Posts Tagged ‘addis ababa’


Secretary general of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, and Chief Negotiator of southern Sudan Pagan Amum speaks during a press conference in Nairobi Kenya, FILE April 13, 2012.
Peter Heinlein

May 30, 2012

ADDIS ABABA- Peace talks between Sudan and South Sudan are said to be yielding slow progress despite reports of fresh clashes on the ground and questions about Sudan’s withdrawal from the disputed Abyei region.  Tensions were high as the latest round of negotiations opened with a South Sudanese demand for sanctions against Khartoum.The second day of African Union-mediated talks Wednesday began three hours late.  Diplomats said negotiating teams were scrambling to organize their positions.

South Sudan’s chief negotiator Pagan Amum told reporters the initial discussions are limited to basic procedural issues. “We will be presenting the steps we are required to take, and they are required to take, and the steps jointly we are required to take,” he explained. “This will be presented in a matrix for agreement and then agreeing on a timeline for when to implement them, with the aim of respecting the timelines as indicated in the Road Map and the Security Council resolution.”

A previous round of talks broke down last month as fighting raged along the disputed border.  The chief AU mediator, former South African president Thabo Mbeki, said at the time the neighbors had descended into a state of war.

Fears of a return to war prompted the U.N. Security Council this month to approve resolution 2046.  The resolution orders the feuding neighbors to stop fighting, withdraw forces from the disputed and oil-producing Abyei region, and return to the negotiating table.

South Sudan pulled its last 700 police officers out of Abyei by last Tuesday’s deadline.  As the current round of talks got underway, the United Nations certified that Khartoum had pulled its troops out, too.   But well-informed diplomatic sources say an unspecified number of Sudanese police remain in Abyei.

South Sudan’s Pagan Amum says Khartoum should be hit with U.N. sanctions for multiple violations of the Security Council resolution.

“The government of Sudan did not withdraw from Abyei within the two weeks as required.  This is a violation,” Amum stated. “We also asked the representative of United Nations to report this violation, and this non-compliance by the republic of Sudan, and we expect Sudan to suffer sanctions and measures from the Security Council as promised.”

Despite the strong words, Amum described this week’s meetings as “good” and said he is ready to continue.

Khartoum’s delegation has declined to speak to reporters since the talks began.  Instead they issued a statement stressing their commitment to reach a negotiated settlement on all issues, and promising “full adherence to peace and stability.”

South Sudan broke way from Khartoum last July after decades of conflict, leaving unsettled a series of bitter disputes over borders, citizenship and sharing of oil revenues.

Oil is the backbone of both countries’ economies, and both have suffered since South Sudan shut down production in January, accusing Sudan of stealing oil that traveled through northern pipelines.  Sudanese authorities said the oil was taken in lieu of payment of fees it was owed by the south.

Sudan, South Sudan Peace Talks Yield Progress Slow
Voice of America
Secretary general of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, and Chief Negotiator of southern Sudan Pagan Amum speaks during a press conference in Nairobi Kenya, FILE April 13, 2012. ADDIS ABABA – Peace talks between Sudan and South Sudanare said to
Beer Shirts in Los Angeles and Doctors in … South Sudan
Huffington Post
The most recent of these trips was to South Sudan to experience the country’s independence in July 2011. After four flights, three days of traveling and a night of swilling Tuskers in the Nairobi airport, my fiancé and I landed in Juba, the capital of 
Six arrested during another anti-migrant protest in south TA
Haaretz
Demonstrators shouted phrases including “leftists are traitors,” “the left is cancer” and “the media is cancer,” and they held up signs saying “south Tel Aviv, not South Sudan.” Far right activist Baruch Marzel, one of the protest’s leaders, 
UN Aid Worker Abducted In Sudan’s Darfur Region Released
RTT News
(RTTNews) – A British aid worker held hostage in Sudan’s South Darfur region for almost three months has been released unharmed by his captors, his employer announced Wednesday. Patrick Noonan was working with the United Nations World Food Program 
Former “Lost Boy” Gives Back to South Sudan
Care2.com (blog)
by Aid for Africa If you have been following the news from South Sudan, you know this new nation confronts many challenges, including threats of renewed warfare, extreme poverty and a shortage of government services. But there are reasons for optimism, 
Indian peacekeepers treat 15000 animals in South Sudan
Newstrack India
New York, May 31 (IANS) Indian peacekeepers have treated over 15000 animals in conflict-hitSouth Sudan since 2011, the head of its veterinary unit said. The veterinary unit of the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) Indian 

Beijing envoy in Khartoum amid Sudan-South tension 

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE MAY 13, 2012
Sudan separated last July under a peace deal that ended 22 years of civil war.

