JUBA-Cross-border trade between Sudan and South Sudan has commenced ahead of the official reopening of borders on October 1, according to Deputy Foreign Minister of South Sudan Deng Dau Deng.
Last month, Sudan and South Sudan agreed to open four border crossing points after nearly 11 years.
During Omar Bashir’s regime, South Sudan and Sudan closed much of the 2,000 border-line, hitting traders on both sides of the disputed line.
The borders were closed in 2011 when relations deteriorated after South Sudan gained independence following a long civil war, taking with it three quarters of the country’s oil.
However, in January 2016, former President Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan ordered the opening of his country’s border with South Sudan but this did not last.
Speaking to Sudans Post this morning, Deng said traders are moving freely with their goods at Jebelein-Renk border crossings.
“Commodities have been moving to South Sudan even before the agreement. That area of Renk and Jebelein is opened,” Deng told Sudans Post.
He said the recent meeting of Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok with President Salva Kiir was the beginning of the official opening of the borders.
“Businesses can proceed. What will happen in October will be launching or celebration because as we speak now traders and businesses can move freely,” he said.
A senior government said the cross-border trader will boost business between the two countries.
“We will benefit from services of Sudan particularly on goods and services like food items, petrol, and other things and we also have businesses on our side that can export to Sudan. So, it will be mutual benefit between us and Sudan,” he said.