US, UN hail border agreement between Sudan, South Sudan

The State Department is welcoming an agreement between Sudan and South Sudan to establish a demilitarized zone along their contested border, a step viewed as key to enabling resumption of landlocked South Sudan’s oil exports.


“The United States welcomes the technical agreement signed between Sudan and South Sudan establishing a Safe Demilitarized Border Zone (SDBZ), a firm timeline for the withdrawal of forces, and a way ahead for the deployment of a joint border monitoring force,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement Saturday.

Nuland urged the two nations to begin “immediate implementation” of a series of cooperation agreements reached last September.

A spokesman for United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon similarly heralded the agreement, announced Friday on the demilitarized zone.

“With this agreement, there should be no further conditions in the way of immediate implementation of the other signed 27 September agreements, including the agreement on oil,” the spokesman said Friday.

Disagreements between Sudan and South Sudan over fees to transit oil through the north and other topics last year prompted South Sudan to shut down several hundred thousand barrels per day of oil production.