Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union Jean Ping (right) at a past meeting in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. [http://www.daylife.com]
By Waakhe Simon Wudu
JUBA, 14 June 2012 [Gurtong] – It says the slow pace of negotiations and low turnout was a great threat to attainment of peace between the two feuding neighbours.
AU chairman Jean Ping said in a statement that the Union remains concerned with the talks, saying little has been achieved by the parties.
“The AU is profoundly concerned at the slow pace in implementing the obligations of the two countries under the Peace and Security Council (PSC) Roadmap of 24 April 2012 and United Nations Security Council resolution 2046(2012) of 2 May 2012,” he added.
He called upon Sudan and South Sudan to get focused on resolving the issues.
He called for greater commitment in order to resolve the outstanding issues that are at the centre of the dispute between the two countries.
“This is a critical moment for Sudan and South Sudan, when it is imperative, for the future of the two countries and the entire region, that they take decisive and immediate steps towards resolving their conflict and returning to peace and cooperation”, he said.
Sudan and South Sudan reportedly had fruitless talks in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa last Thursday.
The two parties convened talks between 28 May and 7 June after pressure from an AU Peace and Security Council roadmap backed by the United Nations Security Council was reached and addressed to the parties.
The roadmap requires the two countries to implement a series of steps to establish peace and security along their common border, including a cessation of hostilities, withdrawal of each country’s armed forces to their side of the border, and ending support to rebels fighting against the other country.
It also calls for the operationalisation of the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone (SDBZ), in accordance with a map proposed by the AU High Level Implementation Panel in November 2011, the activation of the Joint Border Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (JBVMM), a formation of an Ad Hoc Committee under the Joint Political and Security Mechanism (JPSM) to investigate allegations and counter‐ allegations from either side, and an end to hostile propaganda and inflammatory statements.