June 17, 2021 (KHARTOUM) – The head of the Sudan Sovereign Council urged Sudan and South Sudan Joint Border Committee (JBC) to quickly reach an agreement that would make the borders flexible and allow for social and economic interaction.
The JBC members Thursday briefed Abdel Fattah al-Burhan about the outcome of a series of meetings on the border disputed areas held in Khartoum from Monday to Thursday.
The Head of the Sudanese side, Muaz Tango, said that the two sides made great progress during the 4-day meetings.
He added they discussed the documents supporting the positions of each party regarding the delimitation of the borderline as of the first of January 1956.
In a statement released after the meeting, the Chairman of the Transitional Sovereignty Council, Abdel-Fattah Al-Burhan, urged the JBC to expedite the completion of the demarcation of the international boundary between the two states
“In addition to the JBC official mandate, al-Burhan called on the Committee to cooperate with the relevant authorities and encourage them to open the crossings and make the borders between the two countries flexible to facilitate the free movement of citizens on the border strip and to interact economically and socially,” further said the statement.
Michael Makuei, Head of the South Sudanese side, said that they briefed al-Burhan on the progress made by the JBC in its works.
He said the parties exchanged documents that will be studied by the two sides before resuming discussions in the near future.
“Despite the difficult task, the Committee will work hard to accomplish its mission,” added.
The completion of the demarcation of the border between the two countries had to be finalized before the referendum on the independence of South Sudan in 2011.
Also in March 2012, the two sides committed themselves to expeditiously complete it within 6 months.
However, the tribal overlap and the common use of water and pastures between the tribes of the two countries made it difficult to reach an agreement over the international boundary, even after the submission of legal documents supporting the ownership of the claimed areas.
The Mile 14 area is seen as an example of the difficulties facing the demarcation process. The grazing is located between Western Bahr El-Ghazal State in South Sudan and East Darfur State in Sudan. It was part of the Darfur region when the country declared its independence on 1 January 1956. However, the Malual Dinka reject to concede it to Sudan.
The JBC says they finalized the delimitation of 80% of the 2,010-km border between the two countries. The disputed areas include the 14-Mile area, Joudat Al-Fakhar, Jebel al-Migainais, Kaka, and Kafia Kingi enclave (Hofrat al-Nahas).
The Sudanese transitional government proposed to open crossing points in the agreed border areas to allow free movement of people and goods between the two sides of the border.