Sudanese Trade Minister Hatem al-Sar on Wednesday announced the resumption of cross-border commercial traffic with South Sudan following a seven-year hiatus, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.
According to local media reports, the two countries have now resumed full border services in Sudan’s White Nile Province and South Sudan’s Upper Nile region.
Al-Sar told reporters in Khartoum that the decision to reopen the border to commercial traffic had been ordered directly by President Omar al-Bashir.
“The resumption of legal cross-border commerce will strike a blow against smuggling,” the trade minister said, adding that Sudan was “open to dialogue with all its neighbors”.
Cross-border trade had remained suspended since South Sudan declared independence from its northern neighbor following a popular referendum in 2011.
Despite ongoing differences between the two countries, Khartoum and Abuja signed a wide-ranging cooperation protocol -- governing the transport, commerce, security and oil sectors -- in 2013.