Ban Urges Sudan and South Sudan to Make Compromises on Unresolved Disputes
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced concern over the lack of progress in talks to resolve post-independence issues between Sudan and South Sudan, as well as the possibility of an escalation in tensions after unilateral decisions taken by the two governments over their oil dispute.
Mr. Ban urged both countries to re-commit to the negotiation process scheduled to start in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, and reach agreements on all outstanding issues.
“The moment has come for the leaders of both countries to make the necessary compromises, once again, that will guarantee a peaceful and prosperous future for both nations,” said a statement issued by the spokesperson of the Secretary-General.
South Sudan became an independent State last July, six months after its people voted overwhelmingly to secede from Sudan.
Tensions between the two countries over unresolved border disagreements have continued to simmer. A dispute over tariffs charged by Sudan on South Sudan for the use of a pipeline and port to export oil has recently further strained relations.
Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos, briefed the Security Council on the situation in South Sudan and told reporters afterwards that she had voiced concern that the country’s decision to suspend oil exports could undermine the Government’s financial capacity to respond to the humanitarian crisis facing its people.
Meanwhile, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) reported that nearly five million people in South Sudan will face food shortages this year, as a result of poor harvests, soaring food and fuel prices, conflict and displacement.
The agency was already planning to provide food assistance to 2.7 million people this year and is now preparing to scale up operations if the situation worsens, WFP spokesperson Gaëlle Sévenier told reporters in Geneva. She said the agency has funding shortfall of $160 million for its operation in South Sudan.
By UN News Center, 11/02/2012