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Sudan Orders Borders Reopened With S. Sudan

  • VOA News

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir, left, and S. Sudan President Salva Kiir, shake hands on the completion of a signing ceremony in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, September 27, 2012.

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir, left, and S. Sudan President Salva Kiir, shake hands on the completion of a signing ceremony in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, September 27, 2012.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has ordered land and river border crossings with South Sudan reopened, after agreements signed last month that eased tensions between the neighboring states.

Sudan's state-run media said Sunday that Bashir "ordered the opening of all the highway or river gates on the border." The directive came as the president met with his new ambassador to South Sudan, Mutrif Siddiq, who then left to assume his duties in the South Sudanese capital, Juba.

Bashir and his South Sudanese counterpart, Salva Kiir, last week signed deals on security and cooperation that they hailed as ending their countries' conflict.

A 22-year north-south civil war led to a 2005 peace deal and South Sudan's independence in July last year, but tensions over oil and other issues lingered.

Meanwhile, a Sudanese military plane carrying equipment and personnel to the strife-torn western region of Darfur crashed Sunday outside the capital, Khartoum, killing 15 people and injuring seven others.

A spokesman, Al-Sawarmi Khalid told state media the crew of the Antonov 12 transport plane reported engine trouble before it went down in a rural area. He said the plane heading toward the town of El Fasher.

The crash is under investigation.

Government forces have been battling an insurgency in Darfur since 2003.
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