ACCORD's South Sudan Initiative (SSI) has held a Mediation and Negotiation Support Training (MANST) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for South Sudanese government officials and stakeholders who are directly or indirectly involved in the ongoing negotiation processes with Republic of Sudan. The training was held from 24-28 March.
The Republics of South Sudan and the Sudan are presently in negotiation proceedings with the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), headed by ex-South African President Thabo Mbeki, on the following key areas:
- Citizenship – issues related to nationality, particularly for South Sudanese living in the Sudan
- Security – covering cross-border security arrangements, border demarcations and the status of the disputed region of Abyei
- International agreements – matters pertaining to international agreements signed by the Sudan before secession, such as the Nile Water Agreement
- Economic and financial settlements – in particular, how the two states will share Sudan's burden of debt.
The MANST came as a follow-up to a Conflict Management, Mediation and Communication (CMMC) skills training that ACCORD organized for the Republic of South Sudan government officials in August 2012 in Pretoria, South Africa. The MANST targeted South Sudanese officials who are directly engaged in the negotiations or technically support the Republic of South Sudan Negotiation Team. The training also included ambassadors from the Republic of South Sudan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and senior officials from the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs. Key speakers at the training included a former African Union mediation expert who reflected on the Burundi peace process and the implementation of the Arusha protocols.
ACCORD hopes the workshop will be of added value to the South Sudanese negotiation team and complement the African Union High Implementation Panel (AUHIP)'s ongoing mediation efforts to resolve the outstanding post-independence issues between the Republic of South Sudan and the Republic of Sudan.