March 19, 2013 (ADDIS ABABA) – Sudan and South Sudan agreed to form a new mechanism to deal with accusations of supporting or harbouring of rebel groups in the two countries.
- Sudan’s Idris Mohamed Abdel Gader (L), African Union-led panel head Thabo Mbeki (C) and South Sudan’s Pagan Amum (R) holding the signed implementation matrix on the cooperation agreements, on 12 March 2013 (AUHIP photo)
The African Union High Level Implementation (AUHIP) convened a two day meeting on 18-19 March for the Joint Political and Security Mechanism (JPSM) to discuss the effective withdrawal of troops as it was agreed earlier this month, but also tackle additional committees to implement other security measures they agreed last year.
The party agreed to form "a joint committee to be mandated to deal with any concern and complaints may constitute a violation to the MOU on Non Aggression and Cooperation of 14th February 2012, as well as the Mutual Cooperation Agreement of 27th September 2012," says a text signed by two parties at the end of the meeting.
The text, which is released by the mediation, emphasised that these concerns and complaints include "harbouring and supporting" of "rebel Movements and negative Forces" by both countries.
Sudan and South Sudan traded accusations of supporting and harbouring rebel groups from both sides. The mistrust between the two sides prevented the implementation of any deal they reached in the past particularly the Cooperation Agreement of 27 September 2012.
The 19 March decision on rebels issues allows the two sides to seriously handle the mutual accusations support to rebel groups and pave the way to solve the ongoing conflict in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan.
Khartoum and Juba will prepare proposals on the formation of this committee and its term of references and discuss it in an extraordinary JPSM meeting.
The African mediation will determine the date of this special meeting.
"Up to that time the Military Intelligence Chiefs on both States should be tasked to conduct regular meeting joint Meetings for the resolution of Complaints and Concerns if any", the text concludes.
Sudanese government delegation, from Addis Ababa, released a statement providing that the sealing of this agreement "opens the door for unlimited cooperation between the two countries in all fields".
While the defence minister Abdel Rahim Hussein said that this deal moved the relations between the two countries to a new stage, "a stage of cooperation and collaboration" he added.
He underlined that this new agreement deals with the situation beyond the buffer zone and aims to restore between the two countries and remove factors of suspicion and mistrust.