Source: Sudan Tribune
South Sudanese President, Salva Kiir, has ordered his army to withdraw from border with Sudan to 5 miles [8km] away from the border, saying this was in implementation of the peace agreement signed 11 years ago with Sudan and reaffirmed in the cooperation agreement signed in 2012 after independence of the world’s youngest nation.
“Today, I want to announce to you, beloved citizens of the Republic of South Sudan, that I have instructed those who are concerned with this matter within our government to withdraw forthwith, any of our Republic of South Sudan army units on the borders, to at least five miles south of our common borders of 1st January 1956, in accordance with our commitment to the terms of The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) of 2005 with Khartoum,” the statement reads in part.
The president, according to the statement on Monday, revealed that he had dispatched personal special envoy to the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, to convey to President Omer al-Bashir his desire to normalise ties with Sudan.
“My dear beloved citizens of South Sudan, this is to inform you that during the last three weeks, soon after Christmas, I had decided that we must normalize our relations with our brothers and sisters of our sisterly neighbouring Republic of the Sudan. I had dispatched my personal special envoy to Khartoum since the end of December 2015, who has been discussing this matter of the normalization of our common borders with the Sudanese authorities in Khartoum,” he said.
Kiir also pledged that he will activate all the committees tasked with the implementation of the cooperation agreement, adding that he also understood huge populations from the two countries live in the states at the common borders.
“It is our obligation, responsibility, and duty to cooperate, and to normalize our relations with our brothers and sisters in the Republic of The Sudan for the sake of our people on these mutually agreed common borders.”
He expressed optimism that his counter-part, President Bashir, will also respond “positively” to his message of normalization of the relations and will open the common borders for communications, trade and relationship between the peoples of the two, once one, but split nations.
The new tone to expedite good relations with Khartoum comes as Khartoum agreed to review its oil charges in response to a request by the South Sudanese government. The collapse of oil prices has left the new country virtually with no significant revenues.