September 5, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - Thabo Mbeki, head of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), said he felt a strong willingness from Sudan and South Sudan to build flexible and firm relationships taking into account the interest of the two peoples.
- Sudan’s president Omer Al-Bashir (L) listens to AUHIP chairman Thabo Mbeki in his office in Khartoum on 5 September 2013 (SUNA)
Meeki made his statement following a meeting with president Omer Al-Bashir in Khartoum where he arrived some 48 hours after the departure of the South Sudanese president Salva Kiir who had been in a one-day visit for talks with his Sudanese counterpart on post secession issues.
The former South African president predicted that the two countries will normalise their relations and resolve the outstanding issues smoothly and efficiently.
Mbeki did not elaborate about the topics he discussed with Bashir but, added that the joint communiqué released at the end of Kiir’s visit to Khartoum last Tuesday represents a good foundation to move in building strong relationships.
According to the joint communiqué, the two leaders agreed to overcome all the obstacles hampering the implementation of the cooperation agreements, activate all the committees related to its enforcement and tasked the two foreign ministers to coordinate and supervise their activities.
They agreed to facilitate the work of the African committees proposed by the mediation to support the implementation of the signed agreements.
Bashir and Kiir also pledged to continue constructive dialogue to resolve the remaining issues including Abyei and border disputed areas. The statement also provides the need to reach an agreement on the formation of the temporary institutions in Abyei.
Mbeki further announced his departure on Friday to Juba where he is expected to hold similar discussions with the president Salva Kiir.
On Thursday the AUHIP announced the return to Juba of the Ad Hoc Investigative Mechanism (AIM), after inspecting various locations in South Sudan. Five days ago, the committee had left Juba heading to Bentiu, Yada camp, Renk and Raja.
The mechanism which tasked with verifications of claims to respective rebel groups will fly on Khartoum next week.