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Sudan, South Sudan to demilitarize shared borders

Lt. Gen. Kamal Abdul Maroof, chief of staff of the Sudanese national army [Wikipedia]
Lt. Gen. Kamal Abdul Maroof, chief of staff of the Sudanese national army [Wikipedia]

Sudan and South Sudan have agreed to demilitarize the disputed common borders between the two countries within one month, the defense ministries of the two countries said on Monday, says Anadolu Agency.

Lt. Gen. Kamal Abdul Maroof, chief of staff of the Sudanese national army, told a press conference in the capital Khartoum that the two sides would implement the previous recommendations of a deal for forming a demilitarized buffer zone between the two countries.

“After we listened to a report from the United Nations Interim Security Forces For Abyei [UNISFA], we agreed that within one month that all the forces within the demilitarized buffer zone would be pulled out from this area,” he confirmed.

READ: Sudan appoints new peace envoy to South Sudan

“We will also send a joint technical team from the two sides and with experts from the UNISFA in one month to the border areas to make sure that all the forces will be redeployed out of these areas,” he stressed.

Kuol Manyang Juuk, South Sudan’s defense minister, told reporters that border crossings between the two nations would also be opened within one month, adding that the defense ministers would also meet on April 17 to follow up implementation of the deal.

“Now we have taken measures to evacuate the buffer zone and make sure that there are no soldiers within that area and that would be verified by UNISFA, and we have also created crossing points, and along these crossing points migration and other offices would be opened,” he explained.

Sudan has led the mediation of the South Sudan peace talks that resulted in a peace agreement between the government and rebels last August.

Sudan and South Sudan have disputed the border and traded accusations of rebel support since the separation of South Sudan from Sudan in 2011.

READ: Sudan’s al-Bashir opens South Sudan border

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