Sudanese leaders sign oil and trade deals

Omar al-Bashir (L) called Salva Kiir (R) his “partner in peace”

September 27, 2012 (BBC News) – The leaders of Sudan and South Sudan have agreed deals on trade, oil and security, easing tensions that brought them to the brink of war in April.

Omar al-Bashir and Southern counterpart Salva Kiir signed the accords after days of talks in Ethiopia’s capital.

They agreed to set up a demilitarised buffer zone, and concluded other deals that may allow oil sales to resume.

But the sides have not thrashed out border issues including the flashpoint region of Abyei that they both claim.

South Sudan gained independence last year after more than two decades of civil war.

Mr Kiir said the agreements signed on Thursday brought to an end the long conflict and hailed a “great day in the history of the region”.

Mr Bashir described his Southern counterpart as a “partner in peace” and hinted that there would be talks to open the border.

Sudan: A country divided

Both Sudan and the South are reliant on their oil revenues, which account for 98% of South Sudan’s budget. But the two countries cannot agree how to divide the oil wealth of the former united state. Some 75% of the oil lies in the South but all the pipelines run north. It is feared that disputes over oil could lead the two neighbours to return to war.

BBC News