KHARTOUM – A Chinese envoy was in Khartoum for talks on Sunday after his country backed a UN resolution that aims to halt border fighting between Sudan and South Sudan.

Zhong Jianhua arrived in the Sudanese capital on Saturday and was expected to leave on Sunday night after talks with government officials, a Chinese official told AFP.

“I think mostly it’s about the current situation between the two Sudans,” said the official, who did not wish to be identified.

From Khartoum, Zhong will head to Addis Ababa and then to the South Sudanese capital Juba, the official added.

Zhong was to hold talks later on Sunday with Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ali Karti, the spokesman for Khartoum’s foreign ministry said.

China backed a unanimous May 2 UN Security Council resolution ordering Sudan and South Sudan to halt weeks of border fighting which raised fears of all-out war.

Despite the ceasefire call, Sudan’s army said last week there had been renewed combat along the disputed frontier, while the South said it again came under Sudanese air attack.

The UN resolution said the two countries must resume by this Wednesday stalled African Union-led talks, which were held in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, to settle issues unresolved after South Sudan separated last July under a peace deal that ended 22 years of civil war.

The issues include oil payments, the status of each country’s citizens resident in the other, disputed border areas and the contested Abyei region.

Analysts say China has been balancing its support between old ally Sudan and newly-independent South Sudan, which was the source of five percent of its oil until a shutdown in January.

South Sudan separated with about 75 percent of the former united Sudan’s oil production, but Juba still depended on the north’s pipeline and Red Sea port to export its crude.

The protracted dispute over fees for use of that infrastructure was at the heart of tensions which brought the two countries to the brink of all-out war and led South Sudan to halt its crude production.

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir visited Beijing in April and received an $8-billion loan for infrastructure development in the impoverished country.

Read more:http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Beijing+envoy+Khartoum+amid+Sudan+South+tension/6613894/story.html#ixzz1umBwEbVq

