Sudan, South Sudan agree to reopen border

Sudan and South Sudan have agreed to reopen their common border and extend an oil transit agreement that allows landlocked South Sudan to use Sudan’s pipelines to export its oil, South Sudan’s officials said on Tuesday.
The agreements were reached during the visit by a delegation from South Sudan headed by First Vice President Taban Deng Gai to Sudan.
Gai held talks with Sudan’s President Omar Al-Bashir on Monday on issues regarding security, bilateral ties and the oil agreement.
Defence Minister Kuol Manyang Juk said the neighboring countries agreed to reopen their common border within 21 days, and that South Sudan assured Sudan that it would not allow Sudanese rebels in its territory.
Strained relations between Sudan and South Sudan have long kept their common border closed since South Sudan’s breakaway from Sudan in July 2011. The two nations have disputes over several issues including the status of disputed oil-rich Abyei area and the alleged South Sudan’s support to Sudanese rebels.
Juk said that Sudan also pledged 250,000 bags of grains in humanitarian aid to support people in need in South Sudan.
Petroleum Minister Ezekiel Lul Gatkuoth said the two countries agreed to extend the oil transit agreement, which was signed in 2012 and is due to expire in November.
“The details will be worked out by a technical team because one of the concerns has been on the transit fee… And we have agreed to meet again within 30 days to finalize it,” Gatkuoth said.

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