- Sudan and South Sudan have agreed to open four crossing points along their border
- The two sides' Defense Ministers discussed establishing a buffer zone and deploying a joint border monitoring force supported by the U.N.
- Measures will be taken to withdraw troops outside the demilitarized border zone
- Presidents Omer al-Bashir and Salva Kiir will sign the security agreements on Thursday afternoon
Sudan and South Sudan have agreed to activate security arrangements and to open four crossing points, ahead of the visit of President Salva Kiir which will start on Wednesday.
In a meeting held at the defense ministry in Khartoum, Sudan Defense Minister Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Ouf and his South Sudanese counterpart Kuol Manyang Juuk Monday discussed the implementation of the security arrangements agreed in Sept. 2012 aiming to establish a buffer zone, and deploy a joint border monitoring force supported by the United Nations.
In 2012, Khartoum accused Juba of backing Sudanese rebels in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan, two border areas with the South Sudan where the SPLM-N fights the government in Khartoum since June 2011. This agreement was the cornerstone of the Cooperation Agreement.
The two countries will begin to implement the military agreements and activate the Joint Security Committee and direct communication between officials in the two countries, to resolve the outstanding problems and to ensure the acceleration of what was agreed upon, said Ibn Ouf.
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He unveiled a package of measures taken to withdraw troops outside the demilitarized border zone, which would extend for 10 km either side of the 1956 border.
"The talks underscored the keenness of the armed forces of the two countries to put the joint relations in their proper framework to open the door wide to create an integrative relationship that is positively reflected on the two peoples, especially on the border," said Ibn Ouf.
From his side, Minister Juuk said: "the visit of President Salva Kiir to Khartoum comes at the invitation of President al-Bashir." He expressed hope that the visit would achieve positive results to strengthen bilateral relations.
He added that the visit "aims to promote joint relations and work to implement the [Cooperation] Agreements signed between the two countries aimed at achieving security and stability, especially in the border areas and the demilitarized border areas."
According to the agenda of the visit, Presidents Omer al-Bashir and Salva Kiir will sign the security agreements on Thursday afternoon.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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