5 November 2012

Sudans' Security Meetings Kick Off in Juba

Photo: Stuart Price/UN Photo
Aftermath of fighting (file photo).

Khartoum/Juba — A Sudan-South Sudan committee chaired by defence ministers started Monday a series of meetings to discuss the implementation of security arrangements agreed last September in Addis Ababa.

The meeting which was delayed several times in the past weeks is supposed mainly to discuss the withdrawal of troops from the buffer zone, deployment of joint monitoring teams on the border and the rebel groups.

Minister John Kong Nyuon headed the South Sudanese side, while his counterpart Abdel Rahim Hussein chaired the Sudanese delegation in the close-door meetings . Reporters were barred from the place of the reunion but officials pledged to brief the press on Tuesday.

Sudanese ambassador to Juba Mutrif Sidiq who was also a member of Sudan's negotiating team told Omduran Radio that the meeting will focus on the demilitarised zone and the rebel groups.

The meeting will discuss a report of a joint technical team about the withdrawal of troop and the opening of border passages to allow trade between the two sides.

Sudanese foreign minister Ali Karti said last week that Juba did not yet withdraw its troops from the disputed areas saying that rains prevent the SPLA from moving heavy weapons.

Juba also during the technical committee meetings showed reservations over the issue of SPLM-North rebels saying they have no control on their activities and there is no place to speak about disengagement.

Anne Richard, US Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, following a visit to Yida refugee camp on the border last week urged the Sudanese rebels to stop recruiting child soldiers from the camps.

The Sudanese rebels were allies of then rebel SPLA during the civil war, which led to South Sudan's independence in July last year.

SPLM-North spokesperson said the refugees camps, which are close to the border, are visited by the rebels because their families are based there.

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