> Sudan: Govt, South Sudan Form Committees to
Tackle Post-Split Issues
9 October 2011
Khartoum - Sudan and South Sudan have setup five task-forces to trash out
issues of economy and border security among others as the visit of the
southern president Salva Kiir Mayardit entered its second day.
Kiir arrived on Saturday's afternoon in the Sudanese capital Khartoum
flanked by his minister of cabinet affairs, Deng Alor, as well ministers of
oil, finance and foreign affairs whose arrival was preceded by that of eight
other southern ministers on Friday.
This is Kiir's first visit to the country of which he was a first
vice-president from 2005 until July this year when the south declared
independence from Khartoum in line with the outcome of a vote held at the
start of this year.
His visit aims to yield a breakthrough in floundering talks between the two
nations on a host of contentious issues including management of oil
resources and the border region of Abyei whose ownership is claimed by both
The five committees include bilateral relations, economy, higher education,
humanitarian affairs and border security.
Sudan's minister of finance and national economy, Ali Mahmud, said that the
two sides had agreed on five points in the fields of economic cooperation
and banking exchange as well as on establishing a joint administration to
manage oil facilities and promoting cross-border trade.
He also said the two sides discussed external debts without ebaorating.
Sudan and South Sudan agreed in March this year to jointly seek clearance of
Khartoum's external debts which stand at $38.7 billion and incurs an annual
servicing of more than $1 billion, according to Sudan's foreign minister Ali
Also Sudan's defense minister Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein held a meeting on
Saturday with South Sudan's minister of national security Oyai Deng Ajak in
the presence of the southern deputy minister of defense Majak Agot Atem.
Commenting on the meeting, the spokesman of Sudan's Armed Forces (SAF),
Alsoarmi Khalid Saad, told the official SUNA that the two sides had agreed
to foster military and security cooperation.
Separate talks were also held between the head of Sudan's intelligence
apparatus, Mohamed Atta, and Oyai Deng Ajak. According to state media, the
talks focused on reaching stability along the shared borders.
Last month, Sudan and South Sudan signed a deal to open crossings along
their 2,200 km borders which remain without proper demarcation. They also
agreed to setup 300 teams to monitor shared with assistance from Ethiopian
peacekeepers serving in Abyei region.
Citing South Sudan's minister of foreign affairs and international
cooperation, Nihal Deng, SUNA reported that the external relations committee
had agreed to dispatch northern diplomatic cadres to train southerners and
help in constructing government institution.
With regards to humanitarian affairs, the commissioner of Sudan's
humanitarian authority stated that the committee had focused on drawing
general guidelines to assist the two countries to conduct humanitarian
relief operations across borders.
Commissioner Suleiman Abdel Rahman further said the two sides also touched
on the issues of southern returnees who are stuck in Kosti port and Blue
Nile in Sudan, agreeing to provide financial support to transport them to
The relations between north and south Sudan have been largely defined by
tension and recrimination before and after the south gained independence
following more than two decades of civil war which ended with the signing of
the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005.
Both nations accuse each other of supporting armed groups in their
respective territories and so far failed to reach an agreement on how to
manage oil resources.
According to the UN, both countries failed to honor their commitment to
withdraw their troop from Abyei.
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Received on Sun Oct 09 2011 - 16:50:44 EDT