“I am very pleased that Sudan and South Sudan have now reached agreement on these issues, which are important for both countries. I hope the agreements can be implemented speedily. Norway will support this work. The African Union deserves recognition for the way it has facilitated the negotiations,” said Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide.
The agreements were signed by the two presidents on Thursday, and were the result of several difficult rounds of negotiations in Addis Ababa, under the auspices of the African Union.
“The two countries have now shown the world that they have chosen to work together to resolve common problems. We support the goal of building two viable states that will give hope for the future for all their people, and will continue to work with both countries,” said Minister of International Development Heikki Holmås.
Despite these agreements, a number of difficult issues remain to be resolved. In Sudan, negotiations between the SPLM-N rebels in the states of Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan and the government in Khartoum have so far hardly achieved anything. International humanitarian actors are not being given access to rebel-controlled areas, where the humanitarian situation is critical. In August, Sudan signed a memorandum of understanding with the Arab League, the UN and the African Union on humanitarian access, but there is disagreement on how this is to be implemented in practice.
“The parties must find a solution to the conflict in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile. We urge Sudan and the SPLM-N to start direct negotiations on the basis of UN Security Council resolution 2046, and request Sudan to grant immediate humanitarian access to all areas in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states,” said Mr Eide.