The 10 agreements also included deals on re-opening cross-border trade, free movement across the countries and a host of other economic and financial issues.
But the deal did not include a resolution to the disputed border district of Abyei, which was promised a referendum to decide which country to join. Sudan has refused to hold the vote unless northern seasonal cattle-herders are declared eligible to participate as well.
There also was no agreement on how to move forward on other lesser disputed areas, nor on so-called claimed areas – where one side doesn’t recognize that the area is disputed. Negotiations are expected to continue at a later date.
Perhaps the most glaring omission from the pact was that it offered no clear path to resolving the region’s most pressing crisis, where South Sudan-friendly rebels control large sections of the border, where hungry civilians bear the brunt of the renewed war. Diplomats have been pressing for Sudan to allow humanitarian access into the rebel areas, with no breakthrough.
That was starkly clear on Thursday when, as diplomats gathered in the Sheraton hotel in Addis Ababa for the signing ceremony, a Russian-made Antonov warplane flew over a weekly market in the rebel-held Nuba Mountains in Sudan and dropped six bombs, killing Hassia Karri Kuku, a 48-year old mother of seven, and wounding six others, according to Ryan Boyette, an American running the Nuba Reports news service. Indiscriminate bombing over civilian areas is a common tactic by the Sudanese government.
Lyman said that he was heading to the U.N. meetings in New York to seek international consensus on resolving the remaining issues and getting humanitarian aid into the blocked rebel areas.