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Sudan and South Sudan strike 'partial peace' deal

Though analysts call the peace deal between Sudan and South Sudan 'partial,' President Obama praised the move, calling it an 'important step' away from conflict.

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Sudan's president, Omar al-Bashir (l.) and South Sudan President Salva Kiir (r.) shake hands on the completion of a signing ceremony after the two countries reached a deal on economic and security agreements Thursday, Sept. 27, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Elias Asmare/AP

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Sudan and South Sudan today signed a partial peace deal that will ease tensions between the former civil war foes and, most significant, restart oil exports whose suspension has crippled both countries’ economies.

The agreement, inked by Salva Kiir, South Sudan’s president, and Omar al-Bashir, his counterpart from Sudan, came after the scheduled day of talks extended into four days of talks.

Though analysts say the deal still needs work, Thabo Mbeki, South Africa’s former president and lead negotiator on the African Union-sponsored discussions, praised the move.

"We are convinced that what has happened, which culminated in signing of the agreements, constitutes a giant step forward for both countries," he said during the signing at a five-star hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital.

But significant issues remain, not least of which is the status of disputed border areas between the two countries, prompting analysts to term the deal a “partial peace.”

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