Khartoum-Juba security talks to resume next month : diplomat

South Sudan’s deputy head of diplomatic mission to Khartoum Kow Nuk Mafeer said the governments of the two countries have agreed to resume the meetings of the Joint Political and Security Committee (JPSC) on 6 June in Khartoum.

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A South Sudanese arrives to register for a passport or a temporary travel document at the South Sudanese Embassy in Khartoum April 9, 2012 (Reuters)

In September 2012, both Sudan and South Sudan signed a series of cooperation agreements, which covered oil, citizenship rights, security issues, banking, border trade among others.

In March 2013, the two countries signed an implementation matrix for these cooperation agreements.

Mafeer told the semi-official Sudan Media Center (SMC) that the two countries agreed to resume the JPSC meetings on 6 June, stressing his government approved the proposed date after the two governments agreed to delay the meeting to early June.

Last December, the third meeting of the JSPC which was scheduled to be held in Khartoum was postponed for internal Southern Sudanese security reasons.

Meanwhile, Mafeer pointed that South Sudan’s border demarcation team would arrive in Khartoum next month to carry out its tasks, saying the team includes delegates from the security, defence, interior, and foreign affairs ministries besides experts from the border crossings, chamber of taxation and bureau of customs.

The South Sudanese team was scheduled to arrive in Khartoum on Sunday.

On 11 May, the UN Security Council has mentioned the agreement between Sudan and South Sudan to activate the mechanisms pertaining to the JSPC and urged both sides to draw the coordinates of the demilitarized zone or reach an agreement to make it a weapon-free zone including the 14 Mile area.

Mafeer further pointed to the need to speed up the implementation of the outstanding issues and the recently signed protocols between the two sides, saying the move would strengthen the historic ties between Khartoum and Juba.

The two countries had deployed troops on the border following the signing of the cooperation agreement. But Juba stopped the operation fearing that demilitarized zone which is established on disputed areas along the border may be used by Sudan to support its territorial claims.

The deployment of the joint monitoring force however was seen crucial to support a successful implementation of a peace deal aiming to end the 21-month South Sudanese conflict.

Sudan also urges Juba since several years to implement this agreement as it accuses the South Sudanese government of harbouring rebels from Darfur and the Two Areas.

South Sudan broke away from Sudan in July, 2011, following a referendum held in January of that year.

Source: DEHAI-Eritrea OnLine