|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
6730th Meeting (AM)
Security Council Gravely Concerned at Cross-Border Violence between Sudan, South
Sudan; Demands Halt to Border Area Military Operations, End to Cycle of Violence
Presidential Statement Urges Governments to Reach Border Demarcation Agreement,
‘Implement and Respect’ 10 February Memorandum of Understanding on Non-Aggression
Gravely concerned by reports of violent cross-border clashes between Sudan and South Sudan, the Security Council today demanded that all parties, including proxy forces, cease all military operations in the border areas and put an end to the cycle of violence.
Through a wide-ranging statement read out by its President, Mark Lyall Grant (United Kingdom), the Council, concerned about reported “troop movements, support to proxy forces, and aerial bombardments”, strongly urged the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan to reach agreement on the status of disputed border areas and to agree on and swiftly implement a process and timeline for border demarcation under the facilitation of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP).
Condemning actions by any armed group aimed at the forced overthrow of the Government of either Sudan or South Sudan, the Council also demanded that the two Governments “take no action that would undermine the security and stability of the other, including through any direct or indirect form of support to armed groups in the other’s territory”. It urged Sudan and South Sudan — which split following a referendum in 2011 — to “implement and respect the letter and spirit” of their 10 February Memorandum of Understanding on Non-Aggression and Cooperation.
Further by its statement, the Council urged the Sudanese Government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) “to resolve the underlying issues that have fuelled the current conflict in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile”, and to agree to cease hostilities immediately. It emphasized the grave urgency of delivering humanitarian aid to avert a worsening of the serious crisis in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, and demanded that the Sudanese Government and the SPLM-N cooperate fully with the United Nations and other humanitarian agencies, and ensure the access of aid workers, as well as the delivery of supplies and equipment.
The Council also said that settling oil and financial arrangements between the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan were critical elements of the two countries’ security, stability and prosperity as viable States. It affirmed that any unilateral action related to the oil sector was detrimental to both countries, and strongly urged them to work within the framework of the AUHIP’s January 2012 comprehensive proposal in order to reach mutual agreements without delay on transitional financial arrangements and commercial oil arrangements.
Immediately after the statement was read out, Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman ( Sudan) said his delegation wished to clarify some facts: Khartoum had the clear, firm intention to reach negotiated solutions on all outstanding issues regarding South Sudan. “We have not started a war. We were pushed into this,” he said of the current situation. The Sudanese Government had and would continue to cooperate with the Security Council and the African Union High-Level Panel to find solutions.
Highlighting a recent letter his delegation had set to the Council President, he noted that some 12,000 students from the South were attending educational and military institutions in Sudan. They would be treated with dignity until they completed their studies. Sudan would continue to listen to all recommendations put forward by the High-Level Panel regarding citizenship issues. He noted that the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs of South Sudan had recently visited Khartoum and had reaffirmed the agreement with respect to Southern Sudanese citizens in Sudan.
He went on to recall the operations under way to assist the return of citizens to the South, in cooperation with the International Organization for Migration, via river transport, railways and by air. Five boats had been employed in that task. Those and other efforts clearly showed Khartoum’s good intentions. The Council should be aware of the facts. Regarding cooperation, he said that his Government would continue to cooperate with the missions deployed within the territory of Sudan with Khartoum’s agreement.
As for peacekeeping operations deployed on the territory of other countries, “that does not concern us at all”, he said, despite the fact that Khartoum had assisted in the transfer of equipment from the Mission in Sudan to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). He also declared that there was no humanitarian crisis in South Kordofan, but said that his Government was seriously studying the tri-partite proposal put forward by the United Nations, the African Union, and the League of Arab States to pave the way for international humanitarian aid to reach populations in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.
Speaking next, David Buom Choat (South Sudan) said his Government was committed to ensuring that both Sudans lived side by side in peace. South Sudan also maintained a policy of non-interference in the affairs of other States and, as that was the case, his Government had been falsely accused of supporting opposition forces that were fighting the Sudanese Government. However, what was true was that, just three days after signing the Non-Aggression pact, the North had begun aerial bombardment of towns inside South Sudan. Such acts clearly had been a violation of the agreement and his Government had condemned them.
Turning to other outstanding issues, he reported to the Council that negotiating teams were now in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to continue talks on oil and revenue-sharing arrangements. South Sudan was participating in good faith and cooperating with the High-Level Panel. Yet, he stressed that all outstanding issues were connected: “when the border is not clearly defined, it is a recipe for conflict”. The South had been calling on Khartoum to demarcate the border, but thus far, the Sudanese Government had not evinced the political will to do anything. It was now time for the Security Council to call on Khartoum for action. He also called for urgent action to assist the refugees fleeing Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile.
The meeting began at 10:10 a.m. and adjourned at 10:40 a.m.
The full text of the presidential statement contained in document S/PRST/2012/5 reads as follows:
“The Security Council expresses grave concern about reports of repeated incidents of cross-border violence between Sudan and South Sudan, including troop movements, support to proxy forces, and aerial bombardments, and views the situation as a serious threat to international peace and security. The Council urges the two countries to implement and respect the letter and spirit of their 10 February Memorandum of Understanding on Non-Aggression and Cooperation, which was agreed under the auspices of the African Union High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP).
