Sudan, S.Sudan sign deals on security, cooperation

AFP , Thursday 27 Sep 2012

Two Sudans ink raft of cooperation, security agreements in Ethiopia in bid to stabilise relations between former adversaries

Talks
(L-R) Pagan Amum, south Sudan chief negotiator, South Sudan's President Salva Kiir, former president of Nigeria Abdulsalam Abubakar, Chief African Union mediator Thabo Mbeki, former Burundi president Pierre Buyoya and President of Sudan Omar Hassan al-Bashir meet during talks in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa September 24, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)

Sudan and South Sudan inked a series of deals on security and cooperation Thursday after four days of presidential talks, but failed to reach a comprehensive deal on the most contentious areas.

The former civil war foes have agreed on a package of deals that will ensure the newly separated nations "will thrive and become two viable states," African Union official Barney Afako said at the start of the signing ceremony.

President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan and his Southern counterpart Salva Kiir signed a "cooperation agreement", after marathon talks that began Sunday, a day after the rivals missed a UN Security Council deadline.

They shook hands after signing the deal with delegates in the crowded room cheering and clapping in support.

Sudanese Defence Minister Abdelrahim Mohammed Hussein and his counterpart John Kong Nyuon also signed a security agreement, which paves the way for a demilitarised border zone for their volatile and contested frontier.

Economic deals including agreements to restart stalled oil production were also reached at the ceremony, held in a hotel in the Ethiopian capital.

However the deal does not tackle issues including contested border areas or the flashpoint Abyei region.

Those issues would be addressed during another round of talks, officials said.

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