Sudan, South sign to restart oil, trade

2012-09-27 21:24
Thabo Mbeki

Thabo Mbeki

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

  • Reef Fishes and Corals
    This colourful guide contains concise information on 234 reef fish and 36 coral species found along... Now R175.00
    buy now

Addis Ababa - The leaders of Sudan and South Sudan signed deals on Thursday to secure their shared border and boost trade, which will restart crucial oil exports, but they failed to resolve other conflicts remaining after the South seceded last year.

The deal, reached after more than three weeks of negotiations, will throw both ailing economies a lifeline and prevent, for now, a resumption of the fighting that broke out along the border in April and nearly led to all-out war.

Sudan President Omar Hassan Bashir and South Sudan President Salva Kiir signed co-operation and trade deals to applause at a packed room in a five-star hotel in Addis Ababa, the seat of the African Union (AU).

"We are convinced that what has happened, which culminated in signing of the agreements, constitutes a giant step forward for both countries," AU mediator Thabo Mbeki said.

South Sudan seceded in July 2011 under an agreement that ended decades of civil war, but the neighbours still deeply distrust each other and have a history of failing to implement past agreements.

The defence ministers of both countries signed another deal to set up a demilitarised buffer zone along the joint border.

The deal will allow landlocked South Sudan to resume oil exports though Sudan, which will provide both ailing economies with dollars. The South in January had shut down its entire output of 350 000 barrels a day after the countries argued about transit fees.

Bashir said it was a "historic moment for building peace" between the former civil war foes.

Faced with the threat of UN sanctions and economic collapse, Bashir and Kiir agreed to set up the demilitarised zone.

Oil will flow

But the two sides failed to settle the fate of at least five disputed, oil-producing regions along the 1 800km border, despite pressure from the African Union, the United States and other Western powers.

South Sudan's chief oil negotiator said preparations had already begun for the resumption of oil exports.

"I believe by the end of the year, the oil will flow," Pagan Amum said in Addis Ababa.

The two sides also failed to agree on the border region of Abyei, which has symbolic significance to both and is rich in grazing lands.

Kiir, who described the talks as "difficult", thanked Bashir for his co-operation but blamed his northern neighbour for failing to reach a deal on Abyei.

"As for Abyei, it was very unfortunate that we could not agree. My government and I accepted unconditionally the proposal of the AUHIP (African Union panel) to the resolution of the conflict in Abyei," he told the audience.

"Unfortunately, my brother Bashir and his government totally rejected the proposal in its totality," Kiir said.

Details of the AU's proposal were not immediately clear.

The UN Security Council had set a 22 September deadline for a broad deal to end hostilities, but that was informally extended until the end of the Addis Ababa summit, which Kiir and Bashir joined five days ago.

Nothing achieved

The border deal provides for both armies to pull back 10km from the frontier. Special arrangements will be made for a strategic strip of land called Mile-14, which is important to Arab tribes allied to Sudan.

But the lack of a permanent solution for the disputed regions will pose future risks to border security. Their fate may have to be settled through international arbitration.

Also indirect talks between Sudan and the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), which is fighting the Sudanese army in two areas bordering South Sudan, failed to make tangible progress.

"Nothing has been achieved," SPLM-N's Yasir Arman said in an interview before the deal was signed, adding that Sudan could have no real border security without involving the SPLM-N.

"We need to be included [in the security talks]," he said.

The SPLM-N is part of an alliance with rebels from the western region of Darfur who want to topple Bashir. Sudan refuses indirect talks and accuses the south of supporting the SPLM-N, which controls some territory on the Sudanese side of the border.

Diplomats say each side supports rebels on the other side.

Read more on:    splm-n  |  thabo mbeki  |  salva kiir  |  sudan  |  south sudan  |  east africa

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

  • Thursday Epping - 11:42 AM
    Road name: N7 Vanguard Drive
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bofors Circle
  • Thursday Newlands - 11:40 AM
    Road name: M3 Outbound
    DELAYS between Princess Anne Avenue and Wynberg Hill
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 9360

The BlackBerry Curve 9360 smartphone comes preloaded with Blackberry OS7...

From R1595.00

I'm shopping for:


You may be required to travel or get information for your job. This may be restricting in some way or something may slow more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.