudanese official about resorting to international arbitration on the disputed border.
- Omer Dahab (SUNA)
Nhial Deng Nihial told reporters last Friday that his country wants that the issue of disputed areas on the border be settled through the international arbitration as the parties have failed to reach an agreement during bilateral talks.
Earlier this month President Salva Kiir disclosed in a speech before the lawmakers he wrote to the African Union Peace and Security Council members about this demand. "We are prepared to subject our claims to scrutiny," he added.
Omer Dahad, spokesperson of the Sudanese negotiating team said on Sunday that such option indicates a prior decision to fail the negotiations. "The issue which is of concern for the Sudanese party should also raise the concern of the international community," he added.
The spokesperson pointed out that the proposition of arbitration came from Juba and not the African Union mediation, adding the parties have many other options before to resort to the international justice.
Nhial said they hope that Sudan accepts this request because the international arbitration requires the consent of the two parties. He stressed that South Sudan refuses war and considers negotiations over this issue are deadlocked since six years.
President Bashir in a speech before a women conference in Khartoum on Sunday said that his government made concessions in the past to the South Sudan because it was hoping to preserve the unity of the country, but now after the secession there will be no more concession to Juba, he said
The two delegations at the level o the joint political and security committee did not yet agree on the operationalization of the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone (SDBZ). However they reached an agreement on the activation on the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JBVMM).
Dhab further told the official SUNA that the experts agreed that the buffer zone will span 40 kilometers to the north and south of the border. The mediation initially proposed that the demilitarized zone will be 10 miles from the two sides of the common border.
He added that the experts also agreed on the definition of "cessation of hostilities" but he did not elaborate.
Khartoum demands that the SPLM-N rebels in Blue Nile and South Kordofan be included in the security arrangements saying they are under the command of South Sudanese army, but Juba refuses such request.
Sudan also demands Juba to expel Darfur rebel groups saying their camps are now inside the South Sudanese territory.