The U.N. Security Council on Monday warned Sudan and South Sudan to take steps to end their deadly rivalry in line with a resolution which threatened sanctions.
After consultations on tensions between the African neighbors, the 15-nation council expressed “strong concern” over delays in carrying out demands that the two move to completely end their hostilities.
“The members of the Security Council stressed the requirement that Sudan and South Sudan resolve all outstanding issues within the time frames” set out under U.N. resolution 2046 and an African Union roadmap.
The Security Council passed resolution 2046 on May 2, giving the two rivals two weeks to start peace talks and three months to reach a settlement, in line with the AU plan. The resolution warned of possible sanctions if action was not taken.
The council noted “a reduction in violence in the border region and commended that some progress was made by both parties in implementing the requirements of resolution 2046.”
But the 15-nation body “expressed their strong concern about delays and stressed that important elements of the resolution remain unresolved by both parties.”
The council said it would “closely monitor” the two sides’ implementation of their obligations.
Sudan and South Sudan, which formally split in July last year, having fought a two decade civil war up to 2005 in which two million people were killed, blame each other for the lingering problems.
They have no formal border and are still wrangling over how to share revenues from oil reserves that straddle the border and a variety of territorial disputes.
AU-brokered talks between the two sides have started, however, and are to be held again in Addis Ababa this week.
But the council called for urgent steps to set up a border security mechanism and a demilitarized border zone, in line with the council resolution and African Union demands.
The council called on Sudan to withdraw so-called oil police in the disputed region of Abyei, where both sides have pulled out the bulk of their security forces.
The Security Council also “reiterated their grave concern” over events in Sudan’s South Kordofan and Blue Nile states where Khartoum government forces are battling rebels.
The United Nations has warned of a growing humanitarian crisis and said it is preparing to send 8,000 tons of food to Kordofan. UN experts have expressed particular concern over rebel held areas where they cannot get access.
The Sudan government has severely restricted access to Kordofan and Blue Nile.