Gravely concerned at the continued challenges to implementation of the 27 September 2012 Cooperation Agreements between Sudan and South Sudan, the Security Council today called for urgent steps by the parties, including that they make use of the joint mechanisms established to facilitate implementation and cooperate with the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD).
In a presidential statement read out by María Cristina Perceval of Argentina, whose delegation holds the Council's rotating presidency for August, the 15-member body welcomed the establishment of the Ad Hoc Investigation Mechanism to look into allegations of State support for rebel groups operating against the other State, as well as of the African Union Border Programme Technical Team to determine the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone's centreline.
Welcoming both Governments' commitment to the mechanisms, the Council urged that they maintain dialogue to ensure continued transportation of oil from South Sudan.
It urged the Government of Sudan to suspend any actions that would halt transportation of oil, so that the mechanisms could complete their work.
The statement expressed support for the African Union Peace and Security Council for cooperation with the Abyei Area Joint Investigation and Inquiry Committee's investigation into the recent killing of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) peacekeeper and the Ngok Dinka paramount chief, and reiterated the Council's grave concern about the highly volatile situation in the Abyei area.
In that regard, it stressed that the parties must immediately implement the Agreement on Temporary Security and Administrative Arrangements for the Abyei Area, resolve the dispute over the Abyei Area Council and immediately establish the Abyei Area Administration and Police Force. Negotiations on final status should resume immediately and swift action was needed to disarm communities in the region to turn Abyei into a weapons-free zone.
Regarding the conflict in Southern Kordorfan and Blue Nile, the Council called for the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North, known as SPLM-N, to cease hostilities and engage in direct talks, while refraining from violence against civilians, expediting safe and unhindered humanitarian access, and fully respecting international human rights law and humanitarian law. Violators must be held accountable, the Council said.
The representative of Sudan hailed the extension of the mandate of the African Union High-level Implementation Panel and the establishment of the African Union Border Programme Technical Team, whose determination of the centreline of the safe demilitarized border zone would help resolve several issues between Sudan and South Sudan. He would cooperate to ensure aid reached South Kordofan and Blue Nile, noting that failure to do so was due to the rejection by some parties of the Cooperation Agreements.
He added his hope that the Council would deem that certain parties were at fault, rather than put all on an equal footing, and said it should condemn the SPLM-N's position, as well as mention other rebel groups that had terrorized citizens in the region. He would continue negotiation with the rebels and he appealed to Council members to try to do the same.
The representative of South Sudan said he was pleased with the progress on implementing the Cooperation Agreements, which would provide fertile ground for advancing bilateral relations. Peace was vital to the two nations' economic, political and social coexistence.
Turning to Abyei, he said that state's citizens had suffered long enough and must be able to exercise their inalienable rights, adding a call to Council members to make all efforts to ensure that the two countries held a referendum in a timely manner on Abyei.
The meeting began at 3:31 p.m. and ended at 3:49 p.m.
The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2013/14 reads as follows:
"The Security Council expresses its continued support for the African Union's (AU) efforts to facilitate Sudan's and South Sudan's implementation of their bilateral agreements and compliance with the requirements of the AU road map and of resolution 2046 (2012).
The Council recalls in this regard the Communiqué adopted by the AU Peace and Security Council's (AUPSC) Ministerial Meeting on 29 July, the Communiqué adopted by the AU and the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) on 22 July, and the mechanisms outlined by the AU High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) Chair, President Thabo Mbeki, in his 9 June letter to President Omar Hassan A. al-Bashir and President Salva Kiir. It also welcomes the extension of the AUHIP's mandate.
"The Security Council expresses grave concern about continued challenges to implementation of the 27 September 2012 Cooperation Agreements, and calls on all parties to urgently: 1) Implement fully and immediately the 27 September 2012 Cooperation Agreements and all other relevant agreements; 2) Make effective use of the joint and other mechanisms that have been established to do so; 3) Cooperate with the AUHIP, African Union and IGAD; and 4) Refrain from pursuing any actions that run counter to these objectives.
"The Security Council recalls that resolution 2046 (2012), inter alia, prohibits both States from supporting any rebel groups operating against the other State and further recalls relevant agreements between Sudan and South Sudan to that end.
The Council welcomes the establishment and the commencement of work of the Ad Hoc Investigative Mechanism (AIM) to look into allegations of such support and the commitment by both Governments to accept the AIM's findings.
"The Security Council welcomes the creation of the AU Border Programme Technical Team (AUBP TT) to determine conclusively the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone (SDBZ) centreline on the ground, and reiterates that the centreline of the SDBZ in no way prejudices the current or future legal status of the border, ongoing negotiations on the disputed and claimed areas, and demarcation of the border.
The Council welcomes both Governments' commitments to accept the AUBP TT's findings.
"The Security Council urges the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan to maintain dialogue to ensure continued transportation of oil from South Sudan, and the Government of Sudan to suspend any actions to halt the transportation of oil from South Sudan to allow these mechanisms to complete their work.
"The Security Council supports the AUPSC's calls for full cooperation with the Abyei Area Joint Investigation and Inquiry Committee's (AAJIIC) investigation into the killing of a UNISFA peacekeeper and the Ngok Dinka paramount chief.
"The Security Council reiterates its grave concern about the highly volatile situation in Abyei area, and stresses that the parties must immediately implement pending aspects of the 20 June 2011 Agreement on Temporary Security and Administrative Arrangements for the Abyei Area, in particular to resolve the dispute over the Abyei Area Council and immediately establish the Abyei Area Administration and Abyei Police Service.
The Council recalls their decision in resolution 2046 (2012) that the parties must resume immediately negotiations to reach agreement on Abyei final status under the auspices of the AUHIP.
In this regard, the Council calls for swift action to disarm communities in Abyei in accordance with the decision of the Abyei Joint Oversight Committee (AJOC) to turn Abyei into a weapons-free zone which it welcomed in resolution 2104 (2013).
"The Security Council calls upon the Government of Sudan and SPLM-N to cease hostilities and engage in direct talks to end the conflict in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile.
The Council also calls on all parties to refrain from any acts of violence against civilians, to expedite safe and unhindered humanitarian access for the timely and full delivery of humanitarian aid to all civilians in urgent need of assistance in accordance with relevant provisions of international law, including international humanitarian law and the United Nations guiding principles of humanitarian assistance, and to fully respect international human rights law and international humanitarian law.
In this regard, it emphasizes that those responsible for violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of international human rights law must be held accountable."