Sudan and South Sudan have reached an agreement on how to share the oil riches controlled by Khartoum before the country’s partition, African Union mediator Thabo Mbeki has said.
“The parties have agreed on all of the financial arrangements regarding oil, so that’s done,” Mbeki told reporters on Saturday, without offering details.
Mbeki said the production and export of oil would resume, but did not confirm when.
“The oil will be flowing,” he said, leaving an AU Peace and Security Council meeting in the Ethiopian capital.
“What will remain, given that there is an agreement, is to then discuss the next steps as to when the oil companies should be asked to prepare for resumption of production and export,” Mbeki added.
The UN Security Council had given the neighbours until Thursday to resolve their conflicts or face sanctions.
The rivals made headway in the past few days with both sides making concessions to end the oil dispute, which saw Juba shut down its production in January after Sudan took millions of barrels for what it said was unpaid fees.
The two nations came to the brink of a full war in April after border fighting escalated, the worst violence since South Sudan became independent in July last year under a 2005 agreement that ended decades of civil war with Khartoum.
The messy divorce failed to mark the disputed border and to define how much landlocked South Sudan should pay to export its oil through the north. Oil is the lifeline of both economies.
Khartoum accuses South Sudan of supporting rebels in two of its southern border states, claims some diplomats find credible despite Juba’s denials.
South Sudan itself accuses Khartoum of often bombing its side of the border.