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UN chief hails Sudan-South Sudan agreement on post-independence issues

(Xinhua)

14:53, March 15, 2012

UNITED NATIONS, March 14 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday welcomed a framework agreement between Sudan and South Sudan to give their citizens basic freedoms in both nations.

In a statement, the UN chief called the agreement "an important step forward and an encouraging manifestation of both parties' spirit of cooperation and partnership."

It added that their agreement on "the status of nationals of each state and the demarcation of the common boundary" is also an important progress.

After their talks facilitated by the African Union High Level Panel (AUHIP), the two sides signed Tuesday the "Framework Agreement on the Status of Nationals of the Other State" and the Agreement on the "Demarcation of the Boundary and Related Issues."

According to the signed documents, the two sides agreed to allow citizens of the other state to live, work and own property on either side of the border, and travel between the two nations.

The agreement on the border demarcation provides the basis for starting demarcation of what is Africa's longest boundary.

"The secretary-general...encourages them to resolve all other outstanding matters as a matter of urgency and make the necessary compromise that will guarantee a peaceful and prosperous future for both nations," the statement said.

South Sudan broke away from Khartoum officially in July 2011, after the holding of an independence referendum. However, several outstanding issues have remained between the two nations, including oil and borders.

On March 6, the two countries resumed negotiations on those issues in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, under the facilitation of the AUHIP.

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