Sudan and South Sudan agree to resume oil flow

mbeki  Ray ZhouSudan and South Sudan have agreed to resume oil exports through pipelines in Sudan, more than a year after Juba shut down its entire output

According to an Al Jazeera report, former president of South Africa Thabo Mbeki (pictured), who mediated the deal, said it rekindled trade between the two countries after South Sudan shut down its 350,000 bpd output in January 2012 after a dispute with Khartoum over fees.

The armies of the two countries have also agreed to withdraw troops from contested border areas.

Sudan’s chief negotiator Idris Mohammed Abdel Gadir signed the deal with his South Sudanese counterpart Pagan Amum setting out a timeline for resumption of oil flow after four days of the African Union-brokered talks in Addis Ababa.

Thabo Mbeki said the companies were ordered to resume oil flows by 10 March 2013 but they have an extra period of two weeks within which they will be required to implement the order.

Both countries depend heavily on oil for revenue and use foreign currency to import food and fuel, but border disputes and other issues prevented the two from resuming exports.

South Sudan’s army spokesman, Philip Aguer, said soldiers would take around two weeks to withdraw southwards from a series of flashpoint border areas.

In Sudan, a statement from defence minister Abdelrahim Mohammed Hussein said his forces were committed to the timetable signed under African Union mediation in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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