“The Security Council demands that all parties cease military operations in the border areas and put an end to the cycle of violence. It further demands that the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan take no action that would undermine the security and stability of the other, including through any direct or indirect form ofsupport to armed groups in the other’s territory. The Security Council condemns actions by any armed group aimed at the forced overthrow of the Government of either Sudan or South Sudan. The Security Council affirms its strong commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of both Sudan and South Sudan.
“The Security Council reiterates that the core objectives of the international community and all stakeholders in Sudan and South Sudan are the peaceful coexistence of two fully viable States, embracing democratic governance, rule of law, accountability, equality, respect for human rights, justice and economic development, in particular the establishment of the conditions for conflict-affected communities to build strong and sustainable livelihoods.
“The Security Council recalls the 28 June 2011 Framework Agreement between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) on political and security arrangements for Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan states, and urges themto return to direct talks to resolve all political and security issues on the basis of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and of the agreed principles of the Framework Agreement. The Security Council urges them to resolve the underlying issues that have fuelled the current conflict in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, to end all violence,and to agree to an immediate cessation of hostilities. The Security Council stronglysupports the efforts of the AUHIP and the United Nations to assist in this regard. With regard to the humanitarian situation, the Security Council emphasizes the grave urgency of delivering humanitarian aid to avert a worsening of the serious crisis in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, and demands that the Government of Sudan and the SPLM-N cooperate fully with the United Nations and other humanitarian agencies and organizations, and ensure, in accordance with international law, including applicable international humanitarian law, and guiding principles of emergency humanitarian assistance, the safe, unhindered and immediate access of United Nations and other humanitarian personnel, as well as the delivery of supplies and equipment, in order to allow such personnel to efficiently perform their task of assisting conflict-affected civilian populations in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states. The Security Council welcomes the tripartite proposal by the United Nations, African Union, and League of Arab States in this regard, welcomes its acceptance by SPLM-N, and encourages the Government of Sudan to do the same.
“The Security Council deeply deplores the continued failure of the Sudanese and South Sudanese security forces to redeploy from the Abyei Area in accordance with the 20 June 2011Agreement on Temporary Arrangements for the Administration and Security of the Abyei Area (S/2011/384) and the 8 September 2011 decision of the Abyei Area Joint Oversight Committee (S/2011/593). The Security Council welcomes the decision of the Joint Political and Security Mechanism to establish and move forward with the Joint Border Verification Monitoring Mechanism, in accordance with the 29 June 2011 Agreement on Border Security and the Joint Political and Security Mechanism. The Council urges the parties to agree on a map that will outline the area of operations for the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone and the area of operations for border monitors. The Council demands that the two countries accelerate implementation of the 20 June 2011Agreement and the immediate establishment of the Abyei Area Administration, and work actively toward a long-term political resolution of Abyei’s final status. The Council demands that the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan facilitate the safe and dignified return of persons displaced from Abyei to their homes, and grant full, safe, and unhindered humanitarian access to the Abyei Area. The Council emphasizes the need for a safe and cooperative migration season.
“The Security Council regards the settlement of oil and financial arrangements between the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan as a critical element of the two countries’ security, stability and prosperity as viable States. The Council affirms thatany unilateral action related to the oil sector is detrimental to the security, stability, and prosperity of both States. The Security Council strongly urges both States to work within the framework of the AUHIP’s January 2012 comprehensive proposal in order to reach mutual agreements without delay on transitional financial arrangements and commercial oil arrangements.
“The Security Council urges the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan to ensure that clear procedures for acquiring nationality in the respective States are in place, together with relevant documentation regarding residency or right to employment. If such arrangements are not in place before the end of the 8 April transition period, the Council urges both States to agree on an extension.
“The Security Council stronglyurges the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan to reach agreement on the status of disputed areas along the Sudan-South Sudan border, and to agree on and swiftly implementa process and timeline for demarcation of the border under the facilitation of the AUHIP.
“The Security Council reiterates its full support to United Nations peacekeeping missions in Sudan and South Sudan. It calls on Sudan and South Sudan to cooperate fully with the United Nations missions to ensure them free access throughout their areas of operation and to ensure unhindered and expeditious movement of all personnel, including by swiftly granting visas and travel permits, as well as ofequipment, provisions, supplies and other goods, including vehicles, aircraft and spare parts, which are for the exclusive and official use of United Nations missions.
“The Council stronglyurges Sudan and South Sudan to continue working within the context of the AUHIP-facilitated negotiations process to reach agreement on all outstanding issuesas soon as possible, and encourages the continued partnership among the AUHIP, the United Nations and other key international stakeholders to combine their efforts in support of those negotiations.
“The Security Council reaffirms its commitment to a peaceful and prosperous future for the people of Sudan and South Sudan. The Council expresses its gratitude and full support for the continuing work of the African Union High-level Implementation Panel for Sudan and its Chair, President Thabo Mbeki, as well as of Special Representative of the Secretary-General Haile Menkerios, and stresses the collaborative partnership between the United Nations and the African Union in this regard. The Council calls on the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan to extend their full cooperation to the AUHIP.”
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