January 19, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The leadership of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) rebels welcome any agreement between Sudan and South Sudan for the sake of peace, tranquility and interests of the people in both countries, an official said.
Yasir Arman, the SPLM-N Secretary General, in a 19 January statement, said his group fully supports of the establishment of a dimilitaterised border zone between the two Sudans, and in particular, the agreement on the demilitarized buffer zone between the two countries to establish peace.
“The establishment of a demilitarized buffer zone emphasizes the urgency and the necessity to include the SPLM-N in order to reach an effective demilitarized buffer zone given the fact that the SPLM-N controls more than 40% of the Sudan international border with the Republic of South Sudan, that will entail the need of the consultations between the SPLM-N, the AUHIP [African Union High level Implementation Panel], the Ethiopian Prime Minister, the United Nations and the other countries supporting the peace process,” Arman said.
The talks between neighboring states of Sudan and South Sudan, which was held in Addis Ababa, have been adjourned till mid-February after the two sides failed to forge an agreement on a wide array of security and border issues.
The Sudanese defense minister Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein, at a press conference in Khartoum airport, said that the AU mediation team led by former South African president Thabo Mbeki has submitted a proposal to the negotiating teams of the two countries.
He further said the two countries failed to resolve their differences over the disputed region of Abyei, borders, disengagement 9th and 10th divisions in Blue Nile and South Kordofan from South Sudan’s People Liberation Army (SPLA) and defining Mile-14 area.
However, South Sudan’s Justice Minister, John Luk Jok blamed the breakdown in talks over “unjustifiable and persistent” demands by Sudan for “disengagement and disarmament” of the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Army-North (SPLM-N) by the South Sudanese army (SPLA).
In the statement, the SPLM-N Secretary General reiterats the groups’ readiness and willingness to cooperate in the interest of peace and tranquility of the border between the two countries, especially when it comes to securing the interests of the civilian population.
“It is worth mentioning that the joint monitoring teams for the borders will include a military personnel from the Sudan government and without an agreement with the SPLM-N, it is only logical that the SPLM-N will welcome all the monitor personnel from the region, the international community and the United Nations in the area of our control minus the Sudan government military personnel who will have no place in our areas of control without ending the war or reaching an acceptable formula for both of us,” he said.
“We welcome any consultations regarding this issue,” he added.