THE AFRICAN UNION LOOKS FORWARD TO A SUCCESSFUL SUMMIT MEETING BETWEEN THE PRESIDENTS OF THE REPUBLIC OF SUDAN AND THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN
Addis Ababa, 22 September 2012
The Chairperson of the Commission of the African
Union (AU), Jean Ping, looks forward to the forthcoming Summit meeting between
President Omar Hassan al Bashir of the Republic of Sudan and President Salva Kiir
Mayardit of the Republic of South Sudan, scheduled to take place in Addis Ababa, on
23 September 2012. He would like to encourage both Presidents to take advantage
of this unique opportunity to reach agreement on the outstanding issues in the postsecession
relations between their two countries.
Over the years, the AU has maintained an intense and sustained engagement with
the Sudanese stakeholders and people. In October 2009, the Peace and Security
Council (PSC) established the AU High?Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), chaired
by former President Thabo Mbeki and including former Presidents Abdulsalami
Abubakar and Pierre Buyoya. This has represented an unprecedented degree of
African engagement and assistance at the highest level.
Throughout its engagement, the AU, notably through the AUHIP, has maintained the
view that solutions to the challenges at hand lie with the Sudanese people
themselves. The AU also recognises that the crisis affecting Sudan and South Sudan
is an African crisis, and as such, Africa has a duty to assist the two States to achieve a
It was in this spirit that the PSC, deeply concerned by the outbreak of fighting along
the border between Sudan and South Sudan, issued its Communiqué and Roadmap
of 24 April 2012, in an effort to assist the Parties to return to the negotiating table
and overcome the challenges facing their relationship. The PSC was also concerned
at the eruption of armed conflict in the “Two Areas” of Southern Kordofan and Blue
Nile, which lie within the Republic of Sudan.
The AU applauds the manner in which the Sudanese parties managed a peaceful and
credible referendum on self?determination and the subsequent transition to the independence of the Republic of South Sudan. The AU understands that this
transition has presented enormous challenges to the people and leadership of the
two States: Sudan faces both the immediate economic challenges presented by the
secession of the South, as well as the greater and more strategic challenge of
redefining itself as a nation and how it relates to its citizens; South Sudan has begun
its journey as an independent state, which brings with it many responsibilities and
the necessity to give serious consideration to how it wishes to build its future. Both
States continue to face the challenge of governing diverse societies.
Whilst these challenges are daunting, the AU is convinced that this transition also
presents significant opportunities for the peoples of Sudan and South Sudan. Africa
and the world at large are united in their support for the peaceful coexistence and
mutual viability of both States.
As the deadline specified by the PSC Roadmap and endorsed by United Nations
Security Council resolution 2046 (2012) approaches, the AU is fully aware that
difficult decisions must be made by both sides to finalise negotiations on their postsecession
The AU stresses that national leadership, especially at historic moments such as
these, carries the burden of decision?making. The decisions on issues of profound
significance to citizens and governments are undoubtedly difficult and can involve
painful choices. Nonetheless, recognizing the long?term imperative of building two
viable States, good neighbours and at peace with one another, and maintaining the
close relationships between the peoples of Sudan and South Sudan, the AU is
confident that the leaders will rise to the occasion and leave a legacy of peace for
generations to come.