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JUBA - 22 Oct 2013

Sudan and South Sudan agree on border conference in mid-December

The governments of Sudan and South Sudan will organize a conference of all states along the North-South border for mid-December this year, according to a decision reached at the presidential summit today.

During the pre-independence period several so-called ‘tamazuj’ conferences were held in border towns with the participation of various state governors.

In February 2010 the first major conference was hosted in Kadugli, South Kordofan, under the theme ‘First Reflections Forum for Tamazuj States,’ with another one following in July that same year in Aweil, Northern Bahr al Ghazal.

‘Tamazuj’ means intermingling and refers to the distinctive cultural and ecological mix in the east-west belt that runs between the two countries.

According to a communiqué issued jointly by the two presidencies, President Omar al-Bashir and President Salva Kiir have agreed “to organize in mid-December 2013 a meeting of all the bordering states in the two countries with the objective of consolidating the principle of soft borders and facilitating exchange of experience and capacity building at the level of local government institutions.”

They also resolved on a number of measures aimed at implementing the opening of border crossings, a provision of earlier agreements that has been delayed by failure to identify the ‘zero line’ at which the border points should be placed.

File photo: The commissioner of South Sudan's Fashoda County, an area bordering Sudan, Kodok, Upper Nile State, 17 October 2013 (Radio Tamazuj)