Home | News    Sunday 22 July 2012

Sudan and South Sudan agree to continue talks despite recent tensions - mediation


July 21, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – African Union (AU) mediators announced on Saturday that Sudan and South Sudan have agreed to continue negotiations over unresolved issues as scheduled, twenty four hours after Juba’s decision to suspend the talks.

Chief African Union mediator and former South African president, Thabo Mbeki speaks with media in Khartoum on April 6, 2012. (Getty)

On Friday morning South Sudan accused the Sudanese army of bombing some villages in Northern Bahr el-Ghazal State, wounding two civilians. In Addis Ababa, the head of its negotiating team met the African Union mediation to announce that his delegation had suspended the direct talks to protest the air strike.

Khartoum’s delegation denied the accusation, saying it conducted a military operation inside the Sudanese territory against a column of Darfur rebel vehicles who crossed into the western part of country from the neighbouring South Sudanese Bahr el-Ghazal region.

The AU High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) led by former South African President, Thabo Mbeki said on Saturday that Sudanese and South Sudanese negotiators agreed to remain in the current round of talks in order to meet the 2 August deadline set by the UN Security Council’s (UNSC) resolution number 2046.

"The Parties agreed to continue their negotiations without interruption, bearing in mind that, as confirmed by the AU PSC Roadmap and UNSC Resolution 2046," the mediation announced in a statement released on Saturday afternoon.

"They meet under the auspices of the AUHIP," the statement underlined.

The two parties have sealed this month a strategic framework to resolve the outstanding issues through comprehensive and direct talks. The mediation has just been informed of the outcome of their closed door meetings.

The recent encounter between presidents Salva Kiir and Omer al-Bashir on the sidelines of the African Union summit in Addis Ababa was one of the things agreed in the framework. The meeting raised hopes that the two parties, exhausted by the conflict and economic crisis, might finally reach a deal.

The return to the initial formula of discussion brokered by the mediation might allow the mediation to speed up negotiations, if it puts forward propositions reconciling the expectations of the two sides.

It is not clear, however, how the panel will deal with the issue of the buffer zone, as Khartoum still rejects the map it proposes to use to operationalise the buffer zone, which is seen as a key element in the set of security arrangements.

The mediation, after holding talks with the top negotiators from both sides, also stated that it will investigate the claims of both parties.

"The AUHIP has informed the Parties that it will immediately take steps to establish the truth concerning the matters referred to above", says the statement.

Sudan and South Sudan leaders, during their meeting of 14 July, agreed on the need to meet the deadline of 2 August, as provided in the UN Security Council decision 2046. They also pledged to strengthen bilateral ties and enhance economic and trade relations.

The encounter was seen as positive and encouraging by both parties, whilst the international community hailed the move, hoping the two parties will turn the page on suspicions and mistrust and build a solid partnership in the interest of their two nations.

Observers say that the new developments might lead the international community to put more pressure on the two countries in order to conclude the process.

"We need bold decisions from both parties as they discuss these issues since more than a year and they know well where they diverge and where they agree", said a western diplomat who preferred to keep anonymity.

The mediation is preparing to hold a second Bashir-Kiir presidential summit, where it is expected to submit them a series of proposals to resolve the outstanding issues. Earlier this month, the mediation put forward a nonbinding paper to the two sides, including a number of propositions on the issues being discussed, which include: borders, disputed areas, oil, citizenship, trade, assets, and international debt.


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  • 22 July 2012 09:26, by zulu

    We agree to talks but on our terms. AU or UNSC are indeed incapable cains of command and as talks continue we are certain the outcome for oil resumpiton are xtremely slim. This has been the major concerns for South Sudan’s oil. The verge to close the gaps are not even as close. 1 dollar and 39 are not possibilities.

    • 22 July 2012 09:33, by Dinka Dominated SPLA/M

      How was this breaking news? I am in Ethiopia but not aware of this decision were does if come from?

      • 22 July 2012 10:20, by Marolditapei

        Thank God for our new King or Dr.Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon. Corruption must be condemned publicly by all. Student Dinka Dominated SPLM/A is mourning because the list of corrupt leaders is full of his Awan Chan corrupt boys. But president Salva and Riek Machar are not corrupt like the rest. Dom wew, dom wew, dom wew, dom wew. All the members of dom wew society should be judged one by one.

