Govts of Sudan, South Sudan Ponder Economic Growth
Governments of South Sudan and Sudan are meeting to explore fronts for economic development of the once traumatised economies.
President of Sudan, Omar-al-Bashir had invited his South Sudan counterpart, Salva Kiir for them to discuss the economy of the two countries.
Kiir flew to Khartoum on Wednesday for the two-day summit where there is hope that they could talk about economic issues in the former Unity State.
Mayik Ayi Deng, the minister in the office of the president, who also oversees Kiir’s activities, told reporters at Juba International Airport upon the president’s departure to Khartoum Tuesday morning that Kiir was happy to accept Bashir’s invitation and hoped to settle unresolved issues with his counterpart this week.
“One is the resumption of oil in former Unity State; second, they are going to discuss the issues concerning the border for trade between the two countries; and, third they are going to discuss the issues concerning trade itself,” Deng said.
Deng said Kiir’s visit was aimed at enforcing the 2012 cooperation agreement, which covers demarcation, oil disputes, citizenship and the final status of the disputed Abyei region but was never implemented.
VoA reports that resuming oil production in former Unity State could significantly boost South’s rapidly deteriorating economy. Ninety-eight percent of the country’s economy relied on oil in previous years. Production in the former Unity State stopped when fighting broke out in late 2013. A peace deal signed in August 2015 has been violated many times over by both warring parties, and pipelines there have remained dormant.
Defense Minister Kuol Manyang, Petroleum Minister Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth and Information Minister Michael Makuei flew to Khartoum last week ahead of the talks to hammer out deals on many issues ahead of the summit, including how to demarcate a common border and redeploy forces away from the border zone.