Khartoum officially recognized the independence of South Sudan the day before it is to officially become Africa’s 53rd state after a five-month transition period.
“The Republic of Sudan announces that it recognizes the Republic of South Sudan as an independent state within the borders defined on January 1, 1956,” Minister of Presidential Affairs Bakri Hassan Saleh said on national TV.
South Sudan has been formally seeking independence since it concluded a peace deal with the north in 2005, ending two decades of civil war in the impoverished northeast African nation. In February, the region voted to become a separate state.
During the five-month transition period which followed the referendum, the North and the South failed to demarcate common borders and are still divided over the status of the disputed Abyei region and management of the country’s oil reserves.
The UN Security Council voted on Friday to send 7,000 peacekeepers and 900 police to the world’s newest state.