After 11 Years, Sudan and South Sudan Agree to Reopen Borders

Sudan’s prime minister Abdalla Hamdok (L) and South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit shake hands before meeting on September 12, 2019 in the capital city of Juba, South Sudan. – Sudan’s new prime minister, Abdalla Hamdok, arrived in South Sudan on his first official visit since becoming premier, declaring “the sky is the limit” for ties between the former foes. (Photo by AKUOT CHOL / AFP)

Sudan and South Sudan have accepted to open their borders after 11 years.

The borders were closed in 2011 when relations deteriorated as the south seceded at the end of a long civil war. South Sudan took with it three-quarters of the country’s oil in that secession. In January 2016, President Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan ordered the opening of his country’s border with South Sudan but that truce did not last.

The decision was announced after a meeting between South Sudan President Salva Kiir and Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok at President Kiir’s office.

The diplomatic meeting convened in Juba also resolved the re-opening of water transport.

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The joint press statement confirmed “the two parties engaged in extensive talks and candid discussion on all aspects and fields of cooperation. The opening of four border crossing posts; Jebeleen-Renk, Meriam, Buram -Tumsah and Kharsana-Panakuac. The official launch will take place on October 1, 2021, by the two parties, ”

During Omar Bashir’s regime, South Sudan and Sudan closed much of the 2,000 borders in 2011 – hitting traders and communities on both sides of the disputed line.

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