The Secretary-General met today with Mr. Haile Menkerios, his Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan. Mr. Menkerios briefed the Secretary-General about the latest agreements by the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan on the establishment of a demilitarized border zone between them and the deployment of joint monitors to this zone, as well as a detailed matrix for parallel and coordinated implementation of all other agreements the two parties signed on 27 September 2012.
Mr. Menkerios informed the Secretary-General that both parties have commenced the withdrawal of their troops from the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone and the deployment of joint monitors to this zone. He added that, furthermore, both Governments have instructed oil companies to commence production, transport and export of oil from South Sudan through Sudan.
With regards to the conflict in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile States of Sudan, Mr. Menkerios informed the Secretary-General that both the Government of Sudan and the leadership of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/North have now agreed to meet for direct talks.
The Secretary-General welcomes these developments. He commends the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan for their determination to implement their agreements and reaffirms the United Nations’ readiness to assist the parties in this endeavor. He expressed his hope that progress in implementation of the 27 September agreements will enhance confidence between the parties and pave the way for them to address the few issues that remain outstanding.
The Secretary-General further welcomes the decision of the Government of Sudan and the SPLM/North to meet for direct talks. He is hopeful that the meeting will lead to an immediate cessation of hostilities to allow the safe delivery of humanitarian assistance and create a conducive atmosphere for political discussions to address the root causes of the conflict.