KHARTOUM (HAN) January 6, 2016 – Public Diplomacy and Regional Stability Initiatives News. Sudan and South Sudan reiterated yesterday their joint commitment to their cooperation agreement, according to Xinhua. The two countries also expressed readiness to find diplomatic solutions for outstanding issues relating to attaining peace in both countries.
In September 2012, Sudan and South Sudan signed a comprehensive cooperation deal in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, under the patronage of the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development in Africa (IGAD). The deal included terms of understandings relating to security, citizens’ status, border and economic issues as well as oil and trade-related topics. However, the signed agreements did not address the issues of Abyei and border demarcation.
The border issue represents one of the biggest obstacles hindering the settlement of differences between Sudan and South Sudan, revolving around five border areas, including Abyei, Dabatal-Fakhar, Jabel Al-Migainis, Samaha, and Kafia Kanji. Sudan’s Foreign Minister, Ibrahim Ghandour, and his South Sudanese counterpart, Barnaba Benjamin, held joint talks Sunday in Khartoum regarding the implementation of the agreement.
“During the meetings we reiterated Sudan’s willingness to normalize bilateral ties and establish flexible borders. In addition, we extend sincere fraternity towards building ties that would become an example for both the region and the world to follow,” Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour said at a joint press conference.
He also reiterated the importance of attaining peace in both countries, saying “No peace can exist in South Sudan without peace in Sudan and vice verse. Together, we are working for peace in both countries, summoning our joint willingness.” South Sudan’s Foreign Minister, Barnaba Benjamin on his part expressed his country’s commitment towards implementing the cooperation agreement with Sudan.
“The meetings solidify our desire to establish relations based on goodwill and mutual benefit between both peoples,” he indicated. Meanwhile, Benjamin restated that South Sudan seeks to implement the peace deal signed with the South Sudanese rebel group, led by Riek Machar, in August 2015. “Now peace exists in South Sudan and there is an advance team for Machar’s movement in Juba. We strongly believe in the importance of peace,” Benjamin said.