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Sudan and South Sudan border committee to resume work in mid-September: envoy

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August 26, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - South Sudan’s ambassador to Khartoum Mayan Dot Waal on Friday said the joint border technical committee between the countries would resume its work in mid-September in Khartoum.

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In September 2012, both Sudan and South Sudan signed a series of cooperation agreements, which covered oil, citizenship rights, security issues, banking, border trade among others.

In March 2013, the two countries signed an implementation matrix for these cooperation agreements. However, the execution of the agreements didn’t go according to the plan.

Last June, the Joint Political and Security Committee (JPSC) between the two countries signed a series of security agreements, including immediate re-deployment of joint military forces along the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone (SDBZ), and approved a plan to stop supporting and harbouring rebels as well as opening the crossings points.

The South Sudanese envoy told the semi-official Sudan Media Center (SMC) the two sides have agreed on the timetable to begin the implementation of the nine cooperation agreements.

He added the joint committees would also hold similar meetings in Juba during the coming period to determine its missions and implement tasks entrusted to them.

Waal further pointed his government has embarked on taking practical and serious moves to pull back its troops at a distance of 10 kilometers inside its territory in coordination with the United Nations.

During the abovementioned JSPC meeting the two sides agreed to immediately start enforcing the agreed decision on the buffer zone and submit a report to the African Union High Implementation Panel (AUHIP) within 21 days.

On 11 May, the UN Security Council has mentioned the agreement between Sudan and South Sudan to activate the mechanisms pertaining to the JSPC and urged both sides to draw the coordinates of the demilitarized zone or reach an agreement to make it a weapon-free zone including the 14 Mile area.

The SDBZ would be established along 2,100 km on the 1956 border line and at a distance of 10 kilometers on each side of the borders.

Last June, Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) said it has completed the re-deployment of its troops along the SDBZ with South Sudan.

Waal added the recent JSPC meeting has developed a timetable to begin the works of the technical committees on September 15th, saying the strengthening of social, political and economic ties between Khartoum and Juba would stop spoilers and prevent imposition of international trusteeship.

South Sudan seceded from Sudan on July 9th 2011 following a referendum on whether the semi-autonomous region should remain a part of the country or become independent. 99% of the southern voters chose independence.

Observers say that strained relations between the two countries and the internal crises they are currently facing are direct consequence of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) which failed to adequately address several post-cessation issues.

(ST)

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