The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Raimonda Murmokaitė (Lithuania):
On 11 February, the United Nations Security Council was briefed by Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous, on the situation in Sudan and South Sudan under resolution 2046 (2012).
The members of the Security Council welcomed the resumption of negotiations on 13 February between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, under the auspices of the African Union High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) and the parties' reported commitment to the talks. The members of the Security Council underscored their calls upon the Government of Sudan and SPLM-N to cease hostilities, engage in direct and constructive talks without conditions, and make the necessary concessions to reach agreement on ending the conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile States of Sudan in accordance with provisions of United Nations Security Council resolution 2046 (2012).
The members of the Security Council welcomed the increasingly positive bilateral relations between Sudan and South Sudan as evidenced most recently by the 6 January visit to Juba by President Omer Bashir for talks with President Salva Kiir. The members of the Security Council recognized the bilateral support offered by the Government of Sudan to the Government of South Sudan from the outset of the current crisis in South Sudan, as well as the contribution of the Government of Sudan to the search for a lasting solution to this crisis as part of regional efforts led by IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development), including through its commitment to support the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement signed by the parties and offer to participate in the cessation of hostilities monitoring and verification mechanism. They also conveyed appreciation for the commitment of both Presidents to implementation of 27 September 2012 Cooperation Agreements, particularly on oil and security matters, but noted with concern that there has been no further progress on these agreements since November 2013.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their grave concern about the dire humanitarian situation in South Kordofan and Blue Nile States. They also called on all parties to refrain from any acts of violence against civilians -- particularly indiscriminate actions in civilian areas -- and to expedite safe and unhindered humanitarian access for the timely and full delivery of humanitarian aid, including comprehensive health vaccinations, 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.
The members of the Security Council conveyed their gratitude to former President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa and the staff of the AUHIP, as well as United Nations Special Envoy Haile Menkerios and his support team for their creative and tireless work in mediating these discussions and agreements. The members of the Council invited President Mbeki to brief the Council and share his recommendations on these matters after he reports to the African Union Peace and Security Council.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their grave concern about the highly volatile situation in Abyei area, and recalled the United Nations Security Council decision in resolution 2046 that Sudan and South Sudan implement pending aspects of the 20 June 2011 Agreement on Temporary Security and Administrative Arrangements for the Abyei Area, including the redeployment of all Sudanese and South Sudanese forces out of the Abyei Area. They particularly deplored the 3 February attack by Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) and South Sudan National Police Service (SSNPS) forces in northern Abyei. In this regard, the members of the Security Council demanded that South Sudan immediately withdraw SPLA and SSNPS forces currently in Abyei Area and reiterated their demand for Sudan to immediately withdraw the oil police from Diffra.
The members of the Security Council underscored that the parties must resolve the dispute over the Abyei Area Council and immediately establish the Abyei Area Administration and Abyei Police Service. They recalled their decision in resolution 2046 (2012) that Sudan and South Sudan shall unconditionally resume negotiations under the auspices of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel and with the support of the Chairman of IGAD, to reach agreement on critical issues, including final status of the Abyei Area, and they also urged resumption of the work of the Abyei Joint Oversight Committee (AJOC). They also urged Sudan and South Sudan to renew their commitment to the establishment of the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone (SDBZ) and full operationalization of the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JBVMM).