AFRICANGLOBE – The Joint Security Committee of Sudan and South Sudan held its second meeting in Juba. A joint communiqué issued on by the official Sudan news agency, SUNA, said the two sides had agreed to cease immediately any support or harboring of rebel groups from either sides, and to prevent rebels or support for them from crossing the common border.
The two countries also agreed to stop any travel documents being issued to members of rebel groups, and refrain from harboring elements that threaten the security of either country.
The two sides also agreed, for the first time, to form a joint team to investigate any breaches of the agreements signed between the two countries, and decided on the procedures and terms of reference for the work of this operational team.
With regard to the centreline of the proposed demilitarized zone, the two sides agreed to withdraw their troops from the disputed border areas and redeploy them in line with the map proposed by the African Union’s High Level Implementation Panel.
They have also agreed to activate previously agreed mechanisms relating to the border, including the border monitoring mechanism and a committee on the Mile 14 area, and cooperate fully with the committees established ten days ago by the AU Peace and Security Council.
These are the Ad Hoc Investigative Mechanism to look into the allegations of continued support to and harboring of armed groups operating against each other; and the AU Border Program’s determination of the centerline for the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone (SDBZ) between Sudan and South Sudan, to facilitate the full operationalization of the Zone.
The implementation of this agreement is now expected to pave the way to negotiate issues related to the disputed border areas and Abyei referendum. It is also expected the agreement will pave the way for Sudan to withdraw its decision to halt the flow of South Sudanese crude oil to the international market. The next meeting of the Joint Security Committee is to be held in Khartoum on August 15.