The joint Sudan and South Sudan Boundary Demarcation Commission, tasked with defining the borders of five disputed areas, began a new round of negotiations in the South Sudanese capital Juba yesterday.
Since the secession of South Sudan from Sudan in July 2011, the two countries are contesting the border areas of Abyei, Kaka El Tijariya, Debbat El Fukhar/Megenes Mountains, Bahr El Arab, and Kafia Kingi/Hafrat El Nukhas.
The head of the joint Boundary Demarcation Commission, Moaz Tengo, told reporters in Juba yesterday that the meetings of the technical committee, held under the auspices of the African Union, will last a week. They will then move to Khartoum and continue the negotiations on November 12.
Tengo emphasized that the technical meetings are based on a bilateral agreement on border issues, and on resolutions of the African Union and the United Nations Security Council, which call upon the two countries to agree on detailed demarcation of the contested border areas in accordance with the borders defined on January 1, 1956, when Sudan became independent.
In October 2019 the joint Boundary Demarcation Commission reached an agreement on delimitation between the two countries, but several disputed areas remained to be negotiated.
The succesful mediation of the South Sudanese government at the peace negotiations between the Sudanese government and the Sudanese armed rebel movements in Juba made rapprochement between the two countries easier. Two months ago the Sudanese Finance Minister Heba Mohamed announced that commercial crossings at the border would be opened soon. A Memorandum of Understanding on military cooperation was signed by the Sudanese and South Sudanese government last week.
An elaborate overview of the disputed Sudan-South Sudan border areas can be found on the website of Political Geography Now.
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