South Sudanese begin journey home: IOM
Pakistan Daily Times
KHARTOUM: The first group of ethnic South Sudanese among up to 15000 camped in crowded conditions in Sudan began their journey home on Saturday, the International Organisation for Migration said. About 400 people, mostly adults, were travelling to 
Sudan says it’s ready to talk with South Sudan
Kansas City Star
By MOHAMED SAEED AP KHARTOUM, Sudan — Sudan says it is ready to hold talks with South Sudan about outstanding issues between the two countries. Sundan’s Foreign Ministry said Saturday that the “security question” should top the agenda.
South Sudan pulls out its forces from Abyei
Daily Nation
By AFP South Sudan has withdrawn hundreds of police from the territory of Abyei that it disputes with Sudan ahead of a UN Security Council ultimatum, a UN spokesman said on Friday. But the United Nations is still “verifying” the South’s claim that it 
S.Sudan police withdraw from disputed Abyei
Ahram Online
Both Sudan and South Sudan claim Abyei, a border region containing fertile grazing land, which Khartoum took in May last year – triggering the exodus of tens of thousands of civilians – after a southern attack on an army convoy.
Sudan’s conflict with South Sudan cuts both ways
Los Angeles Times
A Sudanese worker inspects the damage to an oil-processing facility in Heglig last month. South Sudan seized Sudan’s main oil field in the town in April, sparking intense fighting. Under strong international pressure, South Sudan withdrew.
Ban welcomes South Sudan’s withdrawal of police from disputed Abyei area
UN News Centre
The disputed town of Abyei was the scene of renewed violence in May 2011 after Sudanese Government forces took over the area. UN Photo/Stuart Price Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed South Sudan’s decision to withdraw its police force from 
South Sudan police withdraw from disputed Abyei
Middle East Online
Juba withdraws hundreds of police from territory of Abyei that it disputes with Sudan ahead of UN Security Council ultimatum. UNITED NATIONS - South Sudan has withdrawn hundreds of police from the territory of Abyei that it disputes with Sudan ahead of 
Harley hosts benefit walk for South Sudan
News 10NBC
Today students, teachers, Harley families and members of the Rochester community banned together to bring water to South Sudan. Harley affiliates and Rochesterians came out to the Harley field house to raise money for project that will provide safe 
Sudans brace for a war both thought was over
Salt Lake Tribune
By JOSH KRON Mayom Wel, South Sudan • On a recent blistering afternoon, this village danced in an open field. Women sashayed, hoisting chairs over their heads. Barefoot children scampered. Old men, with skin as dry and cracked as the bark of a savanna 
First group of stranded South Sudanese to be repatriated
GlobalPost
The first group of stranded South Sudanese, who have been living in makeshift shelters in Sudan, are to be repatriated to the southern capital, Juba, today. A Southern Sudanese man salutes the statue of late South Sudan rebel leader and first 
Beijing envoy in Khartoum amid Sudan-South tension
Montreal Gazette
KHARTOUM – A Chinese envoy was in Khartoum for talks on Sunday after his country backed a UN resolution that aims to halt border fighting between Sudan and South Sudan. Zhong Jianhua arrived in the Sudanese capital on Saturday and was expected to leave 
LRA commander Caesar Acelam reportedly captured
Daily Monitor
By Monitor Reporter (email the author) Senior Ugandan and South Sudanese security officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because UPDF is yet to make an official announcement of the ‘big catch’, say ‘Maj. Gen.’ Caesar Acelam was picked as he 
South Sudan eyes EAC membership
The Citizen Daily
He said allowing Southern Sudan to join the EAC will be of mutual benefit to all member countries, considering the readily available market of about ten million people for various products produced in the region. The Speaker said South Sudan wanted the 
S. Sudan’s bid to join EAC to be processed
Africa Review
South Sudanese celebrate their country’s Independence. Juba wants to join the East African Community and its application is in the process of being verified. Photo | JARED NYATAYA | By ADAM IHUCHA Posted Sunday, May 13 2012 at 17:26 South Sudan’s 

AU: South Sudan’s Capture of Heglig Oil Field ‘Illegal’

Peter Heinlein | Addis Ababa

The African Union said Thursday that South Sudan acted illegally when it sent troops across the border into Sudan to capture a strategic oil field and demanded the force’s immediate withdrawal. Diplomats are urging the presidents of both countries to show leadership as war seems imminent.

The AU Peace and Security Council condemned Sudan as well as South Sudan for hostile actions that appear to signal a resumption of the war that ended seven years ago.  Peace and Security Commissioner Ramtane Lamamra warned that the south’s military incursion into the northern oil field at Heglig and the north’s aerial bombing campaign had raised tensions to a new level.

“It cannot be reduced to yet just another incident like the ones we have seen before.  Therefore, it is the feeling in the Peace and Security Council that it is the time now for the two leaders — Presidents Omar al-Bashir and Salva Kiir — to display the required leadership, so that the two countries would avoid a disastrous war which the two people do not need to fall in again,” Lamamra said.

But the south’s capture of Heglig appears to have dashed all hopes for a Bashir-Kiir summit.  The Khartoum government said it was pulling out of AU-mediated talks.  And a hoped-for meeting on the sidelines of a security summit in Ethiopia on Saturday and Sunday evaporated when it was announced that President Bashir would not attend.

AU diplomats say South Sudan’s move to capture and close the Heglig oil fields has cut Sudan’s oil production in half.  That has raised calls in Khartoum for swift military action to reclaim the fields.

As border clashes escalated on Thursday, South Sudan President Kiir told parliament he would not order a withdrawal from Heglig.  He said the south has a rightful claim to the area.

The AU Peace and Security Council rejected that claim, in a statement read by Commissioner Lamamra.

“The council is dismayed by the illegal and unacceptable occupation by the South Sudanese armed forces of Heglig, which lies north of the agreed border line of the first of January 1956 border line.  The Council demanded the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the army of the Republic of South Sudan from the area,” Lamamra said.

African Union officials expressed concern about deteriorating conditions on several fronts.  The Khartoum government is said to be delaying efforts to provide humanitarian aid to South Kordofan and Blue Nile states along the border.  More than 400,000 people there fled their homes last year after violence broke out, and reports suggest that troops are massing for more fighting.

