January 5, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Khartoum and Juba governments Thursday signed an agreement extending river and land transit of international humanitarian assistance for the South Sudanese civilians for a six month period.
In July 2014, the two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to open a humanitarian corridor to deliver food assistance to vulnerable South Sudanese through the Nile river or by road.
The cross-border operation allows the World Foord Programmes (WFP) to reduce the costly airlift or airdrop operations in a time where the international agency faces serious financial challenges.
The MoU was signed by the Sudanese Deputy Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid Ahmed Mohamed Osman and South Sudanese Ambassador to Khartoum, Mayan Dut Waal.
Speaking to the media following the signing ceremony, the Sudanese humanitarian official said the extension of the agreement contributes to consolidate human relations between the two countries.
He further stressed that the Sudanese government would continue to exert the needed efforts with international partners to deliver humanitarian assistance to the affected people in South Sudan.
"We reaffirm the keenness of the government of Sudan to provide all possible facilities for the passage of humanitarian aid into South Sudan," he added.
River transport of goods across the joint stopped after the border’s closure following South Sudan’s independence in 2011 as Khartoum accused Juba of supporting Sudanese rebels in the Two Areas.
The resumption of river and road transport enabled the WFP to deliver hundreds of metric tons of food to South Sudanese. Barges loaded of food reached South Sudanese in the Upper Nile state towns of Renk and Wadakona.