By Deng Machol
Juba – South Sudan and its foe Sudan have agreed to boost bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries’ police forces, following the Sudan political turmoil.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreement signed on Monday by the police chiefs of both sisterly countries seeks to enhancing cooperation in the police service, capacity building, intelligence sharing and visa on arrival at airports and all points of entries to both citizens of the two countries.
“This is the beginning and good gesture between South Sudan police and Sudan police force,” said South Sudan police chief Gen. Majak Akech. “For us, we are very delighted and privileged to have you and it will be long lasting relationships that will actually path way for other generations to come,” he added.
The agreement also covers exchange of security information on organized and transnational crimes and coordination and enhancing the provision of logistical support.
Sudan police delegations arrived in Juba a week ago for a three-day visit, in bid to restore the dwindle bilateral relations and cooperation.
On his part, Director-General of Sudan Police Force Adil Mohammed Ahmed said the pact shows sturdy commitment towards fighting crime in the two foe sisterly countries.
Sudan has offered to help the South Sudan National Police Service with the training of the joint integrated police as its contribution toward the Khartoum – backing up 11th months old revitalized peace agreement.
South Sudan is in the process of reorganizing the armed forces through reforms adopted in the revitalized peace agreement. A unified force including the army and the police will be trained to protect all demilitarized areas.
The MoU will also address the payment of pensions to South Sudanese police personnel who previously served in Sudan before the country separated in 2011, leaved many not received their pension benefits for the last 8th years. With this deal, former police officers, including those who have retired are expected to receive their benefits and pension.
The Sudan police chief also said deal is to focus on areas of security and cooperation at the border points as part of the 2012 agreement.
In aftermath of the secession, South Sudan and Sudan agreed to extend the Cooperation Agreements between the two countries signed in 2012. The cooperation deals are specifically on oil, border issues, citizenship rights, and the division of debts and assets, among others, which were supposed to last for three and a half years since 2012.
However, South Sudan is due to form the transitional government in November 12, to put an end the five-plus years’ bloody conflict in the East Africa country.
Sudan is also currently engaged in talks to reform its security sector which has been accused of committing atrocities and crimes against the civil population in Sudan over the years under the tyranny rule of President Omar al Bashir.
Months of protests that started in late 2018 led to the deposed of President Bashir in April this year and put the future of the country in the hands of the protestors and a ruling elite of military generals.
The protesters recently forced the change of notorious Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services.
The Transitional Military Council agreed to restructure it into a body that focuses on combating terrorism and espionage, preventing human trafficking and fighting corruption and money laundering.
This will be under the supervision of the sovereignty council and the Council of Ministers in Sudan throughout the 3 years transition of a civilian-military rule.