US concerned over Sudan, S Sudan

2012-11-20 10:00

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Washington - The United States on Monday voiced concern at delays in implementing security and oil deals between Sudan and South Sudan, that were aimed at easing tensions between the two countries.

The leaders of both nations signed a co-operation agreement in late September after marathon talks which included an accord to ensure the resumption of oil exports after a stoppage that crippled the economies of both nations.

They also agreed on a demilitarised border buffer zone, where troops must withdraw 10km from the de facto line of control along the disputed frontier. But differences remain over five disputed areas.

The African Union, which helped mediate the September deals, has said the two nations, which came close to all-out war earlier this year, have not been able to agree on practical steps to implement the security arrangements.

"The creation of the safe demilitarised border zone between the two countries is vital to ensure that both countries honour their commitments to cease support to proxies and, most importantly, prevent inter-state conflict," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement.

"We are also disappointed by delays in the resumption of oil production. This denies much needed revenue to both economies," she added.

Nuland called on the two countries to meet again and recommit themselves to the September 27 accords, and urged them to resume oil production.

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