Sudan, South Sudan Fail to Agree on Implementing Border Plan

Sudan and South Sudan failed to agree on a plan to implement border security and oil agreements during African Union-sponsored negotiations this week, the South Sudan government said.

South Sudan accused its northern neighbor of delaying implementation of agreements signed Sept. 27, including a deal to allow the country to export oil using pipelines through Sudan. Sudan said in a separate e-mailed statement that South Sudan is impeding efforts to demarcate a buffer zone along the border.

“Despite its stated concerns regarding insecurity, Sudan has not agreed to commence demilitarization of the border,” South Sudan’s negotiating team said in an e-mailed statement today.

South Sudan halted oil production a year ago after accusing the northern government of stealing $815 million worth of its oil, which Sudan said it took to recover unpaid transportation costs and processing fees. That and other disputes, including over border security, brought the countries to the brink of war in April.

Landlocked South Sudan acquired three-quarters of the formerly united Sudan’s output of 490,000 barrels a day when it declared independence in July 2011 after a two-decade civil war.

The Sept. 27 agreement requires both countries to withdraw soldiers 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) from a center line in the disputed frontier, allowing teams to work on demarcating the border.

South Sudan is showing a “clear lack of seriousness” to implement what was agreed at a presidential meeting earlier this month, the Sudan government said in a statement.

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