17 October 2012 United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulates the Parliaments of South Sudan and Sudan for ratifying the cooperation agreements signed by the two African countries’ Presidents Salva Kiir and Omar al-Bashir, respectively, last month, according to Mr. Ban’s spokesperson.
“The Secretary-General urges both countries to now embark on the implementation of all the agreements they have signed and proceed immediately with the operationalization of their Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism,” the spokesperson added in a note to the news media today.
South Sudan became independent from Sudan in July last year, six years after the signing of the peace agreement that ended decades of warfare between the north and the south. However, the peace between the two countries had come under threat over recent months by armed clashes along their common border and outstanding post-independence issues that have yet to be resolved.
The cooperation agreements between the two countries were reached in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on 27 September, at talks held under the auspices of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel.
The talks were designed to enable the two nations to fulfil their obligations under a so-called roadmap aimed at easing tensions, facilitating the resumption of negotiations on post-secession relations and normalizing the relations between the two countries.
In the days following the agreements, the Security Council and the Secretary-General both welcomed the moves, with Mr. Ban commending Presidents Al-Bashir and Kiir “for demonstrating the statesmanship that made a comprehensive agreement possible, and for having once again chosen peace over war.”
In his statement, Mr. Ban’s spokesperson noted that the UN chief calls on both parties to continue their constructive engagement with the Panel, notably to agree on a process to settle the issue of remaining disputed and claimed areas and the determination of the final status of Abyei, a disputed region straddling the border area between Sudan and South Sudan.
“The UN stands ready to continue assisting the parties, in collaboration with partners,” the spokesperson added.
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