News24

Sudan opens borders with South

2012-10-07 22:03

Khartoum - Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir on Sunday ordered land and river border crossings with South Sudan reopened, official radio said, after agreements last month that eased long-running tensions between the neighbours.

Bashir "ordered the opening of all the highway or river gates on the border," Radio Omdurman said in a brief alert sent by text message. It said Bashir made the request after a meeting with Sudan's new ambassador to South Sudan.

The announcement comes after Bashir and his South Sudanese counterpart, Salva Kiir, on 27 September signed deals on security and co-operation that they hailed as ending their countries' conflict.

A 22-year north-south civil war led to a 2005 peace deal and South Sudan's independence in July last year, but tensions over oil and other issues lingered.

The two countries fought along their undemarcated frontier in March and April, sparking fears of wider war and leading to a UN Security Council resolution ordering a ceasefire and the settlement of unresolved issues, under African Union mediation.

In September last year, South Sudan accused Khartoum of blocking its trade routes.

"Khartoum has suddenly blocked our borders" from where "we used to get most of our manufactured goods," Information Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin told reporters at the time.