S Sudan, Sudan seek to settle border demarcation

Border demarcation among top priorities for both countries

Ekip   | 21.12.2016
S Sudan, Sudan seek to settle border demarcation


By Parach Mach

JUBA, South Sudan

South Sudan hopes to agree on border demarcation, oil deal and power generation with its northern neighbor Sudan, key among draft of issues in the signed cooperative agreement between the two countries, a South Sudanese official revealed to Anadolu Agency Wednesday.

The delegation headed by Petroleum Minister Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth returned to the country after a visit to Sudanese capital, Khartoum to discuss border demarcation including an oil transit agreement that allows landlocked South Sudan to use Sudan's pipelines to export its oil between the two countries in a bid to settle a number of pending issues that remained unresolved before the independence of South Sudan in July 2011.

Petroleum Minister Gatkuoth said that they will be negotiating extension of the signed 2012 cooperation agreement and outstanding major issues from border demarcation to oil transit fees signed between the two countries.

“South Sudan is in the process to negotiate the extension of the cooperation agreement and the oil industry as a whole. We have to discuss and reach deal with Sudan,” Gatkuoth said.

Gatkuoth said the extended agreement would allow the resumption of oil production in Unity state and an increase in oil production in Paloch oil fields, Upper Nile state.

“We hope to reach an agreement in the agenda so that we could resume oil production in Unity oil fields and Paloch. We have issues to discuss that are critical to both countries," he noted.

He also disclosed that they are going to discuss the contentious issues of oil transit fees.

He also reiterated the importance of attaining peace in both countries, saying "No stability can exist in South Sudan without peace in Sudan and vice versa. As neighbors and brothers linked by historical bond, we are working for stability in both countries."

Sudanese government has issued a Dec. 2016 ultimatum for South Sudan to implement the cooperation agreement.

South Sudan seceded from Sudan in an acrimonious split following a 2011 referendum in which 99 percent of South Sudanese backed independence. The border between the two countries remained closed until January, when Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir ordered for the border to be opened.

The two nations have disputes over several issues including the status of disputed oil-rich Abyei area and the alleged South Sudan's support to Sudanese rebels.

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