South Sudan Seeks AU Support Over Borderline With Sudan

This article was last updated on May 25, 2022

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nhial Deng Nhial told reporters on Sunday upon his return from Addis Ababa that the African Union is going to send a technical team to Juba in an effort to find a solution to the border differences.

He however did not disclose the exact date of arrival of the committee.

“The first attempt to establish a centre line for the buffer zone has failed,” the minister said.

South Sudan is seeking for the help of the African Union to provide a solution to ensure that both countries move ten kilometres away from the centreline as part of the border demilitarized zone.

President Kiir sent Foreign Affairs Minister, Nhial Deng Nhial, to explain to the AU the challenges facing the two countries especially the border issue with Sudan.

Minister Nhial explained that the two countries accepted the proposed map by the African Union but could not agree on the centre line especially in Tashwin.

Nevertheless, he also described the recent developments with Sudan following the visit of the vice-president to Khartoum as successful. 

He however said that if Sudan has not yet revised its decision to shut down the oil and that if it decides to do so, that will be on 9th of next month.

South Sudan began pulling its army out of a buffer zone with its old civil war foe Sudan in March and thousands of troops streamed out of this border garrison town.

The creation of a demilitarised buffer zone was seen as a crucial first step in resuming landlocked South Sudan’s oil exports through Sudan, which Juba shut off in January last year during a row with Khartoum over fees.

South Sudan broke away from Sudan in July 2011 but the two remained mired in disputes over the border, oil, debt and accusations of support for rebels in one another’s territory.

After months of tangled African Union-brokered talks, the two agreed in March to a time frame to carry out deals signed in September to set up a demilitarised border zone and restart southern oil exports through Sudan.

South Sudan seceded under the terms of a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war between the government in Khartoum and southern rebels. Some 2 million people died in the civil conflict, one of Africa’s longest and deadliest.

Tensions left over from the conflict still linger between different communities, particularly in areas along the roughly 2,000 km border which saw heavy fighting during the conflict.

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