- (Photo: Reuters/Paul Banks/UNMIS/Handout)
The United States is pressuring Sudan’s president, Umar al-Bashir and the soon-to-be President of South Sudan Salva Kiir Mayardit, for a resolution of the ongoing conflicts between the north and south by the end of July.
U.S State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said: “We welcome the commitment that Sudan's leaders made to continue negotiations on outstanding issues following South Sudan's independence on July 9...We urge the parties to set a firm deadline -- no later than the end of July -- for the resolution of these issues."
In January South Sudan voted to secede from the north. The move came after years of peace deals to end the 21 year civil war. Negotiations and peace deals have consistently failed as numerous important issues remained outstanding. In particular, core issues that had to be resolved included; the status of the Abyei region, division of debt, border demarcation and oil revenue.
The next step of reconciliation and border withdrawal does not come without conflict as clashes continue to occur in Abyei and neighboring South Kordofan. Ceasefires have yet to be finalized in the northern state.
Nuland stated the U.S is “encouraging” progress to be made on arrangements for Abyei and security arrangements to protect the north and south border areas.
She also shared that progressive conversations on debt relief and money had taken place.
"While these agreements reflect significant achievements, we remain concerned that several critical outstanding issues remain unresolved, including questions relating to the oil sector and the final status of Abyei," she said.
She reiterated the U.S. is calling for the parties to cease fighting in South Kordofan and make provisions for "unfettered access" for aid workers to deliver humanitarian assistance to civilians affected by the conflict.