Sudan accords hailed as major step forward

Agence France Presse ARABNEWS

Friday 28 September 2012

ADDIS ABABA: Sudan and South Sudan agreed security and oil deals on Thursday, drawing praise and relief from the international community for easing back tensions after coming close to war in April.

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir said the agreement “brings to an end the long conflict between our two countries,” while his counterpart Omar Al-Bashir said he would “seize the historic opportunity and journey toward building peace.”
The leaders signed a “cooperation agreement” after marathon talks in the Ethiopian capital that began on Sunday, a day after the rivals missed a UN Security Council deadline to reach an accord.

However, the former civil war foes — who came close to renewed all-out war earlier this year — failed to strike a deal on the flashpoint region of Abyei as well as other contested border areas.

The breakthrough deal was reached late Wednesday, including agreements that built on an oil deal last month, to ensure the resumption of oil exports after a stoppage that has crippled the economies of both nations.

It also included progress on a financial package of some $3 billion that Juba has offered Khartoum, in recompense for Sudan’s loss of key oil fields when the South broke free in 2011 — although exact details were not immediately released.

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