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ADDIS ABABA - 17 Apr 2013

African Union mediation set JPSM meeting for next week

The head of the African Union High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) Thabo Mbeki has set 22 April as the date for the next meeting of the Joint Political and Security Mechanism (JPSM), a committee co-chaired by the defense ministers of South Sudan and Sudan.

The meeting in Addis Ababa will focus on final steps in the process of implementation of security arrangements of the Cooperation Agreement.

According to a source close to the AU mediation quoted in Khartoum newspapers, the meeting will discuss a report of the UN force assigned to observe and verify the withdawal of troops from the designated demilitarized border zone. UNISFA, the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei, has expanded its presence to Gok Machar, Kadugli and elsewhere in order to carry out this task.

Also on the agenda are the activation of additional security and border control mechanisms. In particular, the meeting will address the composition of a joint committee on cessation of harbouring armed movements between the two countries.

The secretariat of the JPSM is expected to convene two days before the committee itself.

File photo: Thabo Mbeki (World Economic Forum/Eric Miller)