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Sudan, South Sudan sign initial agreements on status of nationals, demarcation of border

03-14-2012 08:26 BJT

ADDIS ABABA, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Sudan and South Sudan on Tuesday initialed two agreements on status of nationals and demarcation of common boundary at Sheraton International Hotel here in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Under the agreement on nationality, nationals of each state will now enjoy in the other state freedoms of residence, movement, as well as freedoms to undertake economic activity and to acquire and dispose of property.

The agreement on the Demarcation of the Boundary and Related Issues provides the basis for commencing the exercise of demarcating what is Africa's longest boundary.

Following negotiations facilitated by the African Union High Level Panel (AUHIP), the two states have signed the agreements in the presence of Thabo Mbeki, former president of South Africa and AU Chief Negotiator, as well as Pierre Buyoya, former president of Burundi, and Ramtane Lamamra, AU commissioner for Peace and Security among others.

Idris Abdelkadir of Sudan and Pagan Amum of South Sudan signed the agreements Tuesday.

The two parties have been in meeting for the last six and seven days here in Addis Ababa, Mbeki told reporters at the signing ceremony.

The initialed agreements were concluded in the context of a spirit of cooperation and partnership which was discussed and agreed by the parties and the parties have renewed their commitment to continue negotiations in good faith and to arrive at agreements which will ensure the economic, political and security viability of both states, according to AUHIP.

The initialed agreements are to be signed by Presidents Salva Kiir Mayardit of South Sudan and Omar al-Bashir of Sudan at a summit of the two leaders to be held in Juba, South Sudan in the very near future.

Delegations from both governments will meet immediately to prepare the summit and the AUHIP will also travel to both capitals to meet with the two presidents to discuss the summit preparatory process.

It was noted that the two parties have also agreed to form a Committee on the Status of Nationals of the Other State and Related Matters.

The committee is said to immediately begin work before the presidents sign the agreements in two weeks' time.

The initialed agreement establishes the key joint institutions to manage and implement the demarcation exercise and these include the Joint Border Commission, a Joint Demarcation Committee and a Joint Technical Team which will be established within weeks of signing the agreement.

Further negotiations on outstanding matters relating to borders will continue under the auspices of the panel.

The Joint Political and Security Mechanism will also meet before the presidential summit to discuss matters of common security concerns and challenges between the two states, said Mbeki.

It was also pointed out that the parties reviewed the manner in which they have been conducting the negotiations, with a view towards completion of the process and that they agreed that their negotiations should continue in a renewed spirit of partnership for the construction of two viable states.

The panel remains available to facilitate various negotiations between the two states, on a range of issues relating to security, oil, and others, committed to seeking constructive consensus between on all these matters.

Editor:Wang Lingfei |Source: Xinhua

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