KHARTOUM – Head of the South Sudanese side of the Joint Security Committee Sunday pledged to remove the obstacles hindering the marking of crossing points of the Safe Demilitarized Buffer Zone (SDBZ) between Sudan and South Sudan.

The Sudanese Defence Minister Awad Ibn Ouf received the members of the Soudan, South Sudan Joint Security Committee which concluded its 8th meeting in Khartoum under the chairmanship of the heads of the military intelligence services of the two countries.

Ibn Ouf praised the “great progress achieved” by the Committee in the SDBZ and the marking of some crossing points in the buffer zone ahead of the first phase of the opening of the disputed border through 10 corridors agreed by the two sides, said a statement released after the meeting by the defence ministry.

“The head of the South Sudanese delegation Lt Gen Cheik Raj Elith (phonetic spelling from Arabic) stressed the keenness of his country to remove all the obstacles hindering the work of the committee,” said the statement.

He further pointed to the importance of constructive cooperation towards building confidence and partnerships that serve the interests of the two peoples and harmonious relationship that preserves brotherly ties between the two brotherly countries.

The UNISFA which supports the work of the ongoing crossing points marking process said last week that the joint team marked the Heglig-Bentiu and Al Sumayyah corridors during a five-day operation from 19 to 23 March 2018.

However, at the third crossing point of Kosti-Renk, the team was able to mark the North outer limit because it was denied access to the Southern part by the South Sudanese governor of the area.

Also, UNISFA said the team needed clarification for the fourth crossing point at the El Rodom el Buram-Tumasaha-Raja. In the past, the South Sudanese authorities said opposed to including this disputed areas in the buffer zone considering that Sudan would take advantage of this measure to support its claim of sovereignty.

In a two-day meeting in Khartoum, the Joint Security Committee discussed the implementation of the decisions taken by the Joint Political Security Mechanism between the two countries and reviewed the decisions endorsed at its previous meeting.

First Published by Sudan Tribunal

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