31 October 2017

Sudan, South Sudan to Open Border Crossings

Khartoum — Khartoum and Juba have agreed to open four of the ten border crossings between the two countries and to activate the joint security arrangements.

On Monday, the Defence Ministers of Sudan and South Sudan held a session of talks at the Ministry of Defence in Khartoum, in preparation for the visit of South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Mayardit on Wednesday.

Sudan's Defence Minister Ahmed Awad Bin Auf said during a joint press conference with his South Sudan counterpart Kuol Manyang Juuk that a number of measures had been taken to withdraw troops from the demilitarised zone of 10 kilometres on both sides.

He further announced that four of the ten Sudan-South Sudan border crossings will be reopened, the Joint Security Committee will be activated, and direct communication between officials from both countries will be set up in order "to solve the outstanding problems and ensure the acceleration of what has been agreed upon".

The South Sudanese Defence Minister said that the visit of Salva Kiir to Khartoum at the invitation of President Al Bashir, aims to promote joint relations and work to implement the agreements signed between the two countries aiming at achieving security and stability, especially in the border areas and the demilitarised zone.

He added that good understandings have been reached on "many issues of interest to both countries" during the sessions on Monday.

It is expected that Presidents Al Bashir and Mayardit will sign the joint security arrangements next Thursday.

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