Security Council urges Sudan, South Sudan to reach agreement on issues by 22 Sept.

Friday, September 07, 2012
Peter Wittig, President of the Security Council
for the month of September while addressing reporters
[PHOTO: UNifeed] 
New York: UN Security Council members urged Sudan and South Sudan to reach agreement on remaining post-secession issues by the new deadline of 22 September.

The Council was briefed by video conference on the current state of negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan by the UN envoy Haile Menkerios. Afterwards, Council President Peter Wittig from Germany told reporters that Council members regretted the two countries' failure to reach agreement by the original deadline of 2 August.

While Sudan and South Sudan agreed last month on oil related issues, they have yet to deliver on a number of critical issues, including the demarcation of border, the establishment of a safe demilitarized border zone, the activation of the joint border verification and monitoring mechanism, the status of nationals, and agreeing on the final status of Abyei. Last Friday the Security Council issued a presidential statement regretting those delays and setting a new deadline of 22 September.

Wittig also said that several Council members shared the view that the suffering of the people in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states required urgent action from both sides, adding that "both parties should not allow technicalities to stand in the way of delivering aid to those in need."

Noting that Menkerios conveyed the urgent message that both sides needed to come to an agreement on the outstanding issues, Ambassador Wittig said Menkerios "appealed as we did the Council members to the parties do their utmost to find a solution within that time frame, so there is a great awareness that there isn't too much time left."

Meanwhile United States Ambassador Susan Rice said that both sides had obligations which the US wanted to see fully met.

Responding to whether the Council would be ready to bring action in the event of non compliance, Rice said she didn't want to speculate but, "our aim is not to impose sanctions, that's not the purpose, the purpose is to spur the parties to meet their obligations and to create a foundation for lasting peace between North and South and of course to resolve the issues in the two areas." -UNifeed
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