‘Unique opportunity’ to resolve border dispute between Sudan, South Sudan

UN Photo/Tim McKulka Kenyan troops serving with the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) patrol the disputed area of Abyei, claimed by both Sudan and South Sudan.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


Sudan and neighbouring South Sudan “have never been closer” to reaching a sustainable peace with each other, and their own internal armed opposition groups, the head of UN peacekeeping told the Security Council on Thursday.

The meeting was focused on the disputed, arid, oil-rich border territory of Abyei, where the UN Interim Security Force, UNISFA, has helped to monitor an uneasy peace without formal governance, and protect civilians, since 2011, in the weeks before South Sudan became independent from its northern neighbour.

Boundary lines for the ethnically-split rectangle of territory, have not been agreed between the two nations, but both sides agreed to allow UNISFA’s neutral presence when inter-communal fighting erupted in 2011, to help foster a more secure environment, until final agreement can be reached.

The UN chief of Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, said there had been a “continued partnership” between the two, “notwithstanding the recent change of government in Khartoum”, following the overthrow of dictator Omar al-Bashir, presenting a “unique opportunity to move the political process forward on the border issues.”

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and civilian Prime Minister of Sudan, Abdalla Hamdouk, had made reciprocal visits to their respective capitals in the past two months, while Juba in the south had also hosted peace talks between the Sudanese transitional authority and armed opposition groups since 14 October, said Mr. Lacroix.

“Both countries have never been closer to achieving sustainable peace with each other and with their armed oppositions, as they continue to support respective peace processes”, he told the Council.

“Building upon the recent positive developments in their bilateral relations, the two sides need to resume direct talks immediately to resolve outstanding provisions of their agreements in relation to the final status of Abyei.

We continue to work closely with the African Union, particularly the AU High-Level Implementation Panel, in support of a political process between the two parties.”

The UN peacekeeping chief said UNISFA and the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JBVMM) “have continued to play a key role in stabilizing the security situation on the ground” deterring violence and some of the lawlessness that has plagued the disputed territory.

Secretary-General António Guterres has recommended that the role of UNISFA “to engage in local mediation, provide political support for dialogue between the two parties, and fulfil protection-related tasks should be strengthened.”

He concluded by saying it was “critical that the only international mechanism operating in the border area is equipped with an appropriate mandate, capabilities, and assets. This would also send a strong signal to the parties that the United Nations remains committed to maintaining stability in the area.”

‘Encouraging signs’ of progress: Special Envoy

The UN Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, also briefed the Council, noting the “encouraging signs of progress” in relations between the countries, quoting Prime Minister Hamdok’s declaration that he wanted to restore the traditional ties between what he sees as “one people living in two States”.

The Envoy noted the “new impetus” to improve relations provided by the historic political changes in Sudan this year. President Kiir had been encouraged “to intensify his mediation efforts between the Government in Khartoum, and Sudanese armed groups”, and risen to the task.

“So far, the Sudanese opposition appears comfortable with President Kiir facilitating their negotiations with Khartoum”, said Mr. Onanga-Anyanga, adding that other countries had expressed interest in hosting coming phases of negotiations.

He said substantive talks between the new Government and armed opposition movements in Sudan, are expected to continue until mid-December.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Millions in Idlib ‘counting on your support to make the violence stop’, UN relief chief tells Security Council

Fresh airstrikes kill dozens in conflict-ravaged Syria

It is now the era to evolve mutually as the bacteria do

“America first” policy goes against EU-US partnership, say MEPs

Driving structural change through global value chains integration

The staggering loss of the Arctic Ocean’s oldest sea ice shown in time-lapse

Milk, fruits and vegetables distributed to schoolchildren thanks to EU programme

6 of the world’s 10 most polluted cities are in India

Commission approves emergency measures to protect eastern Baltic cod

Commission introduces surveillance of imports of bioethanol, and remains open to examining requests from other sectors

Coronavirus: Commission proposes a Digital Green Certificate

EU summit: step up work for recovery, and update migration and asylum system

Commission: Raising the social issues that can make or break the monetary union

UN chief calls for ‘united front’ against anti-Semitism after US synagogue mass-shooting

Mental Health: In Times of COVID-19

A machine din

Human rights defenders, too often left defenceless themselves – UN expert

Better ID card security to curb document fraud

Afghanistan: top UN official denounces ‘extreme’ suffering of civilians in Ghazni

MEPs want to ensure sufficient funding for Connecting Europe’s future

Retirees will outlive their savings by a decade

“We have to do a better job of creating alternatives to violent extremism”, US Secretary of State John Kerry from Switzerland; the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

Mind the (gender) gap: why we should stand together on inclusion

Strong EU trade enforcement rules enter into force

Coronavirus COVID-19 wipes $50 billion off global exports in February alone, as IMF pledges support for vulnerable nations

These are the countries with the highest inflation

Why #Wherearethewomen? is an $11 trillion question

How Leonardo da Vinci’s outsider status made him a Renaissance man

Sustainable finance: Commission publishes guidelines to improve how firms report climate-related information and welcomes three new important reports on climate finance by leading experts

Natural climate solutions can help businesses meet climate goals. Here’s how

EP committees recommend giving consent to EU-UK agreement

From coca to cocoa: three lessons from Peru on how farmers can leave the drug trade behind

Norway’s electric car market has overtaken traditional vehicle sales

Finnish Council Presidency priorities debated in plenary

European Commission launches infringement proceedings against the UK following its failure to name a candidate for EU Commissioner

Google and Apple suddenly realise that doing business in EU is tough?

Tomorrow’s UK general election: Will Tories win majority to shoot an abrupt Brexit or a hung parliament will prolong January’s exit to 2050?

Myanmar: Conflict resolution at ‘total standstill’, military commanders must answer for crimes against humanity

How China became EU’s biggest trading partner and why Brussels should maintain that by all means

EU to relocate 40,000 migrants across the bloc: first step of a long due substantial reform?

European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, who gets it and who pays the bill?

Mobility package: Parliament adopts position on overhaul of road transport rules

OECD warns global economy remains weak as subdued trade drags down growth

New UN forestry project bids to help countries meet climate change commitments

The London City-EU connection holds despite of Brexit and the ban of LSE-Deutsche Börse merger

Women’s rights and how medical students can act as aides of progressive change

5 things we get wrong about young people, according to a US study

New skills agenda for Europe needs real investment

‘Everything is still to be agreed’: informal talks between Parliament and Council on Rule of law conditionality continue

Trade barriers: EU removes record number in response to surge in protectionism

5 reasons why the role of WTO Director-General matters

Jellyfish are taking over the world – and climate change could be to blame

Mergers: Commission clears Telia’s acquisition of Bonnier Broadcasting, subject to conditions

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: UNESCO ready to help after Notre Dame fire, and updates on Libya, Nicaragua, and the Cyclone Idai response

Measles claims more than twice as many lives than Ebola in DR Congo

5 neuroscience hacks that will make you happier

Here are 3 ways venture capital can fund a better future

These five exercise trends will help society and your health

Will AI make the gender gap in the workplace harder to close?

COVID-19: EU must step up efforts to tackle medicine shortages

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s