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ADDIS ABABA - 21 Jan 2013

Factbox: Troubled talks in Addis break up

Talks between Sudan and South Sudan broke up Saturday without agreement to resume oil production as was previously decided in Addis Ababa last September.

- This round represented an ‘extraordinary meeting’ of the Joint Political and Security Mechanism (JPSM), which was established by the September agreement. The negotiations were held from 12-19 January in Addis Ababa and have now been adjourned until 13 February. The three-member African Union High Implementation Panel (AUHIP) chaired the meeting.

- Disagreements emerged over the disputed region of Abyei, border demilitarization, SPLA disengagement from SPLA-North, and demilitarization of the ‘Mile 14’ area, according to Sudanese Defense Minister Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein, who spoke to press upon arrival in Khartoum after the conclusion of the talks.

- Sudan’s foreign ministry and defense minister on Saturday both publically accused South Sudan of reneging on the agreement to demilitarize Mile 14  area.

- The acting negotiator in this round for South Sudan was Minister John Luk Jok, marking a departure from previous talks when Pa’gan Amum Okiech led the Juba delegation.

- AUHIP reported ‘substantial progress’ on three main issues: (1) “a detailed and time-bound implementation matrix covering all security issues”; (2) a complaint mechanism, i.e. “a matrix for processing security-related complaints”; (3)  the establishment of the demilitarized border zone.

- Negotiators agreed to operationalize the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JBVMM) to be temporarily headquartered in Kadugli, Sudan, with two additional sector headquarters, one in each country.

- Negotiators agreed to request the United Nations to increase the number of troops in the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei in order to provide protection to the JBVMM border monitors.  

- Negotiators disagreed on formation of the Abyei Area Council, with South Sudan insisting on a majority of members instead of splitting it equally. Nominees for the Abyei Area Administration, on the other hand, have been adopted.

- Negotiators agreed that representatives of both sides will hold a special meeting in Abyei on 30 January to discuss formation of the Abyei police service.

- In a related diplomatic development, the African Union Ordinary Summit begins on 21 January, with the heads of state summit meeting 27-28 January.

File photo: The AUHIP meets with Sudan and Souh Sudan Nationality cluster members, Addis Ababa, 7 September 2012