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Sudans strike deal on border security, oil

After weeks of negotiations, Sudan and South Sudan have reached a border security deal that will allow the resumption of oil exports.

Clone of Sudan abyei attacks 2011 5 20Enlarge
A Sudanese woman walks down a street with her child in the disputed region of Abyei on January 15, 2011. (Trevor Snapp/AFP/Getty Images)

Sudan and South Sudan have reached a border security deal that will allow the resumption of stalled oil exports, Reuters Africa reported.

The agreement has been described as a “breakthrough,” and was signed by the presidents of both countries at talks being mediated by the African Union in Addis Ababa.

More from GlobalPost: Sudan, South Sudan presidents continue crisis talks on border deal

The Addis negotiations mark the first time Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir had met his southern counterpart, Salva Kiir, in more than a year.

Thursday’s deal means that the flow of South Sudanese oil through Sudanese pipelines, through to ports at the Red Sea, can resume.

"Today is a great day in the history of our region, and in particular Sudan and South Sudan, as we witness the signing of the cooperation agreement that brings to an end the long conflict between our two countries," said Kiir, according to Al Jazeera.

However, after more than three weeks of negotiations in the Ethiopian capital, several issues of contention remain unresolved, including the disputed region of Abyei, and other border zones, the BBC reported.

Bashir described Kiir as a "partner in peace" and hinted that there could be further talks to open the border.

More from GlobalPost: Sudan, South Sudan discuss border deal, amid threat of UN sanctions

Consensus on a demilitarized border buffer zone between the two Sudans was a central part of the negotiations, and the United Nations Security Council has threatened sanctions if a deal was not made.

It is understood Sudan had objected to a demilitarized border zone running through a 14-mile long strip of grazing land.
 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/120927/sudans-strike-deal-border-security-oil