April 2, 2017 (JUBA)- South Sudan on Sunday pledged commitment to building up economic and security cooperation with the neighbouring Sudan from which it seceded in 2011.
Salva Kiir’s presidential adviser on decentralisation and intergovernmental linkage has lauded the rapid development in the ties between the two countries, saying improved and sustained bilateral cooperation not only benefits the two peoples but also contributes to consolidate the regional peace and stability.
In an interview with Sudan Tribune, Tor Deng Mawien said the two countries have to maintain close high-level contacts and strengthen coordination on international and regional affairs, to lift bilateral ties to new heights.
He suggested that the two countries should enhance defence and security cooperation and push forward the building of the economic and development in an orderly manner.
Juba and Khartoum have agreed four years ago in September 2012 to coordinate efforts on economic and security issues and to settle border disputed areas, but the two capitals continued to trade accusation of support to rebel groups.
Next week, the head of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) is awaited in Khartoum to discuss the outstanding issues with the Sudanese officials.
Despite the persisting divergences, Khartoum has vowed to support regional efforts to end the three-year crisis in the South Sudan. Also, it has opened its border to transport humanitarian assistance to civilians in the war affected areas.
The presidential aide said the young country views the relations with Sudan as the cornerstone of its foreign policy and its army will always be a staunch supporter of bilateral friendship.
“We were citizens of one country. We were brothers and sisters. We share a lot of issues between us why can we continue to relate on this basis? Why can we ensure the smooth continuation of the friendly relationship between armed forces of the two countries to resolutely safeguard our security?”