January 23, 2023 (JUBA) – South Sudan President Salva Kiir has directed all institutions to cooperate with the United Nations mission in Abyei (UNISFA) to enhance security with Sudan, citing the important role of peacekeepers in protecting the contested region between Sudan and South Sudan.
Speaking to Sudan Tribune on Monday, the presidential adviser on security affairs, Tut Gatluak Manime said Kiir commended the Joint Political Security Mechanism (JPSM) for the resumption of discussions on security issues.
The JPSM between Sudan and South Sudan discussed ways to activate the cooperation agreements signed between the two countries in the fields of oil, trade, customs cooperation and border crossings in 2012.
The decision was reached at the 20th session of the JPSM meeting that took place in the South Sudanese capital, Juba from January 17-20, 2023.
The meeting was attended by Sudan’s Defense minister, Lt. Gen. Yassin Ibrahim Yassin, South Sudan’s Defense minister, Angelina Teny, Interior ministers as well as representatives of political and security institutions.
According to Manime, official from Sudan and South Sudan had in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations and a wide range of international and regional issues of shared interest and reached important consensus.
“His excellency the president of the republic had directed all the organs and institutions to cooperate with the United Nations interim security forces for Abyei so that the two sides are able to carry joint border monitoring and verification activities to curb illegal cross-border activities,” he explained.
The JPSM, according to a statement extended to Sudan Tribune, agreed to open Kosti river crossing and directed their Interior ministries to make the necessary arrangements in addition to studying means to facilitate the movement of citizens of the two nations through the four freedoms system.
“The two parties also discussed the directives issued by the presidential meeting on January 12, 2023, to put them into practice such as the issue of forming joint forces on the borders between the two countries,” it stressed.
The meeting also reviewed two reports from the United Nations Mission in Abyei (UNISFA) and the security mechanism for verification and border control, where the two sides praised the efforts of the two missions and affirmed their keenness to cooperate with them for the sake of safe borders.
In September 2012, Sudan and South Sudan signed nine cooperation agreements, including a framework agreement and specific agreements on oil, border issues, citizenship, and the division of debts and assets. These represented many of the unresolved issues stemming from the secession of South Sudan in 2011.