(May 12 – Xinhua) – The African Union High-Level Implementation Panel on Sudan (AUHIP) has set May 17 as the date for resuming the negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, Khartoum’s Al-Sudani daily reported Saturday.
"The African mechanism for mediation between Sudan and South Sudan has set May 17 as the date for resuming the negotiations between the two countries in Addis Ababa," the paper said, adding that head of the AUHIP Thabo Mbeki has been shuttling between capitals in the region to prepare the atmosphere for the negotiations between Khartoum and Juba.
The moves to bring Khartoum and Juba back to the negotiation table come amid a state of doubts, exchanged accusations and lack of trust between the two sides in addition to border tension, which constitute a great challenge for the African mediation.
The negotiations between the two countries were suspended following the recent armed clashes between the two sides at the oil-rich area of Heglig.
The African Union’s Peace and Security Council on April 24 issued a resolution in which it asked the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to support its demands for Sudan and South Sudan to stop hostilities within 48 hours, resume negotiations within two weeks and complete the peace agreement in three months.
On May 2, the UNSC adopted a resolution demanding Sudan and South Sudan to "immediately cease all hostilities, including aerial bombardments, with the parties formally conveying their commitment in this respect to the chairperson of the African Union Commission and the president of the Security Council not later than 48 hours from the adoption of this resolution."
The resolution further asked Sudan and South Sudan to " unconditionally withdraw all of their armed forces to their side of the border, in accordance with previously adopted agreements."