Tuesday, January 01, 2013

South Sudan Willing to Withdraw Army From Sudan Border, Says President Kiir

S. Sudan Willing to Withdraw Army from Sudan Border, Kiir


South Sudan is willing to withdraw its army from the disputed border with Sudan, President Salva Kiir said, signaling a possible compromise at a summit with his Sudanese counterpart.

Kiir and Sudan's Omar Hassan Al Bashir agreed in September to withdraw troops from the disputed border as a precondition to resume oil exports from landlocked South Sudan through Sudan.

Kiir and Al Bashir are scheduled to meet this month at a summit brokered by the African Union to discuss how set up the border zone which will be monitored by soldiers from both sides and U.N. peacekeepers.

"To be able to establish the border monitoring mission, we are temporarily withdrawing our forces from the immediate border areas," Kiir said in a speech on New Year's Eve.

"This will allow for a demilitarised border zone to be operational," he said.

South Sudan's Information Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin told Reuters the withdrawal would have to be coordinated between the two countries.

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