18 May 2012

Africa: Khartoum Lodges Complaint With UNSC Over Juba's Official Map

Khartoum — The Sudanese government complained to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) over a new official map adopted by South Sudan earlier this month saying it includes areas that are disputed by both countries as well as non-disputed ones.

Juba says that those areas, which include Heglig region inside Sudan's South Kordofan state, the site of recent fighting between Sudan and South Sudan, and Abyei, another hotly contested region, were illegally annexed to Sudanese territories by successive governments in Khartoum.

The letter signed by Sudanese foreign ministry undersecretary Rahmatallah Mohamed Osman described this as a "blatant violation" to UNSC resolution 2046 which called on South Sudan to withdraw from Heglig.

Osman added that other accords signed during negotiation rounds with South Sudan make it clear that there are only four areas disputed.

"With us laying our situation before the Council this dangerous development and shameful attack on the territory and the sovereignty of Sudan, we emphasize that this step proves the hostile intentions of the state of South Sudan and the lack of [its] commitment to end its continued offensive on Sudanese territory" he said.

He urged the UNSC to take measures against Juba for adopting the map.

"We call on the Security Council to apply the necessary measures against the Republic of South Sudan, including measures relating to the violation of [UNSC) decision" Osman wrote.

Border demarcation is one of the contentious post-independent issues that the UNSC ordered Khartoum and Juba to resolve within a three-month timeframe with the aid of the African Union (AU) mediation.

Furthermore the final status of Abyei region is also another sticky item as the two sides are in disagreement over who among the area's residents would be eligible to take part in the referendum which will determine whether they want to join north or South Sudan.

On Thursday, the UNSC demanded that Sudan immediately withdraw troops from Abyei but Khartoum pledged only to do so after a joint military observer body for the area was created.

South Sudan withdrew its police forces from Abyei in compliance with the UN demands and said Khartoum's failure to pull out its military was a violation that should be punished by the UNSC.

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