Recent coup in Sudan delays border re-opening- Official
The recent coup in Sudan has delayed the reopening of the border with South Sudan, a senior official has said.
The Juba and Khartoum administrations were expected to effect the reopening of their borders on October 1, 2021, after nine years of its closure since 2012.
However, the highly hyped diplomatic move that was expected to ease the movement of goods and people took a downward spiral after no communication came forth from both governments by Friday.
A senior official in the Ministry of Interior who cautioned that he was not authorized to speak said, “the insecurity created by the recent coup in Khartoum has delayed the planned border re-opening with South Sudan.”
The source said the volatile situation at some border points forced the two administrations to play the waiting game and have the issue fixed before actualizing the agreement.
“It made it impossible for the government of South Sudan and Sudan to send their delegation at the borders to witness the reopening ceremony especially after five security personnel from Sudan were ambushed and killed near one of the borders,” the official said.
“Three officers killed were said to be from Sudan National Security Service (SNSS) and the two others were from the Sudan Armed Forces,” the source added.
However, the source said the government was waiting for a report from its delegation in Khartoum who are yet to return to Juba.
In August 2021, President Salva Kiir and the Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok agreed to re-open four crossing borders points between the two countries on October 1.
The two sides agreed to re-open the border points of Jebeleen in Renk, Meiram, Buram-Tumsah, and Kharsana in Panakuac and the official launch was to take place in Jebeleen on October 1, 2021.
Last month, Sudan’s Defense Minister Gen. Yasin Ibrahim visited Juba before the coup incident to follow up on how to operationalize all that had been agreed including sharing of security information.
“We are here looking forward to the implementation of resolutions of the agreements of the previous visit,” Ibrahim said.
The two defense ministers then signed security arrangement documents in Juba ahead of the planned date of the re-opening of the border points between the two countries for the movement of goods and people.
Trucks coming in
Although the crossing points are not yet officially opened, on Friday, The City Review established that there was already an influx of trucks from Sudan into the Bentiu, Unity State.
Unity State Minister of Information and Communication Gabriel Hon Makuei confirmed that trucks ferrying commodities including relief aid were making their way to the state.
“We heard about [it] and we are aware of the goods coming but as the government of Unity State we have not been informed officially on the issue of reopening of the border points,” he said.
“Police immigration officers are on the border points on our side and people have been crossing the border between South Sudan to Sudan,” he added.
When interviewed, the Director-General in the Ministry of Information and Communication of Unity State Deng Muon said they were yet to receive official communication on the reopening of the borders.