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Sudan's parliament OKs deals to end conflict with South Sudan

Story highlights

  • Wednesday's vote is nearly unanimous
  • The deals were signed last month by the countries' presidents
  • They arrange for the resumption of oil exports from South Sudan and an easing of border conflict

Sudan's parliament has approved oil and security deals with South Sudan that are intended to end the conflict between the countries, Sudan's Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.

The deals were signed last month by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and South Sudanese President Salva Kiir following talks in the capital of Ethiopian, Addis Ababa.

In addition to resuming oil exports from South Sudan, the presidents agreed on a demilitarized zone and principles of border demarcation.

All but two members of the Sudanese parliament voted in favor of the agreement, Foreign Ministry spokesman al-Obaid Marwah said.

Sudan was embroiled in a bloody two-decade civil war that ended with a peace agreement in 2005. A referendum six years later led to South Sudan's secession, which became official in July 2011.

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The two nations, however, remained at odds on a number of hot-button issues. Their leaders have faced international pressure, from the likes of the United Nations and the African Union, to resolve their disputes and come to a lasting agreement.

    They made some headway toward that end late last month, though the deal they reached failed to address a number of disputes.

    For example, during the talks in Addis Ababa, the two presidents did not reach agreement on the status of Abyei, a disputed region claimed by both countries, which has been a contentious issue since South Sudan declared independence on July 9 of last year.

    In April, Sudan and South Sudan slipped close to all-out war with a series of tit-for-tat air raids and ground attacks that prompted the African Union and the U.N. Security Council to push the two sides to act.

    This month, despite the periodic violence and unresolved issues, Sudan's president authorized the reopening of all border crossings with South Sudan.