December 11, 2014 (NEW YORK) – The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Thursday welcomed recent talks between the Sudanese government and its rebel groups, urging both warring factions to refrain from violence against civilians and expedite humanitarian access for timely delivery of aid to all civilians in need of assistance.
Members of the Council, in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune, also expressed concerns about the dire situation resulting from continued fighting in Sudan’s South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.
By its resolution 2046, the UNSC decided that the Sudanese government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement–North (SPLM-N) must cooperate with the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) and the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) to reach a negotiated settlement on security arrangements in Blue Nile and South Kordofan states.
The resolution strongly urged both parties to accept the tripartite proposal of the African Union, the UN and the Arab League to permit humanitarian access to the population in those two areas.
“Council Members today [Thursday] welcomed the stated commitment of both Presidents to implementation of 27 September 2012 Cooperation Agreements, particularly on security matters, and the establishment of a humanitarian corridor from Sudan to facilitate the provision of humanitarian assistance to the affected populations in South Sudan, but noted with concern that there has been no further progress on the agreements since November 2013,” partly reads the statement.
Both governments, members of the Council further stressed, must fully implement the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JVBMM), in accordance with Security Council resolution 2046 and the 24 April 2012 AU Peace and Security Council Roadmap, Joint Political and Security Mechanism, and other agreed joint mechanisms to ensure the security and transparency of the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone (SDBZ), including the “14 Mile Area’’.
Although the Council members welcomed the recent peace talks between the Government of Sudan and its rebel groups under the auspices of AUHIP in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, they say progress made was overshadowed both parties’ failure to reach a final agreement.
They, however, renewed their calls for the Sudanese government and SPLM-N to cease hostilities, engage in the next round of direct talks without conditions in January as planned by the AUHIP, and make the necessary concessions to reach a deal on ending the conflict in the Two Areas in accordance with provisions of resolution 2046 (2012).
Meanwhile, members of the UNSC reiterated their grave concern about the “relatively calm, but highly volatile security situation” in Abyei Area, and the absence of progress in implementing the 20 June 2011 Agreement on Temporary Arrangements for the Security and Administration of the Abyei Area as reported by the Secretary-General, while condemning the recent deadly attacks on civilians.
This came days after the 15-member body was briefed by under-secretary-general for peacekeeping operations, Hervé Ladsous, the head of the UN Office to the African Union and Special Representative to the African Union, Haile Menkerios, and acting UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) force commander, Major-General Halefom Moges on the situation in Sudan and South Sudan under resolution 2046 (2012) and the situation in Abyei.
Members of the Security Council also welcomed the 5 December appointment of the South Sudan co-chair of the Abyei Joint Oversight Committee (AJOC) and urged the immediate resumption of the work of the AJOC without preconditions.
Further, they reiterated their demand in resolution 2179 (2014) that Sudan and South Sudan urgently commence the establishment of the Abyei Area Administration and Council, and constitute the Abyei Police Service, to enable it to take over the policing functions through the Abyei Area, including the protection of oil infrastructure.
The Security Council also reiterated, in accordance with relevant resolutions, in particular resolutions 1990 and 2046, that the Abyei Area shall be demilitarized from any forces, as well as armed elements of the local communities, other than UNISFA and the Abyei Police Service.
They also urged UNISFA, the AU, and the Government of Ethiopia to work in collaboration with the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan, to use creative provisions based on mutual understanding to expedite implementation of the outstanding administrative and security elements of the June 2011 Agreement, as appropriate, in order to address the law and order vacuum in Abyei within the context of inter-communal dialogue.
The members of the UNSC called for steps to enable, inter alia, the withdrawal of the Oil Police in Diffra while ensuring the security of oil installations, resuming the AJOC meetings, and resolving the dispute over the May 2013 killing of the Ngok Dinka paramount chief.