January 5, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s foreign ministry has disclosed they are discussing with the South Sudan the reopening of border between the two countries saying that Sudan’s losses has incurred $7 billion due to stopping cross-border trade.
- Sudanese military personnel inspect the belongings of South Sudanese on the Sudanese border on 18 April 2014 (Photo: Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)
Sudan shut down its border with South Sudan in June 2011 following the eruption of the armed conflict in South Kordofan state, accusing Juba of supporting and harbouring Sudanese rebels.
Sudan’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs Kamal al-Din Ismail, who briefed the parliament Monday on Sudan’s foreign policy, said his country’s interests were significantly hit by the closure of the border with South Sudan.
The Sudanese diplomat did not provide further details of the ongoing talks, but Sudan in the past but Khartoum in the past said the deployment of joint border security patrols is a prerequisite for the resumption of border trade.
Khartoum and Juba regularly trade accusations of support to rebel groups from both sides.
To settle this issue, the two countries committed themselves in the Cooperation Agreement of 27 September 2012 to stop supporting or harbouring rebel groups, and agreed to establish a buffer zone on the border and to form a joint monitoring team to prevent rebel infiltration.
Last October the two countries agreed to deploy the joint border monitoring forces which is supported by UNISFA.
Meanwhile, Ismail defended his country’s foreign policy saying it was never been implemented at the expense of Sudanese nationals abroad.
He stressed that Sudan is among a few countries in the world who adopt the principle of reciprocal treatment in its foreign policy, adding “we neither succumb to pressures nor sell our stances or cry over the spilled milk”.
The Sudanese diplomat added their rapprochement with the Eastern nations didn’t come at the expense of the country’s interests with the Western world, noting that strengthening of ties with Eastern countries is more beneficial than with the West.
Washington imposed economic and trade sanctions on Sudan in 1997 in response to its alleged connection to terror networks and human rights abuses. Sudan is also on the US list of states that sponsor terrorism since 1993.
For their side, several MP’s have demanded the foreign ministry to the resolve the dispute over Halayeb area with Egypt besides accelerating procedures to redraw the borders with several neighbouring countries particularly South Sudan and Ethiopia.