October 22, 2020 (NEW YORK) – The United Nations Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Parfait Onanga-Anyanga has lauded the strengthening relations between Sudan and neighboring South Sudan.
- While briefing the Security Council on Thursday after visiting Sudan, Onanga-Anyanga said the relationship between Sudan and South Sudan continues to strengthen, adding that both countries agreed to review all their 2012 cooperation agreements with immediate effect.
“I am happy to report that the relationship between Sudan and South Sudan continues to strengthen. It is in this context that, at the beginning of September, Sudan and South Sudan agreed to review all their 2012 Cooperation Agreements with immediate effect,” he said.
According to the senior UN official, following a September 2 meeting, South Sudan dispatched a high-level mission to Khartoum on September 6 to initiate bilateral discussions, including on Abyei.
“While neither party disclosed the outcomes, there was an understanding that further talks on Abyei would take place alternately in both countries,” Onanga-Anyanga told the Council.
He added, “I would like to take this opportunity to recognise the pivotal role that UNISFA [UN forces in Abyei] continues to play in maintaining stability in Abyei under very challenging circumstances”.
The envoy said the warm relationships between Sudan and South Sudan provide an opportunity for the international community indeed an opportunity to strengthen further its engagements with both countries as they grapple with their internal challenges, which have always constrained bilateral relations between both countries.
Richard Mills, a representative of the United States to the Security Council, echoed calls for continued progress amid a “drastic improvement” in relations between Sudan and South Sudan.
He, however, pledged that the United States would continue to work towards stability in the region, citing the removal of Sudan from its list of States Sponsors of Terrorism as recognition of progress.
Meanwhile, the special UN envoy said the two countries have continued to develop fruitful cooperation in oil, citing the signing on September 28 of a protocol to resume oil production in the Unity and Toma South fields, with 15,000 barrels per day (bpd) expected to be produced soon.
Prior to the agreement , South Sudan was providing 30,000 bpd of crude oil to Sudan. As such, the new deal in line with South Sudan’s plan to return to its pre-conflict production level of 350,000 bpd from its current 150,000 bpd.