Leaders of 2 Sudans agree to temporary administration of diputed oil-rich region

Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir, left, shakes hands with South Sudanese President Salva Kiir after a meeting in July 2012.

Story highlights

  • The presidents of the two Sudans agreed to temporary arrangements with Abyei
  • Abyei is a disputed oil-rich region claimed by both countries
  • As part of the agreement, there will be a police service and an administrative council

The presidents of the two Sudans concluded talks Sunday aimed at addressing outstanding economic, oil and security issues after tensions between the two nations nearly led to a return to war.

Talks between Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and his South Sudan counterpart Salva Kiir concluded in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, where the two agreed to temporary arrangements over a disputed oil-rich region claimed by both countries.

The agreement called for the creation of temporary administrative and security arrangements for the Abyei region, including the creation of a police service and a limited governing council.

Al-Bashir and Kiir agreed to reconvene another summit to discuss the final disposition of the disputed region.

Sudan and South Sudan in 2013: Rise or fall together

South Sudan split from Sudan in 2011 as part of a peace deal that ended decades of war between the two sides. The war left nearly 2 million people dead.

Soon after the split, tensions between the old foes escalated over outstanding issues, coming close to an all-out war in April.

South Sudan shut off its oil supply last year, accusing Sudan of stealing oil revenue. The South got about 70% of the formerly united country's reserves when it became independent last year.

Both countries have seen hyperinflation and a squeeze on incoming foreign currency as a result of the shutdown.

Read more: Coup attempt disrupted, Sudanese government says

In September, the leaders signed a deal to resume the nation's oil operations, but failed to address other key disputes between the recently divorced countries.

In addition to a deal to restart oil exports from South Sudan, the two presidents agreed on a demilitarized zone and principles of border demarcation. However, they failed at that meeting to reach a deal on the status of Abyei.

Neither country implemented the agreements from that meeting.

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