Editorial :UNSC Progress Report Signals
The United Nations Security (UNSC) held a closed meeting on Wednesday to listen to a briefing by the UN Secretary General Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan Haile Menkerios via videoconference.
This comes more than two weeks after the UNSC adopted a resolution that endorsed an African Union roadmap instructing Khartoum and Juba to return to the negotiating table and end all hostilities as well as pull troops back inside their borders.
The decision gave a three month timeframe to reach agreements on key issues including Abyei, oil, citizenship and border demarcation. It threatened either side with non-military sanctions in the event of non-compliance.
The progress report read that the return to the table is obviously a very important part of this, and Mbeki and Menkerios and others are in the region talking to both parties, trying to facilitate a return to the table. It is frankly not a surprise that it will not happen necessarily on the day we decree, but the aim is that it happen as soon as possible without any further delay and do so consistent with the work that Mbeki and Menkerios as trying to do.
Thabo Mbeki, the AU mediator in charge of negotiations, is set to visit Khartoum this week for the first time since the UNSC resolution in order to discuss the return to talks with Sudanese officials.
Sudan is insisting that it will only head for negotiations on security issues and only after that are settled will it agree to discuss other items.
However, all the indicators show that the deliberations in the UNSC session were flexible and sending encouraging messages to both parties to start the direct talks.
The UNSC progress report avoided any sanctions threats in this stage to contribute in providing appropriate environment to make the upcoming round of talks a success.
According to UN Secretary General Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan Haile Menkerios, the level of violence seems to have dropped significantly, particularly over the last week to ten days, including no more aerial bombardments since the 5th or the 6th of May.
The flexibility shown in the progress report doesn't mean that the UNSC is loosening its dealing with the bloody conflict between Sudan and South Sudan, but it should be read as keenness for immediate halting of hostilities in the bordering areas to allow for the resumption of talks in better environment.
Let us hope that Mbeki shuttle movements lead to narrowing the gaps and difference, hence pave the way for a new round of talks.
By Sudan Vision, 19/05/2012