Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed an agreement on signed today by Sudan and South Sudan which aim to strengthen border security and lead to the permanent resolution of outstanding issues between the two countries.
Today's agreement, according to a statement released by Mr. Ban's spokesperson, concerns the establishment of a safe demilitarized border zone, the deployment of a joint border verification and monitoring mechanism and the activation of agreed security-related mechanisms as of 10 March 2013.
Even though the birth of South Sudan was the culmination of a six-year peace process, which helped bring an end to the long-running conflict between South Sudan and Sudan, the peace between the two countries has been threatened by armed clashes along their common border and outstanding post-independence issues that have yet to be resolved, notably the status of the oil-rich area of Abyei.
Last year, the two countries' leaders met in Ethiopia, reaching, on 27 September, a key framework agreement for cooperation on security, the common border and economic relations.
"With this agreement, there should be no further conditions in the way of immediate implementation of the other signed 27 September agreements, including the agreement on oil," Mr. Ban's spokesman said in his statement today.
Through today's statement, the Secretary-General also reiterated the United Nations readiness to support the operations of the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism and assist the parties in the implementation of these agreements, the spokesperson said.