Sudan, South Sudan President sign landmark deal

Thursday, September 27, 2012
Sudan President Omar al-Bashir (left) and
South Sudan President Salva Kiir (right) 
Adis Ababa: Sudan and South Sudan on Thursday signed a agreement on economic issue to resolve longstanding issues.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and Salva Kiir of South Sudan met to signed longstanding border security and oil production disputes that nearly brought the two countries to all out war. 

The deal  -- comprises several key points -- sets conditions for restarting oil exports and calls for forces on both sides to pull back 10 kilometers to create a demilitarized border zone.

Reports say the pact is a partial deal and that other disputes - including the hotly disputed Abyei and oil-rich Heglig region -- remain unresolved.

Before South Sudan became an autonomous country in July 2011, nothern and southern Sudan fought a 21-year long civil war.

Lingering issues pushed the countries to the brink of war earlier this year.  Sudan has accused the South of arming rebels in two of its states, while South Sudan accuses the north of launching air attacks.

South Sudan cut off oil exports through northern pipelines in January over a disagreement on transit fees.  The lack of oil revenues has threatened the fragile economies of both nations.

The United Nations has threatened both countries with sanctions if they do not settle their issues.
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