South Sudan downplays Sudan’s threats to close border over security matters

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September 20, 2016 (JUBA) - A senior official in the office of the South
Sudanese President, Salva Kiir, has downplayed threats by the Sudanese
government to close the border between the two countries.
[image: JPEG - 22.8 kb]*Sudanese military personnel inspect the belongings
of South Sudanese on the Sudanese border on 18 April 2014 (Photo:
Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)*

Sudanese government called on South Sudan to expel its rebel fighters being
hosted by the South Sudanese government. They warned to close the common
border of the two neighbouring nations should Juba fail to expel their
rebels.

An agreement, duped as Cooperation Agreement signed in September 2012 by
the two countries, called on South Sudan to stop its support to the rebels
opposed to the leadership in Khartoum.

Also, another agreement signed in August last year between President Kiir
and his rival, former First Vice President, Riek Machar, also provided for
disarmament and expulsion of Khartoum’s rebels from the territory of South
Sudan.

The newly appointed South Sudan’s First Vice President, Taban Deng Gai,
also visited Khartoum four weeks ago and pledged that the rebels will be
expelled from South Sudan.

However, a senior presidential advisor in South Sudan said they only agreed
in principle during the Khartoum’s visit and that a technical committee
would have to work out the matter.

“That is not what we have agreed in our meeting in Khartoum. So I don’t
expect the Sudanese government will take a unilateral decision to close
down the border. We have agreed in principle to open the border after the
technical committees have finished their work”, Presidential Advisor on
Security Affairs,” Tut Kew Gatluak told *Sudan Tribune* on Tuesday.

The top presidential aide revealed that he was in the meeting on Monday
with the Sudanese ambassador to prepare the ground for the upcoming
ministerial meeting on the matters.

(ST)

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