The African Union said the northern government in Khartoum and the
southern government in Juba have agreed to launch joint patrols, Middle East Newsline reported. Officials
said the agreement was reached after weeks of negotiations in the Ethiopian
capital of Addis Ababa.
"The agreement establishes a Common Border Zone between North and South
Sudan, which is to be demilitarized and jointly monitored and patrolled,"
the AU said on May 31.
The AU effort was attributed to Alex de Waal, who headed the
negotiations in Ethiopia. Northern and southern Sudan share a demilitarized
zone that extends 2,100 kilometers.
Officials said the patrols would cover the 10-kilometer wide
demilitarized zone north and south of the 1956 border drawn by Britain ahead
of Sudanese independence. They said details of the patrols and their
authority would be released soon.
The sole referendum arranged by the AU and United Nations was that of
southern Sudan, in which 95 percent voted for independence. Secession from
Khartoum was scheduled to take place on July 9.
Khartoum has proposed to rotate control of the administration in Abyei.
Under the proposal, released on late May 31, Khartoum's military would
remain north of the Bahar Al Arab River while Abyei's administration would
be transferred to a north-south committee on July 8.