March 4, 2013 (JUBA) – A bilateral cooperation agreement between South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was initiated in Juba on Monday with the two countries signing a communiqué that will chart the way towards consolidated relations.
A high-level delegation comprising of ministers and senior security officers from the DRC led by the Congolese deputy prime minister and minister of defence, Alexandre Luba Mtambo, engaged with the South Sudanese senior government officials in Juba, headed by the vice president, Riek Machar Teny, on the need to strengthen the bilateral relations between the two neighbours.
South Sudan’s delegation at the meeting included the minister of defence and veterans affairs, John Kong Nyuon, minister of interior, Alison Monani Magaya, minister of national security, Oyai Deng Ajak, a number of deputy ministers including of foreign affairs and international cooperation, director general for external security, Thomas Duoth Guet and director of military intelligence, Mac Paul, among many others.
After deliberations a communiqué was signed calling for creation of a Joint Inter-Ministerial Commission (JIMC) that will be co-chaired by the foreign ministers of the two countries.
South Sudan and its western neighbour also urged that a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) be established to cover various sectors on diplomacy, defence and security, economic, social, infrastructural, and other relevant issues.
The two countries reaffirmed their will to cooperate on making their common borders safer and protect it from any dissident group that may create insecurity. They reiterated their commitment to the international protocols and conventions not to allow their territories to be used to destabilise the other.
As well as security, promotion of trade between the two countries was also on the forefront of the agenda, adding that they will address issues concerning customs and migration services between the two countries.