Sudan, S. Sudan resume cross-border trade after 7 years

Cross-border commercial traffic was suspended after South Sudan declared independence in 2011

By Abdullah Uluyurt

KHARTOUM (AA) - Sudanese Trade Minister Hatem al-Sar on Wednesday announced the resumption of cross-border commercial traffic with South Sudan following a seven-year hiatus.

According to local media reports, the two countries have now resumed full border services in Sudan’s White Nile Province and South Sudan’s Upper Nile region.

Al-Sar told reporters in Khartoum that the decision to reopen the border to commercial traffic had been ordered directly by President Omar al-Bashir.

“The resumption of legal cross-border commerce will strike a blow against smuggling,” the trade minister said, adding that Sudan was “open to dialogue with all its neighbors”.

Cross-border trade had remained suspended since South Sudan declared independence from its northern neighbor following a popular referendum in 2011.

Despite ongoing differences between the two countries, Khartoum and Abuja signed a wide-ranging cooperation protocol -- governing the transport, commerce, security and oil sectors -- in 2013.

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