Statement issued jointly by British, Norwegian and United States Embassies in Juba and Khartoum
13 September 2013
Representatives of Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States met in Oslo last week to reaffirm their commitment to working together as the Troika to support peace and development in Sudan and South Sudan. We will continue to support the AU leadership in facilitating constructive engagement through the AU High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) headed by President Mbeki. We also reiterate our readiness to coordinate with other international actors, and emphasise in this regard the importance of IGAD, Ethiopia and other countries in the region.
The Troika welcomes the meeting of the Presidents of Sudan and South Sudan in Khartoum on 3 September 2013. We hope that the Presidents’ renewed commitment to cooperation and dialogue will lead to unconditional implementation of the 27 September 2012 Agreements.
In this context, we are encouraged by the decision to cooperate on the export of oil, consistent with existing agreements. We welcome the Presidents’ stated resolve to implement agreements on border security and demarcation, cross-border movement of people and goods, economic development and debt relief, and their commitment to achieve a final resolution of the status of Abyei, as the basis for moving forward.
The Troika echoes the concerns expressed by the AU Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) in its 29 July 2013 Communiqué over growing tension in Abyei. We strongly support the Presidents’ decision to expedite the establishment of civilian institutions in Abyei. We express our continued support for the AUHIP’s Proposal for the Final Disposition of Abyei, which is a fair, equitable and workable solution. We urge the parties to make tangible steps toward the conduct of a legitimate, safe, transparent and timely referendum. At the same time, we encourage the governments to promote stability and build confidence among Abyei’s communities through disarmament, economic development, and safe migration. We also support the AUPSC’s decision to visit Abyei and encourage this visit to take place soon.
We welcome the countries’ renewed commitment to pursue a joint approach on debt relief, and remind the parties of the economic and political steps necessary to achieve progress in this regard. The Troika recalls that democratic transformation was central to the vision of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), and emphasises that political and economic reforms in each country are critical to ensuring sustainable peace within and between them.
We stress the need for the Government of Sudan to address the political causes of the conflicts in Darfur, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, and to initiate an inclusive dialogue on political reform. We urge the Government to end aerial bombardments of civilian areas and call on both sides to negotiate a cessation of hostilities. We also urge immediate full humanitarian access and unrestricted operational freedom for UNAMID.
We also express concern about the crisis in Jonglei state in South Sudan. We urge the Government of the Republic of South Sudan to continue efforts to facilitate unhindered access for humanitarian organisations and for UNMISS. The Government must hold to account those responsible for human rights violations, and negotiate an end to the conflict.