ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, February 20, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ — T he Chairpers on of the C ommission o f the African Union (AU ), Jean Pin g, has follo wed closely the negotiations betwe en the Government of the Republic Sudan a nd the Government of the Repub lic of Sout h Sudan on boundary demarcation, border m anagemen t and related matters. T he negotiat ions were h eld in Addis Ababa from 15 to 17 February 2 012, under the auspices of the A U High-Level Impleme ntation Panel (AUHIP) and with th e support of the AU Bor der Program me (AUBP).

In earlie r rounds of negotiation , the Partie s had already agreed t o several key principles, including the principle of a soft border and that of integrated border management.

The Chai rperson of the Commi ssion commends the P arties for e mbracing the soft bord er principle. In this resp ect, he affir ms the need to maintain a peacefu l, safe and s ecure bord er along wh ich econom ic activity and social int eractions ca n flourish, and across which the tw o peoples can move and goods and services can flo w easily. The Chairp erson of th e

Commiss ion stresses that these are values t hat the AU a spires to for all its mem ber States.

Furtherm ore, the Chairperson    of the Com mission ap plauds the affirmation by the tw o

States of the agreed boundary,    in accordan ce with the physical des cription an d delimitatio n

and cor responding recommen dations of the    Technical Ad Hoc    Border C ommittee,    as

previously acknowl edged by    the Preside ncy    of the    Republic    of Sudan prior to    th e

indepen dence of So uth Sudan.                    

The Chairperson of the Commis sion also co ngratulates the Parties for previously agreeing to establish the necessary instituti onal mecha nisms to manage and su pervise the delimitation, demarcation and maintenance of their common boundary. These include a Joi nt Demarca tion Committee, a Joint Technical T eam and a J oint Border Commissio n.

During this round of negotiations, the two Parties discussed the timeframes and processes for the commencement and completion of the demarcation of the boundary, and have narrowed their differences on these issues.

The two States also continued to discuss the manner in which they will resolve the disputed areas along the boundary. The Chairperson of the Commission encourages them to reach agreement on this matter as it has important implications for security, economic development and social interactions along the border.

The Chairperson of the Commission urges the two States to take the necessary political decisions to conclude the outstanding matters, in particular on the demarcation process, the mechanism and procedure for resolving disputed areas and for their management once an agreement is reached.

The Chairperson of the Commission considers that all of these matters are eminently resolvable. He expresses his confidence that, with the facilitation of the AUHIP and the necessary political will, the two States can, in the next round of their discussions, reach agreement, so as to enable the peaceful demarcation and management of one of Africa’s longest borders.


African Union Commission (AUC)

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