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Juba, Khartoum to reactivate trade corridors

South Sudan and Sudan flags

By William Madouk Garang

The governments of South Sudan and Sudan are expected to reactivate bilateral trade corridors to allow the flow of commodities and heighten trade relations between the two countries.

The routes that will be opened according to Presidential Advisor on National Security, include the land border points in Western and Northern Bahr el Ghazal States, Hegligin Unity State, and river transports among others.

The development came in a meeting which brought together of South Sudanese high-level delegation led by Presidential Advisor on Security Affairs, Tut Gatluak and Abdel-Fattah Al Burhan – the head of Sudan’s Sovereign Council.

The meeting also touched on areas of strengthening mutual cooperation, improving of the transport sector, and opening of trade passages to ease trade and enhance the economic development of Juba and Khartoum.

In his statement to the media, the Presidential Advisor on Security who is heading the team in Khartoum confirmed that the two sides agreed to open border corridors to allow the movement of goods as per the agreed timetable.

“We have discussed with the head of Sudan’s Sovereign Council the opening of trade corridors that will allow movement of goods between two sisterly countries, and he assured us that they will immediately open border passage of some of the areas we have agreed on as per previous meeting’s timetable,” Gatluak said in a statement to the state-sponsored SSBC.

“River and land transport, road to Wau and Aweil (Western and Northern Bahr el Ghazal State), Unity and Heglig road before the rainy season so that there would be trade coordination between the two countries,” he added.

He stressed that an excellent movement of commodities from Sudan to South Sudan would give Sudan a high chance of benefiting from South Sudan.

The presidential advisor on Security Affairs also briefed the Sudanese on the progress made on the implementation of the Revitalized Peace Agreement.

Mr. Gatluakapplauded the government of Sudan for mediating the talk between a breakaway group of SPLM/A-IO, Kit Gwang faction, and the South Sudan government to seal the deal successfully.

In March 2019, the government spokesperson Michael Makueiand Minister of Information announced that Juba and Khartoum would officially open a bilateral border within a month which did not materialize. 

Mr. Makuei at that time said a joint decision to allow free movement across the border had been made during a meeting of the Joint Political and Security Mechanism of both nations which were established under the Cooperation Agreement in 2012.

On November 2017, the Sudan government announced that they would reopen border crossing point with South Sudan after a meeting of two heads of state President Salva Kiir and former President Omer Al Bashir but without implementation.

The two countries closed their borders in 2012 following when the two went to war over the disputed oil-rich area, Panthou/Heglig, which lies on their border

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