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MANYO - 25 Mar 2013

Sudans’ armies withdraw from White/Upper Nile border

The armies of Sudan and South Sudan have finished withdrawing from Megenis and Kuek areas on the border between White Nile and Upper Nile states, a county official announced Friday.

Manyo County Commissioner Al Taib Akilo Ajak said in an interview with Radio Tamazuj that Juba and Khartoum have actually began to implement the agreement in his county.

“Concerning the agreement which was signed recently, the matrix is the complement of the previous joint cooperation agreement between South Sudan and Sudan. I think the agreement is implemented on the ground in our area of Manyo, the border area with Sudan between Upper Nile, White Nile and South Kordofan,” he explained.

In the wake of the withdrawals, the security situation in the county is quite stable, Ajak said, while also acknowledging the presence of militias in some border areas.

“Since yesterday and the day before yesterday our forces have withdrawn from Kuek area which was the only area where we were still having some forces on the border with Sudan. So our forces have completely withdrew from it and the security situations are now stable, nothing to be mentioned,” he said.

The commissioner expected the resumption of commercial traffic between the two countries soon, and urged the commissioners of the two neighboring counties of Al Salam and Abu Jubeiha, Al Taib Al Bella and Al Fadil Mohammed respectively, to implement the terms of the agreement on their side of the border.

Finally, Ajak called for a  conference on peaceful coexistence to be organized with the border tribes of neighboring Salam County of White Nile and Abu Jubeiha County of South Kordofan.

For his part, the acting commissioner of Renk County, Uyai Uwan Ajak, confirmed on Friday the final withdrawal of SPLA 10 km back from Joda area, while acknowledging the presence of SAF forces until last Friday.  He pointed out that SAF have just announced their withdrawal but they did not withdraw according to the scheduled time of 24 March.

Meanwhile, a local farmers’ union has expressed widespread satisfaction with the enforcement of the agreement in the areas between Upper Nile and White Nile, saying farmers are highly optimistic for recovery of crop markets.

Thon Ajak, the manager of the crop market in Renk County, told Radio Tamazuj from the border that the commitment of South Sudan and Sudan to fully implement the agreements on the ground is a step in the right direction.

He added that the restoration of links between the two countries will lead to the stability of markets and availability of manpower to move between the two nations.

The official also announced the end of the harvest season in the county and a ban on storing grain in the market itself, with exceptions for some farmers who had a bad previous season in addition to some banks.