October 13, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The African Union chief mediator is expected to start next Tuesday a visit to Khartoum and Juba before briefing the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) on the efforts of his panel to settle unresolved issues between the two capitals.
- Chief mediator for Sudan-South Sudan peace talks, former South Africa president, Thabo Mbeki (L) and Pagan Amum (R) Secretary General of the SPLM (Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement) attend a press conference following a closed-door session of talks in Juba, South Sudan on May 21, 2012 (AFP)
Former South African President Thabo Mbeki will tackle the nine deals the two presidents Omer Al-Bashir and Salva Kiir signed on 27 September; and what he plans to do over Abyei and the other disputed border areas.
Mbeki also will present a report to the UN Security Council which is expected to endorse the outcome of the AUPSC meeting.
Sudanese sources in Khartoum said he will discuss the steps taken by the two countries to implement the signed deal which are incorporated into the "Cooperation Agreement". He will also discuss his proposals over Abyei and the disputed areas on the common borders.
Sudan refused a proposal to hold an Abyei referendum in October 2013, while South Sudan does not seem enthusiastic to the idea of an administration where the Abyei Legislative Council will be chaired by a member of the Misseriya tribe.
The US Ambassador to the Security Council praised Mbeki’s proposal over Abyei saying it "is consistent with the Abyei protocol and the findings of the Permanent Court of Arbitration." Susan Rice further expressed hope that it will remain the basis of the ongoing efforts to settle the conflict.
Mbeki recently asked Khartoum to send its ambassador to South Sudan, and demanded Juba take tangible measures supporting the implementation of the signed deals.
Mutrif Sidiq who was part of the negotiating team arrived last Tuesday in Juba as the South Sudanese parliament was recalled to deliberate on the 27 September agreement and to ratify it.
The chief mediator also asked that the defence ministers of both countries assign their the joint force that will be deployed to the disputed 14 mile area between Northern Bahr el Ghazal and South Darfur.