        • 22 July 2012 10:34, by Dinka Dominated SPLA/M

          Your king is not called Riek machar Teny Dhurgon, He is called Riek Machar pout Nyuon [Teny Dhurgon was a name of his grandfather witch craft] otherwise you don’t know your king, this are the names we used to called him in united Kingdom UK
          And don’t Associated south Sudan loving president Kiir who is not nyagat with your bashir ass kisser called Nassir gang doom and wicked oafish leader Riek

        • 22 July 2012 11:33, by kimo

          i think its high time dr riek machar take the lead in south sudan,he is the most eligible person for the job..the west and america would very much like to see a person like riek machar leading the country..the dinka cow boy (salva kirr) is no longer valid,,he is less educated,weak and short sighted...this the reality clear and simple

          • 22 July 2012 17:31, by Equatoria dominated SPLM

            Happy Happy @dinka dominated spla you are really a Dinka and i like your behavior please keep it on supporting your man of men Dinka’ of which God will help and you will get INSHAALLAHA OR IF GOD WISHES .

            • 22 July 2012 22:08, by Eastern

              Equatoria has never DOMINATED SPLM wrong name please change it!!!Equatoria gave secom=nd life to SPLA/M when the liberation struggle skewed towards southerners.

      • 22 July 2012 18:39, by Tutbol

        Beware of news-carrier-individuals! South sudanese want their country, let us not be distracted by lowly-educated individuals, i believed that Guy who you that PIECE IS A HOAX. we are south sudanese.

  • 22 July 2012 09:35, by Mapuor

    I think it is not reasonable for Bashir to reject the map that specifies the buffer zone and yet claims to put security matters on top.Buffer zone my dear is for security haaaa.Bashir is also not good at geography,if he was good at geography, he would have known where the North ended in 1956

  • 22 July 2012 09:41, by Dhong Bang

    to get a solution with fake arabs, is like when trying to invent the drug for HIV/AIDS. what is good is that they know who we are

  • 22 July 2012 10:12, by Marolditapei

    Thank God for our new King or Dr.Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon. Corruption must be condemned publicly by all. Student Dinka Dominated SPLM/A is mourning because the list of corrupt leaders is full of his Awan Chan corrupt boys. But president Salva and Riek Machar are not corrupt like the rest. Dom wew, dom wew, dom wew, dom wew. All the members of dom wew society should be judged one by one.

  • 22 July 2012 10:27, by Kikiji longiro

    When parents disagree.Let all childern walk away and hide themselves in their own rooms.After they finished their individuals problems,the good parents will call back their childern and tell them FOLKS STORY OF THESAME KING.

    God bless all.

  • 22 July 2012 11:37, by Mapuor

    Land always belongs to those who settle on it not those who pass through it.Yeah the long history of slave trade and castration of blacks as EUNUCKS in Arabia still qualifies you to talk that way,history is not at finishing line my dear

  • 22 July 2012 12:12, by Beneben Bai

    South Sudan negotiating team should keep standing not to change it position until the end of deadline of AU and UNSC. We need to walk side by side with the gangs and liars of khartoum until the end not becuase we love them, but only to make them reach the end when they will be exposed to whole world

  • 22 July 2012 16:05, by E. Defense Forces

    How many people has to die for this corrupt government of Sudan and S. Sudan? This time we want to see their children in the front-line not in USA,EU or AUS.

    Juba threatens to halt negotiations with Khartoum


  • 22 July 2012 16:49, by Beneben Bai

    James Deng Dimo, what are you doing like that in Gurtong Website? why are you hurting South Sudanese feelings by posting that stupid photo taken by a most stupid guy call Ashraf Shazly. Please don’t do that if you want to progress as agood journalist

  • 23 July 2012 05:52, by hellonearth

    "You know what they (South Sudan) are counting on is that we come to August 2 ... then it will be taken to international arbitration where their friends can take decisions in their interest," Ghandour said.
    "This is their main aim. This is why they will be dragging their feet to August 2 but I don’t think this is a very smart idea," he said.

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