Washington — The Obama administration welcomes recent agreements between Sudan and South Sudan on sharing oil revenues and permitting humanitarian access to South Kordofan and Blue Nile, but says both sides need to understand that the African Union and the United Nations Security Council are “dead serious” about these agreements being implemented.
Speaking at the Security Council in New York August 9, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Susan Rice said the United States supports and has commended the oil revenue agreement, which she described as “an important and encouraging step" that will bring economic benefits to both countries.
Likewise, the agreement to allow humanitarian access in South Kordofan and Blue Nile “is also encouraging” and needs to be fully and faithfully implemented, “given the gravity of the humanitarian situation and its rapid deterioration” in both areas, she said.
But Rice said it remains to be seen if either agreement will have full compliance.
“The reality is we have seen agreements in the past that have been signed on paper and never implemented on the ground,” she said, and both sides are risking consequences from the international community.
“The two parties must understand that the African Union and the United Nations Security Council are dead serious about implementation of their decisions and resolutions. … In the case of the Security Council, we’ve made very clear under Chapter VII that these are binding obligations and failure to comply could well result in consequences from this council on either or both parties,” Rice said.
She urged both sides to return to the negotiating table to resolve their remaining issues, and said it is “vitally important” for them to complete the implementation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2046, which calls for a comprehensive settlement of their conflict, including determining the status of Abyei and other disputed areas, security along their border, and demilitarization.
“There are many outstanding issues, including those in the African Union Roadmap and Resolution 2046, that remain unresolved, unaddressed, unimplemented,” Rice said.
The Security Council is realistic on how much more time could be needed, but it attaches great urgency to resolving the conflict, she said.
“We are very clear that the two parties have to move quickly. This council is reviewing the issue … every two weeks. The African Union is very much focused on the urgency of this, and together we intend to hold the parties' feet to the fire,” Rice said.