1.The Sudan – South Sudan Consultative Forum (SSSCF), initially established as the Sudan Consultative Forum  on  8  May  2010,  held  its  third  meeting  at  the  African  Union  (AU) Headquarters  in  Addis  Ababa,  on  29  March  2012. The meeting  was  co-chaired  by  the  AU Commissioner  for Peace and Security, Ambassador RamtaneLamamra, and the United Nations (UN) Under Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Mr.Hervé Ladsous.

2.In addition to the AU and the UN, the following states and organizations participated in the meeting: (i) neighbouring countries of South Sudan and Sudan (namely Chad, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda; (ii) Benin, as the Chair of the AU; (iii) the permanent members of the UN  Security Council  – UNSC  (China,  France,  Russia,  the United  Kingdom  and  the United States of America) , as well as South Africa and Togo as AU Member Stateson  the UNSC  ;  (iv) Qatar,  as  facilitator  of  the  Darfur Negotiation  Process,  andother  bilateral  partners,  namely, Brazil, Canada, Denmark,Germany, Japan, India, Italy, Norway, Saudi Arabia and Turkey; (v) the Intergovernmental  Authority  on  Development –  IGAD(Secretariat  and  Chair);(vi)  the  World Bank, the League of Arab States, and the European Union (EU). 


3.The meeting was convened to review progress made and challenges encountered in the post-secession negotiations between the Republic of South Sudan and the Republic of Sudan and  in  the search  for  lasting solutions  to other situations of concern, as well as  to strengthen mutual understanding and identify common ground on the support SSSCF members can give to the two countries asthey strive toward a peacefu and prosperous future.


4.Participants heard presentations from the representatives of the Republic of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan. These were followed by an interactive discussion.Participants also received  presentations  from  the  AU  High-Level  Implementation  Panel  (AUHIP),  the  Special Envoy  of  the UN  Secretary-General  for  Sudan  and  South  Sudan,  the  AU/UN  Joint  Special Representative for the African Union-United NationsHybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the Head of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA).


5. Participants  welcomed  the  Republic  of  South  Sudan  to  the  Consultative  Forum,  and congratulated  the  Government  and  people  of  South  Sudan  on  achieving  independence. Participants recognized the gracious manner in which the Government of Sudan had recognized the outcome of the referendum.


6.Regarding the post-secession negotiations, Participants stressed the overriding principle guiding the relations between Sudan and South Sudan, namely the establishment of two viable and mutually  supportive  states,  at peace with one  another.  This principle was agreed by  the Parties in 2010 and endorsed by the AU and UN.


7. Participants  commended  the  efforts  of  the  AUHIP  in  facilitating  the  negotiations  on post-secession issues, with due respect for the territorial integrity of both countries, and noted that  the  technical work  to  identify  and  develop mechanisms  for  resolving  each  of  the  issues under  discussion  has  been  done. What  is  needed  now  is  the  political will  and leadership  by Sudan and South Sudan to take the steps that we all recognize to be necessary. 


8. Participants  commended  the  Parties  for  reaching  agreement  on  a  number  of outstanding  issues  of  the  post-secession  negotiations,  and  for  the  new  spirit  of  cooperation displayed during  the  last  round of negotiations  in mid-March.  They welcomed  the  significant progress made on security arrangements,  including  the 29 June and 30 July 2011 Agreements on Border Security, and the February 2012 Memorandum of Understanding on Non-Aggression and Cooperation.  In this regard, Participants stressed the importance of the Joint Political and Security Mechanism (JPSM), which is the principal mechanism between the two states, charged with oversight on all security matters, and urged the Parties fully to operationalize it as soon as possible.  Recalling  UN  Security  Council  resolution  2032  (2011)  of  22  December 2011, Participants urged the Parties to resolve outstanding issues relating to the operationalization of Joint  Border  Verification  and Monitoring  Mechanism  (JBVMM)  and  noted  the  readiness  of UNISFA to support it.  


9.  On  Abyei,  Participants  commended  UNISFA  for  its  support  in  maintaining  a  secure environment  in  the  area,  and  the  work  of  the  Abyei  Joint  Oversight  Committee  (AJOC)  in addressing outstanding issues. They also welcomed the efforts of UNISFA to create a conducive environment  for  inter-community  dialogue,  as  a  prelude  to  reconciliation  between  the NgokDinka and Misseriya communities. At the same time, Participants noted with concern the deadlock between the Parties  in taking action to  implement fully the 20 June 2011 Agreement on Temporary Arrangements for the Administration and Security of Abyei Area,and called upon them immediately  to  redeploy  all  armed  forces  from  the  area  and  to  establish  the  Abyei Administration, which  is  essential  to  provide  an environment  for  the  return  of  refugees  and displaced  persons,  the  safe  migration  of  pastoralist  groups,  and  the  commencement  of recovery  activities.  Participants  stressed  the  need  for  frequent  and  regular meetings  of  the AJOC to address all outstanding issues, and appealed to both Presidents to address as soon as possible  the  issues  blocking  the  full  implementation  of  the  20  JuneAgreement.  They  also stressed the urgent need for international humanitarian access and assistance to facilitate the return of displaced communities.


