South Sudan + 1 more

UN pushes for greater rapprochement between the two Sudans

The UN envoy for Sudan and South Sudan has cautioned the two neighbors against actions that could undermine peace and stability within and between them.

“One has to recognize that the internal situations in both Sudan and South Sudan can impact on the capacity for both countries to interact,” Nicholas Haysom told Radio Miraya after a meeting with the authorities in Juba.

“We know already that there are mutual accusations about each interfering in the internal affairs of the other, principally by supporting insurgent groups,” he noted.

The new envoy, who visited Khartoum prior to travelling to South Sudan, said the UN was committed to promoting cooperation between the two countries.

Haysom said he took office at a time when relations between Khartoum and Juba were at their lowest ebb.

He stressed the need for “a constructive response” from Khartoum to developments in South Sudan, lauding recent talks between the countries mainly on economic ties, including trade corridors, transitional financial arrangements and collaboration in oil matters.

On the security front, the two countries have also been discussing the redeployment of troops with a view to creating a buffer zone between them and possibly conducting joint police patrols.

But bilateral relations apart, Haysom said the international community was no less troubled by the enduring conflict and insecurity within the two Sudans. He insisted that it was up to the authorities in Khartoum and Juba, how things ultimately play out.

“In Khartoum I sought to encourage a broad, inclusive process, which would allow rebel groups to participate, and I also encouraged the government to be flexible,” he said.

Describing the situation in South Sudan as pervasive, Haysom said it would require help from outside. Even so, he maintained that it would take the resolve of the people of South Sudan themselves to forge peace and stability in the country.