Ban Welcomes Oil Deal Between Sudans

Posted August 6th, 2012 at 12:00 pm (UTC-5)
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United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon is hailing the oil deal between Sudan and South Sudan, calling it an important milestone for building good relations between the countries.

After months of negotiations, the countries agreed South Sudan will pay Sudan just under $9.50 a barrel to ship oil through northern pipelines.

South Sudan shut down all oil production in January because of the dispute. Southern negotiator Pagan Amum told reporters Monday that production will likely resume next month.

In a statement through his spokesman Monday, Mr. Ban said he is encouraged the two governments have narrowed their differences on contentious issues, though he said he regrets the two Sudans did not meet an August 2 U.N. deadline for settling all disputes.

The African neighbors have yet to settle a series of security, border and citizenship issues.

Mr. Ban also commended Sudan for signing a memorandum of understanding that would allow aid to reach civilians in Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan states, where Sudan's armed forces are fighting rebels.

He urged Sudan's government to enable the delivery of aid to the states.