11. Participants  welcomed  the  progress  made  by  the  Parties  in  initialling  an  important agreement on nationality issues and the status of citizens of one country resident in the other. They welcomed the plans to convene, with the assistance of the AUHIP, the first meeting of the Joint  High-Level  Committee  that  is  to  oversee  the  implementation  of  the  Framework Agreement on the Status of Nationals of the Other State.  In the  light of the  impending end of the  transition period  for  the  regularization of  the  status of nationals  in  the other  state, on 8 April  2012,  Participants  urged  the  Parties  to  extend  the  deadline,  to  enable  nationals  of  the other state to obtain the documentation necessary for their regularization.  
12. Participants also welcomed  the  initialing of  the Agreement on  the Demarcation of  the Boundary  and  Related  Issues,  and  called  upon  the  Parties  immediately  to  begin  its implementation.  Additionally,  they  stressed  the  need  to  agree to  a  process  for  resolving  the status  of  the  disputed  areas  along  the  common  border,  noting  that  this will  go  a  long way towards addressing the security concerns along the border of the two countries.

13. Participants noted that, during almost two years of negotiations, the Parties’ approach has been characterised by distrust and  tactical  considerations at  the expense of  the  strategic interest of the two countries and the rights and welfare of their citizens. They emphasized that this  approach  increases  the  risk  of  armed  conflict  (as  demonstrated  by  the  very unfortunate and recent incident at the border between the two countries),in which neither Sudan nor South Sudan would be able  to  respond  to  the daunting challenges of development, democratization and good governance that confront them.Failure by the Parties to act swiftly and in the desired direction  risks  weakening  international  attention  and  support  to  peacemaking  and peacebuilding in Sudan and South Sudan, with dire consequences for the two countries and the region  as  a  whole.  Participants  therefore  called  on  the  Parties  to  sustain  the  new  spirit  of cooperation as articulated in the negotiations of mid-March.
14.Against this background, Participantsstressed the need for the Presidents of Sudan and South Sudan to convene the planned Summit meeting as soon as possible, with the intention of moving  rapidly  to  agreement  on  all  outstanding  issues.  Participants  and  the  international community  as  a  whole  expect  Presidents  Omar  Hassan  Al  Bashir  and  SalvaKiirMayardit  to demonstrate  the  required  spirit  of  compromise  and  commitment  to  good  neighborliness,  in order speedily to conclude negotiations on all outstanding  issues, as the only way for the two countries  to achieve  their  goals  in  terms of  security, democracy and development, and meet the most basic needs of their peoples.

15.  With  regard  to  Darfur,  Participants  welcomed  the  signature  by  the  Government  of Sudan  and  the  Liberation  and  Justice Movement  (LJM)  of  the  Doha  Document  for  Peace  in Darfur  (DDPD),  on  14  July  2011.  Participants  stressed  that  the  DDPD  provide  the  basis  for reaching a comprehensive political settlement to the Darfur conflict and welcomed steps taken by the AU and UN in support of further negotiations with non-signatories and the holding of an internal  dialogue.   Participants  commended  the  two  signatories  for  having  undertaken  a number  of  steps  toward  the  implementation  of  the  DDPD  and  expressed  their  readiness  to support  them  further  in  implementing  those  aspects  of  the  Agreement  necessary  to  bring concrete peace dividends to the people of Darfur, including returns and recovery. In this regard, Participants  commended  the  efforts  of  the  Implementation  Follow-up  Commission  (IFC)  to ensure  the effective  implementation of  the DDPD. They  stressed  that a durable  resolution of the  Sudanese  conflict  in  Darfur  require  that  a  holistic  agreement  among  Dafurians  be  an integral part of a national process, and expressed their support of further efforts by the AUHIP toward this end.  

16.Participants deplored the continued violence in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile States, its impact on the humanitarian situation of the affected civilian population and the fact that this conflict  was  souring  relations  between  Sudan  and  South  Sudan.  Participants  welcomed  the initiativetaken by the AU, the Arab League and the UN on humanitarian access, and urged the Government  of  Sudan  to  work  with  these  organizations  toward  finalizing  the  initiativeand implementing  it without delay. Participants noted  that  the  conflict  in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile  required  a  political  resolution,  and  called  upon  the  Parties  to  resume  negotiations without further delay, under the auspices of the AUHIP.
17. Participants  expressed  concern  that  instability  in  some  South  Sudanstates,  Jonglei  in particular,  militia,  and  inter-communal  conflict  continued  to  threaten  security.  Participants reiterated  theirsupport  to  measures  taken  by  the  Government  of  South  Sudan  towards voluntary  disarmament  and  in  addressing  the  political,  economic  and  social  root  causes  of communal violence.  

18. Participants  emphasized  the  need  to  promote  inclusive  governance  and democratic reforms in both Sudan and South Sudan,which would allow them to address the root causes of their internal conflicts.  

19. Participants agreed that the co-chairs of the SSSCF will consult on the date and venue of its next session.

Posted by Tchioffo Kodjo
Last updated by Limi Mohammed

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