The head of United Nations peacekeeping today urged the governments of South
Sudan and Sudan to refrain from actions and statements that could lead to a
further deterioration in their relations following recent incidents near their
“Only the two parties, working together, can efficiently and effectively manage
security at their common border, and… the United Nations stands ready to support
them in this respect,” said Hervé Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for
Peacekeeping Operations, in a briefing to the Security Council.
He urged the two countries to establish the joint border monitoring mechanism
they had agreed upon in July.
Mr. Ladsous said the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) had on Sunday sent a
verification team to Yida in South Sudan’s Unity state which confirmed that four
bombs were dropped there last week.
Three bombs exploded, but the fourth, which landed on a school compound, did
not. Different eyewitnesses told the team that the bombs were dropped by a white
Antonov aircraft from Sudan, an allegation denied by Sudan. He said that members
of the ethnic Nuba community who fled Yida refugee camp following the bombing
are now going back.
Mr. Ladsous also confirmed that a bombing took place in Quffa in Maban county of
Sudan’s Upper Nile state on Tuesday last week, with at least four bombs dropped
He told the Council that the African Union high-level panel chaired by former
South African president Thabo Mbeki has convened a meeting of the joint
political and security mechanism between the governments of Sudan and South
Sudan on Friday. The mechanism is a Cabinet-level bilateral body agreed to
between two countries to resolve disputes and support the consolidation of
Talks mediated by the high-level panel on issues still pending after the
implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) – which led to South
Sudan formally seceding from Sudan in July – will also resume in the Ethiopian
capital, Addis Ababa, next weekend, Mr. Ladsous told the Council.
“I would like to urge both governments to demonstrate the necessary flexibility
and commitment in the upcoming negotiations in Addis Ababa, and agree swiftly on
a package of measures to resolve remaining differences on financial transitional
arrangements, Abyei and border demarcation.
“Both meetings are critical to reduce tensions but the parties will also need to
make sure that any support to each other’s rebel groups ceases immediately,” he
He said reports had also been received that a new military alliance between
rebel movements in Darfur and the Sudan People Liberation Movement-North
(SPLA-North) had been formed with the stated aim of toppling the Sudanese
“This represents a step further in a pattern of escalation that is
counter-productive. The United Nations continues to stress that all parties to
the different conflicts between the Government of Sudan and its peripheries need
to return to the table of negotiations and resolve their differences through
In her briefing to the Council, Hilde Johnson, the Secretary-General’s Special
Representative and head of UNMISS, said the mission stood ready to support the
Government of South Sudan address the challenges of State-building, especially
in the areas of human rights and the rule of law.
“UNMISS has a key supporting role to play in the protection of civilians, but
the Government retains ultimate responsibility,” Ms. Johnson told the Council
via video link from Juba, the Capital of South Sudan.
“The efforts of UNMISS to strengthen the capacity of national security organs to
deliver security and the rule of law will bolster the Government’s ability to
protect its citizens,” she said, adding there was a great need to
professionalize South Sudan’s institutions to meet the minimum international