The Joint Boundary Demarcation Commission between Sudan and South Sudan will meet today in Khartoum to continue the latest round
The Joint Boundary Demarcation Commission between Sudan and South Sudan will meet today in Khartoum to continue the latest round of negotiations aimed at defining their shared border.
Having lingered on for nearly a decade since South Sudan seceded from Sudan in 2011, the border dispute is one of the major conflicts between the two countries. Though the Joint Commission signed a border demarcation agreement in October 2019, several disputed areas remained, particularly due to the oil-rich nature of borderlands. The failure of the October agreement became apparent when a brutal attack in the disputed Abyei province killed 32 people in January.
Considering the recent trend of cooperation between the neighbors, there is a glimmer of hope in the negotiations currently underway. Last month, Sudan signed a historic peace treaty with Darfur-based militias responsible for the country’s decades-long security crisis. South Sudan played a mediating role in the talks. Simultaneously, the neighbors signed a cooperation deal on oil production in a South Sudan oil field.
The current rapprochement and ongoing negotiations are promising. Still, any political settlement will remain fragile on the ground due to the minimized presence of UN forces in disputed areas, making a potential outbreak of violence difficult to control.
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