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South Sudan, Sudan leaders agree to boost security to enhance trade

President Salva Kiir Mayardit on Thursday met his Sudan counterpart Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan to discuss ways on stabilizing political, economic and security cooperation and other outstanding issues between the two countries.

The two leaders met in Juba, where they reiterated their commitment to ensure freedom of movement, residence, acquisition of property and employment for all citizens of their respective countries.

This was revealed during press conference by Mayen Dut Wol the undersecretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Wol said Kiir and Al-Burhan deliberated on key issues ranging from the implementation of the 2012 cooperation agreement, trade and security along the border corridors between the two neighboring countries.

He said they also emphasized the importance of maintaining stability and security along the borders to promote peace and prosperity for the two countries.

Wol revealed the two leaders agreed to establish a joint security force to prevent infiltration of illegal weapons and to combat negative forces and activities along the border corridors.

He also added that they agreed to address other relevant agreements, especially the mechanisms to speed up the implementation of the recently extended peace roadmap.

President Kiir and his First Vice President Riek Machar, and other parties to the 2018 revitalized peace agreement in August 2022 agreed to extend the transitional period which was due to elapse in December 2023.

The transitional period will now elapse in 2025 of which the parties are to hold elections in February 2024.

Dafallah Al-Haj Ali, the Sudanese undersecretary in the ministry of foreign affairs, said the meeting focused on ways to fast track the implementation of the peace agreements, security issues and bilateral cooperation.

In 2020, South Sudan’s government helped mediate peace between the Sudan transitional government led by Al-Burhan and various armed opposition groups in Juba.

In September 2012, Sudan and South Sudan signed a comprehensive cooperation agreement in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa under the patronage of the African Union.

The agreement included a package of understandings relating to security, citizens’ status, border and economic issues and others relating to oil and trade.

However, the signed agreements did not tackle 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.

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