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Sudan, South Sudan to open border next October: minister

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SUdan's PM Hamdok poses with South Sudan's VP Taban Gai on 20 August 2021 (ST photo)August 20, 2021 (KHARTOUM/JUBA) - The Sudanese Minister of Trade Ali Gedo Friday announced the reopening of the border and resumption of trade with South Sudan on the first of next October.

In a separate meeting, South Sudan’s Vice President Taban Deng Gai said he agreed with Hamdok to link the two countries by the roads and railways.

The Sudanese transport minister who is in Juba accompanying the prime minister held talks with Dhieu Mathok South Sudan Minister of Investment on Friday.

Following the meeting, the minister stated that they had a successful meeting where they reached important understandings.

"The two countries agreed to open the border on the first of next October to enable free movement of people and goods," he said.

The deal is expected as part of a joint declaration at the end of Hamdok visit to Juba.

During their meeting on Thursday, President Salva Kiir and Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok agreed to activate all the protocols of the cooperation agreement signed in 2012.

Also, President Kiir directed his ministers to discuss it with the visiting Sudanese officials.

Sudan and South Sudan in 2012 signed a four-freedoms agreement but the deal was not implemented.

The framework agreement allows citizens of both states to enjoy “freedom of residence, freedom of movement, freedom to undertake economic activity and freedom to acquire and dispose of property".

Roads and railways

Vice-President Taban on Friday discussed with Hamdok the infrastructure programme including the construction of highways in South Sudan particularly Juba- Bor- Ayod -Renk road, Bentiu -Hegleg road and Abyei-Muglad as well as Aweil- Meram route.

The four roads will serve to link the two countries and facilitate goods movement between north and South Sudan.

Gai highlighted the need to expedite the opening of these corridors linking the two countries as a priority, saying it was mutually agreed that the development of the railway line connecting Babanusa and Wau was also of critical importance for trade, industry, and travel between our two nations.

The South Sudan senior official underscored that infrastructure development was one way to promote economic growth, development, and cooperation amongst respective nations

"To procure funding for infrastructure development in the Republic of South Sudan, I have asked the Prime Minister of Sudan to help South Sudan access loans from various Arabic Sovereign funds and financial consortiums," Taban further said in a statement after the meeting.

(ST)

(ST)

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