Silva Kir, the leader of south Sudan and President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan. The President said he would recognize the south if it voted for separation from the central government. Factional fighting in the south may jeopardize their independence., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Sudan parties sign accord on border security
By Uma Julius
May 30, 2011 (JUBA) – Sudan’s two main political parties, the National Congress Party (NCP) and the south-based Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) on Monday signed a joint position paper that governs border security between north and south.
The agreement, signed in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa details the establishment of a joint political and security mechanism for the two neighboring regions, under the leadership of the two defense ministers and the chiefs of staff from both the northern as well as the southern army.
“The agreement also establishes a common border zone between north and south Sudan, which is to be demilitarized and jointly monitored and patrolled,” partly reads a communique from the African Union (AU) high-level implementation panel for Sudan headed by former South African president Thabo Mbeki.
Mahmoud Suleiman and Salva Mathok signed the agreement on behalf of the NCP and SPLM respectively, which was witnessed by the AU.
Meanwhile, this agreement is expected to pave way for further negotiations on key security issues between the two parties, earmarked to be convened by the AU panel in a week or so.
The accord comes barely two weeks after the northern army, the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), made a quick and successive take over of the disputed oil-producing region of Abyei.
An estimated 30,000-40,000 people have since been displaced from the area, although southern officials put the figure at about 150,000.