Home | News    Thursday 30 June 2011

Sudan’s ex-foes agree on demilitarised zone on North-South borders


June 29, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The ruling National Congress Party (NCP) on Wednesday announced that they reached what it described as a "partial agreement" for the creation of a 20 kilometer demilitarised zone on the North-South borders monitored by civilians with checkpoints manned by Ethiopian peacekeepers.

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FILE - Sudanese presidential assistant Nafie Ali Nafie (Reuters)

The Sudanese presidential assistant Nafie Ali Nafie made the announcement to reporters upon his return from Addis Ababa where he led the NCP delegation in negotiations with the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) mediated by an African Union (AU) panel headed by former South African president Thabo Mbeki.

"We agreed on a buffer zone on the borders between North and South [that is] ten kilometers wide to the south and the north under the control of a civilian group and limited checkpoints [guarded] by Ethiopian troops" Nafie said.

Wednesday’s agreement is the latest in a series of accords brokered by the AU relating to flashpoints including Abyei and South Kordofan.

The Abyei accord signed this month provided for the withdrawal of Northern and Southern forces from the contested region and deployment of a 4,200-strong Ethiopian peacekeeping force that was authorized by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Monday.

The UN force would monitor the withdrawal of northern troops which seized the oil-producing district last May in retaliation for an ambush blamed on SPLA units.

Yesterday the NCP and SPLM-North signed a framework agreement that sets the groundwork for political and security arrangements in the two border states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan.

Fighting broke out between the Northern military and fighters associated with the SPLM in Southern Kordofan on June 5, stoking tensions ahead of the split.

Nafie sought to downplay the mandate of the Ethiopian peacekeepers in Abyei that was made under Chapter VII by the UNSC.

"There are murmurs and a misunderstandings about the issue being Chapter VII or any other agreed tasks for the Ethiopian troops with the consent of the parties is that these forces will maintain security, peace, protection of civilians and prevent the entry of any other forces," the NCP official said.

"We do not care whether [its under] the seventh or sixth chapter," before underscoring the government’s keenness to impose stability and peace in Abyei.

On the issue of SPLM-North being able to operate after the South secedes, Nafie said that the Southern affiliated sector has the right to register as a political party in accordance with the constitution and need not take permission from the NCP.

Nafie stressed that both sides have yet to reach an agreement on cessation of hostilities in South Kordofan, but noted that a joint military commission from NCP and SPLM will meet next week in Addis Ababa along with a political committee that will discuss the political arrangements.

The presidential assistant revealed that the NCP and SPLM agreed to give Southerners in the North and Northerners in the South a period of nine months to seek necessary permits to stay and work or depart. He did not say however what criteria would be used to determine eligibility for residency.

He further said that there are still roadblocks preventing an accord on post-referendum arrangements relating to economic aspects as well as border demarcation. Nafie added that these items could be negotiated after the official independence of South Sudan on July 9.

Southerners chose to separate from the North in a January referendum, the climax of a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war in Sudan, which killed some two million people and destabilised much of the region.

After a peaceful referendum and the North’s endorsement of the result, the slow division of Africa’s largest country has turned tense in its final stages, including a military standoff in parts of the ill-defined border regions.


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  • 30 June 2011 11:09, by Cibaipiath Junub Sudan

    Oh Dear oh Dear;
    The definition of Abyei boundary has not been known by both delegates in Addis ababa. Abyei though small, its geographical area is not limited at radius of 10 KM. There is something wrong. The Ethiopian peacekeepers are to see themselves in a cell if they can not explore the whole of Abyei for full protection the civilians.

    repondre message

  • 30 June 2011 12:26, by Lorolokin

    By: Editor-in-Chief
    Malabo Equatorial Guinea – First Vice President, GoSS President, SPLM Chief, 1st Lt. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit affirmed that the Republic of South Sudan (ROSS) will be a sisterly state to Sudan.

    Kiir stated, after meeting Vice President Ali Osman Mohammed Taha in his residence in Malabo the capital of Equatorial Guinea, on the sidelines of the Seventeenth African Union Summit, that the (ROSS) will preserve social, political, and diplomatic relations with the Republic of Sudan, adding that the relations between the people of the north and the south are brotherly and that the security tensions in some areas are just violations committed by some elements.
    The two Vice Presidents discussed the recent developments on the dialogue between the CPA partners in Addis Ababa.

    On his part, First Vice President affirmed the readiness of ROSS to resolve all the outstanding issues between the two parties to enjoy security, peace and stability in the north and the south as well.

    It is worth noting that 1st Lt. Gen. Salva Kiir received an invitation from the African Union to attend its Seventeenth summit as an observer.

    repondre message

    • 30 June 2011 14:45, by Edema Darius Marcello

      Critical appeal to CPA Partners and the Mediators, I think there is some thing wrong some where, if one asks, how many peace accords have we reached since then after CPA was signed? The two partners are quick in signing peace deal but very slow in implementing the peace accord they always signed. Do they sign with critical thinking or sign at party’s interest or intenational pressure, if so they are buying time mean while citizen lifes are disappearing.

      Positive political thinking is good for ruling political parties (peace partners).
      I believe when we signed for peace we signed on behalf of the entire citizen of Sudan. The NCP Peace partners are always conscious of the party interest than the interest of the citizen in Sudan. How do you dare the NCP to sign peace accord with the SPLA on behalf of the citizen they aimed to extinguish from their ancestral land? These make the implementation more difficult, think and have positive political interest to serve the interest of the citizen of your country, without considering color, religion, riches, forceful land grabbing and thinking only to preserve human destroying party.

      Brotherly relation on paper is not worthy profiting. I’m quite sure none of the signatories have ever experienced death, only pay witnesses to death body, if they have experienced death they will not talk about brotherhood of North and South

      I believe the SPLA and the citizen work jointly to preserve both the political interest of citizen and the party. Full of broadmindedness they look and full of misery they go to agony with the pain of their fellow blacks subjected to genocide by the Nation Congress ruling Party. They signed peace accord sometimes out of fear and anguish of their brother’s subjected in bereavement. These might prepare the next generation to set foot on Inter-state war though people are imagining genocide in the Southern region.

      Big shame on Sudan ruling party (NCP) that made Sudan to be listed as the third most failed state in the world after Chad and Somalia.

      repondre message

  • 30 June 2011 14:25, by Bush

    This is useless and nonsense, SPLM-North is already a registered party and doesn’t need any permission from NCP to exist in the North, they are there by default and must continue to exist there.

    Christians United for Israel

    repondre message

  • 30 June 2011 20:36, by Emmanuel Ajang Solomon

    OK.That is another point to know from the parties, as buying time and the real situation will be witness by all the citizens of the country after independent. Why simply because bashir is doing his own things with Militias while Kiir and Taha are doing good relation.

    Kiir and Taha, be careful otherwise U don’t regret what U are doing when he comes from China. I think we are soon seeing differne Bashir since his plane was almost stop or hijack by Torkimistan and Tadjkistan governments,now he will say it was Kiir,Taha who inform the USA of my travlling route.

    Kiir becareful of the Bashir moves since he have all the option on his hands and he doesn’t have kids at the same time also. I think he is going to use Defa shabie with Athuor forces since Gatdet is prooving to be weak and Lam Akol advice him to try Athour.

    repondre message

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