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Sudans’ stalled security talks moved to Addis Ababa

December 10, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan and South Sudan decided on Monday to move their floundering security talks from Khartoum to Addis Ababa after their failure to strike a deal on the disarmament of Sudanese rebels in South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

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Sudan’s Defence Minister Abdel Rahim Mohamed Hussein (R) arrives with his counterpart John Kong Nyuon of South Sudan before a news conference in Khartoum December 10, 2012. (Reuters)

The joint political and security committee chaired by Sudanese and South Sudanese defence ministers held unsuccessful meetings in Juba and Khartoum over the implementation of the security arrangement protocol signed In Addis Ababa on 27 September.

Discussions are stalled over the issue of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – North (SPLM-N) which was part of the former South Sudanese rebel group and now fights the Sudanese army in two states bordering the new nation: South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

Sudan’s defense minister Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein told reporters in Khartoum that he held a lengthy meeting on Monday with his South Sudanese counterpart John Kong Nyuon in the presence of Haile Menkerios, UN’s special envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, and representatives of the AU High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP).

Hussein said that the two-day talks between the two countries concluded that dialogue should continue in another meeting to be held in Addis Ababa on 15 December in the presence of AUHIP chairman Thabo Mbeki.

Nyuon form his side, said the "talks were successful" but the parties decided to continue their talks over some issues within a week in Addis Ababa with the participation of the AUHIP chief Thabo Mbeki.

Since the first meeting last month in Juba, the parties agreed on the deployment of troops in the buffer zone in the disputed areas. Nyuon, at the time, told Sudan Tribune that Sudan wants the joint forces be deployed also on the border with South Kordofan and Blue Nile, stressing that this is not provided in the agreement.

Also, President Salva Kiir said Khartoum wants South Sudan to disarm SPLM-N fighter stressing this is an "impossible mission" because the rebel are in a different country and they are no more linked to Juba. But Khartoum retorted that they can withdraw them to Juba and demobilise them.

Well-placed sources told Sudan Tribune that members of South Sudan’s negotiating delegation left Monday’s meeting in anger, describing Khartoum’s demands as impossible.

Other sources said that the two sides had agreed on the agendas of their Addis Ababa’s meeting except the issue of monitoring and verifying cessation of support to armed groups.

South Sudan delegation said that the guarantees it offered for ceasing support to rebels are enough but Khartoum says they are not. The meeting with Mbeki will tackle this specific point, according to the source.

Sudan despite the signing of Cooperation Agreement continue to say that Juba keep harbouring and supporting the rebel groups.

Khartoum says that the exportation of South Sudanese oil can only resume through its pipeline if Juba clearly severs its ties with SPLM-N and the other groups

South Sudan’s chief negotiator Pagan Amum said last week that the oil exports will be resumed by the end of December, but several Sudanese official reminded that it depends on what Juba will do with the rebels.

(ST)