Khartoum, Juba making final touches to open border points: minister

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Joint teams marking a crossing point between the two countries (undated picture by UNISFA)

October 12, 2018 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s Ministry of Industry and Commerce on Friday said three border crossing points with South Sudan would be opened soon.

Minister of Industry and Commerce Musa Karama said Khartoum and Juba are making the final touches to open 3 border crossing points, saying all arrangements at Joda border point in the White Nile State has been made.

He pointed out that activation of trade with South Sudan would increase the balance of trade, saying the government seeks to establish a free trade zone at the border to exchange benefits in agriculture, industry and border trade.

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Last month, the two countries agreed to activate the joint cooperation agreement signed in 2012, renewing commitment to work together to achieve security and stability in both countries.

South Sudan seceded from Sudan on July 9th, 2011 following a referendum on whether the semi-autonomous region should remain a part of the country or become independent. 99% of the southern voters chose independence.

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Following South Sudan independence, President Omer al-Bashir ordered the border closure accusing Juba of backing Sudanese rebels in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.

However, the decision didn’t stop totally the trade between the two sides as the border areas from both sides historically had strong trade relations.

In September 2012, both Sudan and South Sudan signed a series of cooperation agreements, which covered oil, citizenship rights, security issues, banking, border trade among others.

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In March 2013, the two countries signed an implementation matrix for these cooperation agreements. However, the execution of the agreements didn’t go according to plan.


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