• After South Sudan and Sudan split in 2011, a number of agreements, swindled as Cooperation Agreements were signed in 2012.

    But none of the agreements were actualized due to counter-acquisitions with the countries blaming each other of supporting rebels hostile to the other.

    On Monday (June 5, 2016), the two nations signed a pact that includes a series of security agreements related to the re-deployment of joint military forces along the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone. The two countries also agreed to stop supporting and harboring rebels as well as open border crossings.

    “The rebel movements are a reality, and their problem must be solved so that peace will prevail between the two countries,” South Sudanese defense minister, Kuol Manyang Juuk said.

    The joint political and security committee between Sudan and South Sudan which was attended by high-level government delegation from the two sides was convened in Khartoum on Sunday.

    “The committee agreed to implement the joint agreements related to the demilitarized zone,” local media quoted Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour as saying.

    In an interview with Sudan Tribune on Monday, the South Sudan defense minister said the two countries agreed to carry out joint cooperation agreements and immediately start implementing the decisions reached during the meeting, including strengthening the relationship between the two countries to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.

    Additionally, the committee agreed to progressively open the border crossings with a joint committee expected to meet in Juba within two weeks to agree on the way forward concerning the procedures of opening the 10 border crossings between the two countries.

    The September 2012 cooperation agreement signed in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa under the facilitation of the African Union, saw the two nations agree among other things to address issues related to the disputed five border areas: Abyei, Dabatal-Fakhar, Jabel Al-Migainis, Samaha and Kafia Kanji. The border issue is one of the biggest obstacles hindering the settlement of differences between Sudan and South Sudan.

    In the latest meeting, the two countries have agreed to enhance cooperation not only on security, and border issues but also on agricultural modernization, infrastructure, and trade.

    “All our meetings at various levels went well and were successful. We agreed to continue to plan and advance bilateral ties from a strategic and long-term perspective, and understand and support each other on issues involving our core interests and major concerns,” he said, calling for closer interactions between governmental organs, ruling parties, legislatures, and armed forces of the two countries.

    They also agreed to firmly enhance efforts aimed at safeguarding national security and stability as well as resist interference from outside, even as the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) extended South Sudan sanctions, raising concerns over peace implementation.

    Image credit: CNN