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South Sudan’s Kiir to meet Sudanese president in Kigali

July 6, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit will meet Sudan’s President Omer al-Bashir on the sidelines of the African Summit which will be held from 10 to 18 June in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, a South Sudanese diplomat said on Wednesday.

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Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir shakes hands with South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir (R), at Khartoum airport on 4 November 2014 (Photo: Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)

South Sudan’s Chargé d’affaires to Khartoum Robert Ring told the official news agency (SUNA) on Wednesday said the two presidents continued to hold bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the African Summits, adding “ they would meet to discuss outstanding issues between the two sides”.

He pointed that the recent meeting of the Joint Political and Security Committee (JPSC) covered all issues, describing it as one of the most important meetings.

The South Sudanese diplomat added the JPSC meeting made significant progress on the discussions pertaining to the implementations of the outstanding issues, saying that the border-crossings between the two countries would be opened soon.

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

On 14 October 2015, South Sudan’s defence minister Kuol Manyang Juuk and his Sudanese counterpart Awad Ibn Ouf signed an agreement to operationalize the buffer zone between the two countries.

But the Joint Political and Security Committee (JPSC) meetings to decide the effective activation were adjourned several times due to the security situation in South Sudan.

Following the JSPC meetings in Khartoum on June 5th, the two countries signed a series of security agreements, including immediate re-deployment of joint military forces along the SDBZ, and approved a plan to stop supporting and harbouring rebels as well as open the crossings points.

On June 26, the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) said it has completed the re-deployment of its troops along the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone (SDBZ) with South Sudan.

Ring underscored that the leadership of both nations have expressed determination to restore normal relations, saying they exert every possible effort to enhance cooperation with the various Sudanese bodies to achieve the desired goals.

He further hoped that the two countries could achieve peace and stability.

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.