Sudan, South Sudan plan to open border in bid to boost trade

Sudan and South Sudan will open their border for the first time since southern secession in 2011, allowing a flow of cheaper goods amid an economic crisis caused by civil war in the world’s newest nation, government officials said.

The move would allow for “better and cheaper provisions of goods and services” and “promote the relationship between us and Sudan,” South Sudanese presidential spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny said Thursday by phone from Juba, the capital.

Sudan’s state-run news agency, SUNA, reported late Wednesday that President Umar al-Bashir had ordered the reopening of the border. His government sealed crossings the same year South Sudan declared independence, accusing Juba of supporting rebels on Sudanese territory.

Traders continued to operate on “a lesser scale” until the civil war began in December 2013 and all movement stopped, Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Mawien Makol Arik said by phone.

 – Bloomberg