Parliament urges Sudan and South Sudan to show their readiness to seek negotiated solutions to their outstanding differences, in a resolution passed on Wednesday. It calls on them to implement the UN roadmap adopted in May and to agree by August on economic issues including the use of oil, border demarcation and humanitarian access.
The creation of a safe, demilitarized border zone and the unconditional withdrawal of all armed forces to their side of the border should be the starting point for meaningful negotiations between the two states, say MEPs in the resolution, which was adopted by a show of hands.
Solve outstanding issues by August
MEPs are pleased that direct talks have resumed in Addis-Ababa and that both states have accepted the roadmap endorsed by the UN Security Council on 2 May, which sets a three-month deadline for settling outstanding post-secession issues, including the use of oil.. They say border demarcation is essential for peace and stability in the region and they call on Sudan and South Sudan to let the African Union assist them with this.
Tackle the humanitarian emergency
Priority must go to tackling the humanitarian situation caused by the fighting between Sudan and South Sudan and by the continued fighting in the states of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, says the resolution. One million people could be at risk of starvation, according to UN officials.
Sudan and South Sudan must allow UN and other humanitarian personnel immediate access to the affected populations and the EU and the international community must honour their funding commitments, especially to address severe shortages of food aid, emergency shelter and protection, MEPs stress.
Supporting the increased UN presence
Parliament welcomes the UN Security Council's decision to extend the mandate of the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) and to send additional peacekeeping forces to Sudan, stressing that the continued UN presence is extremely valuable to the peaceful development of two viable states. It also wants the safety of UN personnel to be guaranteed and international observers to monitor border compliance.