AU diplomats also noted reports of irregular militias forming to support regular Sudanese army forces in Blue Nile and Kordofan states.  Those officials say that previously, military activity in the region had been exclusively by regular military units.

The appearance of militia units is raising fears of a return to the village burnings and other brutal tactics attributed to the Janjaweed militias that ravaged Darfur during the early days of that region’s civil war nearly a decade ago.

http://www.voanews.com/english/news/africa/AU-South-Sudans-Capture-of-Heglig-Oil-Field-Illegal-147256225.html


Sudan
, S. Sudan leaders accuse each other of wanting war

Jakarta Globe
by Abdelmoneim Abu Edris Ali | April 13, 2012 The leaders of Sudan and South Sudan accused each other on Thursday of wanting war, with each denying the other’s charge, as Sudanese war planes bombed a bridge in the South after days of fighting in a 
UN: Sudan, South Sudan must stop border conflict
cbs4qc.com
The council demands the withdrawal of South Sudan’s military forces from the oil-rich town of Heglig that is claimed by Sudan and an end to Sudan’s aerial bombing of South SudanSouth Sudan’s president said Thursday the nation will not withdraw its 

Syria; Sudan/South Sudan; North Korea; Mali; and more
UN Dispatch
Sudan/S. Sudan: The UN Security Council met in public Thursday to read out a statement demanding “a complete, immediate and unconditional end to all fighting” between Sudan and South Sudan. The council statement, read out by presiding US Ambassador 

At UN, South Sudan Says Won’t Leave Heglig Until Monitors, SC All Syria
Inner City Press
By Matthew Russell Lee UNITED NATIONS, April 12 – South Sudan will only leave Heglig in Sudan “once a mechanism is in place and a neutral force is deployed in the area,” South SudaneseDeputy Permanent Representative Agnes Oswaha told Inner City Press 

South Sudan: Kiir Refuses to Pull Out Troops From Heglig
AllAfrica.com
From South Sudan is Atem Yah Atem, from … ( Resource: Are The Two Sudans Heading for War? Juba — South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayadrit brushed aside calls to withdraw his army from the oil-rich region of Heglig after being asked to do so in 

South Sudan President addresses National Legislature on Sudan ‘attacks’
New Sudan Vision
Photo by New Sudan Vision. (Juba, NSV, South Sudan) – Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of South Sudan, in an address to the National Legislature yesterday, promised to defend the sovereignty of the young nation should there be an all-out-war.

AU: South Sudan’s Capture of Heglig Oil Field ‘Illegal’
Voice of America
April 12, 2012 AU: South Sudan’s Capture of Heglig Oil Field ‘Illegal’ Peter Heinlein | Addis Ababa The African Union said Thursday that South Sudan acted illegally when it sent troops across the border into Sudan to capture a strategic oil field and 

South Sudan says won’t withdraw troops
Beaver County Times
South Sudan’s president said Thursday that the nation will not withdraw its troops that this week entered a disputed border region with Sudan. South Sudan President Salva Kiir spoke to parliament in the midst of escalating clashes along the border with 

(AFP)

6 April 2012
KHARTOUM- While guns blazed on the border between Sudan and South Sudan in recent days, the airwaves and newspapers of both countries have fired salvos of their own in an intense propaganda war.Almost two weeks ago the clashes between the neighbours began along their undemarcated and disputed frontier in the most serious unrest since South Sudan gained independence from Khartoum last July, after Africa’s longest war.International fears have mounted of a return to full-blown conflict.But with access to the war zone restricted on the Sudanese side the full extent of recent fighting remains unclear, leaving much of the local media parroting inflammatory government rhetoric.

The African Union, which hosted failed talks between the two sides in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa this week, proposed the “immediate halting of all forms of negative media propaganda… without severely affecting the freedom of the press.”

That was among six proposals, including an immediate end to hostilities, made by the AU, but not signed by either side.

“They have noticed that during the last weeks the media really played a very negative role,” said Faisal Mohammed Salih, a media consultant and political columnist for a Khartoum newspaper.

In keeping with the shrill rhetoric, South Sudan’s lead negotiator Pagan Amum accused the Khartoum delegation of walking out of the talks, saying “war mongering” prevented them from signing the agreement.

