South Sudan, Sudan back oil pledges

Sept. 4, 2013 at 7:06 AM
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KHARTOUM, Sudan, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- The presidents of Sudan and South Sudan have pledged to support of bilateral agreements to facilitate the movement of oil across the border.

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir met in Khartoum with his Sudanese counterpart, Omar al-Bashir, to hammer out differences left over from a 2005 peace agreement. The peace deal, brokered with Washington's help, paved the way to South Sudan's independence in 2011. Border clashes, rebel conflicts and disputes over oil have threatened the fragile peace.

The independent Sudan Tribune reported Tuesday both sides agreed that oil would continue to flow through a pipeline across the border to Sudan.

With independence, South Sudan gained control of most of the oil-producing regions though Sudan maintained authority over export routes.

South Sudan and Sudan approached the brink of war in 2012 over oil disputes.

Each side has blamed the other for a series of issues threatening peace in the region. Bashir has repeatedly threatened to shut down oil pipelines from South Sudan, accusing rebel forces across the border of getting financial support from oil revenues.

The South Sudanese government in early July said it was soliciting foreign assistance for a pipeline that would avoid Sudanese territory. It relies on oil exports for the bulk of its federal revenue.

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