Sudan and South Sudan has yet to translate into significant improvements on the ground in relation to their dispute over the Abyei region,
A delegation from Sudan headed by the Defense Minister, Yasin Ibrahim, has touched base in Juba on Wednesday to participate in a joint security meeting between the two counterparts.
Its anticipated that the joint security committee will discuss security matters between the two countries, as part of the follow-up on the recent memorandum of understanding signed last month where the two countries agreed to open up land crossings, river transportation, and railway to enhance the cooperation agreement.
Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under Secretary General for Peace Operations said the two countries agreed during a meeting of the Joint Political and Security Mechanism hosted by the Government of Sudan in October 2020 to establish checkpoints, introduce search and seize operations, deploy joint military observer teams and accelerate progress on the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism, as well as border-related benchmarks.
Relatedly, Security minister Ibrahim, told the media in Juba that he delivered a letter from the head of Sudan’ Sovereign Council General Abdul Fatah Al Burhan to South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit, reiterating his government’s commitment to supporting the peace process in South Sudan.
In his speech, Ibrahim confirmed that he came along with all our teams to follow up on how to operationalize all that has been agreed upon during the recent visit of Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok, including the opening of the border crossings, sharing security information. Additionally, he further mentioned that they are in Juba and looking forward to the implementation of resolutions of the agreements of the previous visit.
However, It should be noted that, the security situation and intercommunal relations in the region remain tense. Citing the volatile security situation, he requested that the Security Council consider a six-month rollover of UNISFA’s mandate, until 15 October 2021, in order to give Sudan and South Sudan the space to discuss future arrangements and the way forward.
According to a UN Special Envoy, UNISFA was established by Council resolution 1990 (2011) to include an initial deployment of 4,200 Ethiopian troops to provide security and protect civilians under imminent threat of violence in the disputed border region which will continue to engage with Sudan and South Sudan to facilitate the implementation of pending aspects of their previous agreements.
Despite inconclusive consultations on UNISFA’s exit strategy between those two Governments, that of Ethiopia and the Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, all continue to recognize the mission’s usefulness, relevance and instrumental role in addressing tensions between the Ngok Dinka and Misseriya communities through dialogue and reconciliation.
Tut Galuak Manime the South Sudanese Presidential Adviser for Security Affairs during the press conference revealed that the meeting will focus on details related to security between Juba and Khartoum, especially border security between the two countries. He said the meeting will also discuss the file of security arrangements related to peace in both Sudan and South Sudan.
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