26th October 2020
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Juba, Khartoum review 2012 Cooperation Agreement

Authors: Alhadi Hawari | Diana John | Published: Thursday, September 3, 2020

South Sudan and Sudan are reportedly reviewing the Cooperation Agreement which the two countries failed to implement in the last eight years.

“The governance cluster headed by the First Vice President met yesterday and now they are reviewing previous agreements signed with Sudan such as the cooperation agreement of 2012 as part of the nine agreements that were signed,” says Dr Dhieu Mathok, South Sudan investment minister.

Read the full agreement here.

The 2012 bilateral deal addresses issues of cross border trade, movement, residence, property ownership and work.

After the independence of South Sudan, the two countries agreed on post-referendum relations tackling the status of nationals of both countries in each state, border, trade, and cooperation on central banking.

They also settled on payment of post-service benefits for South Sudanese nationals who previously worked in a united Sudan.

Other issues agreed upon were the division of assets and liabilities, oil transit, arrears and claims and a joint approach to settling international debts.

South Sudan agreed to offer transitional financial assistance to compensate Sudan for the loss of most of the oil revenue.

Sudan, on the other hand, agreed to allow South Sudanese to travel freely across its borders, settle, work and own properties anywhere in Sudan.

But the cooperation agreement collapsed shortly after the two countries went to war over the oil-rich areas of Heglij/Panthou and Abyei in 2012.

They have since then paid little or no attention to the document.

But a meeting this week in Juba between South Sudan and the new transitional government of Sudan agreed to revive the deal.

Dr Mathok told Eye Radio on Thursday that the two countries are willing to strengthen their collapsing economies.

“I think this is a very easy decision, because we must support the will of our people in the two countries, especially in terms of grazing of cattle and trade,” he stated. “The people want to move freely using any means of transportation.”

The move to restore the cooperation agreement was arrived at after the signing of a peace deal between five Sudanese armed opposition groups and Sudan’s transitional government in Juba on Monday.

South Sudan has been mediating the peace talks.

The first deputy head of the Sudan Sovereign Council, Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, also known as Hemedti, says the activation of the agreement will be accompanied by the unconditional reopening of the borders.

He believes this will jumpstart trade and development in the two countries.

“We will continue to cooperate with you, we will implement the four freedoms and we will apply leniency between us,” Hemedti stressed.

If implemented the cooperation agreement will accord citizens of the two countries freedom of movement, freedom of residence, freedom to undertake economic activity and freedom to acquire and dispose of the property in Sudan and South Sudan.

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