JUBA, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- South Sudan said on Thursday that the reopening of the border with its northern neighbor Sudan will spur hitherto stalled trade between the two countries.
Chairperson of the South Sudan Business Union, Ayii Duang Ayii, said the reopening of the border after a seven-year closure will help South Sudan's battered economy, which has been suffering from more than four years of conflict.
"What we had been requesting all the time from the two presidents is finally implemented and borders are now open, even the goods which were not allowed to come will be allowed now to come freely," Ayii told journalists in Juba.
Sudan on Monday announced the opening of the border between its White Nile province and South Sudan's Upper Nile region.
Sudan's Trade Minister Hatem Elsir said the reopening of the border will be one of the mechanisms to limit the smuggling of commodities, a development analysts say could ease economic troubles in both countries.
South Sudan President Salva Kiir and his Sudanese counterpart, Omar Al-Bashir, met in October last year in Khartoum and agreed to expedite implementation of the cooperation agreement signed in 2012 that covered security, trade and oil issues.
They also agreed to establish customs and migration offices in the 11 crossing points between the two countries.
South Sudan descended into violence in December 2013, after political dispute between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar led to fighting that pitted mostly Dinka ethnic soldiers loyal to Kiir against Machar's Nuer ethnic group.
The 2015 peace agreement to end the violence was again violated in July 2016 when the rival factions resumed fighting in the capital forcing Machar to flee into exile.
The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions that have sought refuge in neighboring countries.