Sudan orders borders with S. Sudan to be reopened: media
Relations between Juba and Khartoum had been tense since South Sudan’s secession split in 2011
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on Wednesday ordered the reopening of the country’s contested borders with South Sudan, state media reported after a dispute that in 2012 led to armed conflict.
Relations between Juba and Khartoum had been tense since South Sudan’s secession split in 2011 under a peace deal that ended a bloody 22-year civil war, with disputes over several areas along the border.
“Field Marshal Omar al-Bashir, president of the republic, issued a resolution today (Wednesday) opening the border with the state of South Sudan,” the Sudanese state news agency SUNA’s website said.
The brief statement also said Bashir had ordered the “competent authorities to take all measures for the implementation of this resolution on the ground,” but gave no further details.
Juba and Khartoum had remained at odds since 2011 on several unresolved issues from the secession, including the frontier.
The two briefly battled for the Heglig oilfield in April 2012 on the frontier before Sudan took the area.
Bashir’s move came days after media reports that South Sudanese President Salva Kiir ordered his troops to withdraw to five miles (eight kilometers) from the border with Sudan.
At independence, South Sudan took most of the formerly united country’s oil resources with it, but agreed to pay transit fees to Khartoum for using its pipelines and facilities.
Last week Bashir agreed to review those fees following a request from Juba to lower them.
South Sudan descended into civil war in December 2013 when fighting erupted between forces loyal to Kiir and his then deputy Riek Machar, splitting the country along ethnic lines.
Hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese have fled to neighboring countries during the conflict, including to Sudan.
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