March 6, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - The Joint Political and Security Committee (JPSC) meeting between Sudan and South Sudan, which is expected to begin on Thursday, will discuss the implementing a border buffer zone as well as disengagement from the harbouring of rebel groups, Sudan’s defence minister said on Wednesday.
- Sudan’s Defence Minister Abdel Raheem Mohammed Hussein (R) arrives with his counterpart John Kong Nyuon of South Sudan before a news conference in Khartoum December 10, 2011 (Reuters)
Delegations from Sudan and South Sudan are expected to restart talks in Addis Ababa to discuss the implementation of the bilateral Cooperation Agreement signed in September last year. The JPSC will hold a meeting on the implementation of the security arrangements.
Sudan’s defence minister, who is the Sudanese head of JPSC, Abdel-Rahim Hussein, said in statements to Sudan TV before departing for Addis Ababa that he goes with an open heart and mind, given that the signed agreements are enough to repair relations between the two countries.
The minister further expressed hopes that the coming round of talks can overcome the obstacles that hampered the previous rounds of talks.
He reiterated Sudan’s commitment to all the agreements signed by the two countries in September 2012.
Tensions escalated recently on the common border between the two countries after reports about troops build-up from both sides.
Khartoum has renewed its claims that Juba is providing direct military support to Sudanese rebels, while Juba has repeated accusation that Sudan has carried out attacks inside its territory.
Abdel-Rahim before leaving Khartoum held a rare meeting on Wednesday with the former presidential adviser Mansour Khaled who is seeking to facilitate a compromise between the two countries.
Khaled who was a former adviser to Salva Kiir and a member of the SPLM political bureau before the secession of South Sudan was recently in Juba to discuss the outstanding issues and differences between the two countries.
The Sudanese negotiating team, led by Idriss Abdel-Gadir arrived on Wednesday in Addis Ababa where it is expected to hold a meeting with the South Sudanese delegation headed by Pagan Amum to discuss the implementation of the eight-month-old Cooperation Agreement.
Sudan, which says that implementation of the security arrangements should be done first, demands that Juba disengage with the SPLM-N as provided in the 2005 peace agreement, but Juba at different times said it had cut ties with the Sudanese rebels.
On the buffer zone, Sudan first proposed to extend the demilitarised area on the common border to include Blue Nile and South Kordofan, but Juba refused this idea. After what, The Sudanese army said Juba refuses to pull out its troops from the disputed area of Mile 14.