He also said South Sudan’s army downed a Sudanese fighter jet over a border area on the South, but Sudan rejected the claim as well as the accusation that it refused to ink a deal.

That has been the pattern since late last month: a series of accusations and counter-accusations, often supported by little evidence.

The battle in Sudan’s South Kordofan state, a region Sudan claimed was penetrated by Southern troops, is a media as well as a military war, Khartoum’s State Minister of Information Sana Hamad said last Monday, according to the official SUNA news agency.

She said a media campaign by “hostile circles… reflects unreal pictures and situations in South Kordofan,” SUNA reported.

“High rhetoric is something of a national pastime, and both sides are now seeking to control the narrative,” said Zach Vertin, senior analyst for Sudan and South Sudan with the International Crisis Group think-tank.

“But what’s more telling is that the parties are still coming to the table, still talking, as both sides know a deal is in their mutual interest.”

African Union mediator Thabo Mbeki held talks on Thursday in Juba with South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir in an attempt to defuse the escalating crisis. Mbeki was expected this weekend for talks in the Sudanese capital as well.

Sudanese officials flew a delegation of journalists, including an AFP correspondent, to the scene of recent north-South clashes in the oil-rich Heglig border region for a few hours, but independent reporting in the area has not been permitted.

Reporters have had more freedom to travel in South Sudan but in the absence of extensive coverage from the field, Salih told AFP that government-owned radio and television stations in both countries have been used as a “gun machine” to spread hatred and rhetoric.

Some of the countries’ newspapers, however, still try to operate more professionally, “so they cannot be used in this fight, this media fight,” Salih added.

“But maybe in the north or in the South, if you try to be objective from the Western standard or international standard in your stories, you will be described as a traitor or someone who doesn’t defend the national interests”, said the columnist, who also works with Teeba Press, a media training agency and advocate for freedom of expression.

Sudan’s army has made repeated allegations of incursion by Southern troops, while the South in turn has claimed numerous air strikes by the north.

Media on both sides of the border have reported exaggerated claims of losses from the opposing country, while minimising their own casualties, said Salih.

He agrees that in this war, an old maxim applies: Truth is the first casualty.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/international/2012/April/international_April193.xml&section=international&col=


ONGC discontinues oil production in South Sudan

Business Standard
Following geopolitical disputes in North and South Sudan, ONGC Videsh Ltd. (OVL), the overseas investment arm of state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. (ONGC) has discontinued crude oil production from the latter territory.
South Sudan ready for fresh oil deal, says minister
Daily Nation
By Nation Reporter South Sudan is ready to renegotiate a new oil pipeline deal with Kenya should the need to do so arise, its minister of information has said. Speaking to the Nation on the telephone from Juba, South Sudan’s minister of Information and 
Nonviolent Peaceforce helps protect women, children in South Sudan
Christian Science Monitor
Brewing conflict with Sudan in the north, and Joseph Kony’s LRA in the south, are just two of South Sudan’s challenges. Nonviolent Peaceforce is working to protect the population, especially women and children, from these and other threats.

Sudan, South Sudan to hold postponed summit: AU
Chicago Tribune
KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir will meet his South Sudanesecounterpart, Salva Kiir, to defuse tensions between the neighbors after an initial summit was postponed, an African Union mediator said on Friday.

Sudan and South wage propaganda war
Khaleej Times
KHARTOUM – While guns blazed on the border between Sudan and South Sudan in recent days, the airwaves and newspapers of both countries have fired salvos of their own in an intense propaganda war. Almost two weeks ago the clashes between the neighbours 

Machar says independence of South Sudan “prophetic”
Sudan Tribune
April 6, 2012 (JUBA) – The independence of South Sudan did not come as a result of human’s action but by the “hand” of God, says the country’s Vice President, Riek Machar. Machar, a Christian, made the remarks during a meeting on Friday with a visiting 

Report urges China to step in North-South Sudan talks
Sudan Tribune
April 6, 2012 (NAIROBI) – China needs to engage “directly” in helping Sudan and South Sudan to resolve disputes over post-independence issues, especially oil, a new report has advised Beijing. Chinese Vice President Zeng Qinghong (L) and Sudanese First 

The woes of indecisiveness in the Republic of South Sudan!
Sudan Tribune
I have lost patience in the way things are done in the Republic of South Sudan and so I think that I can’t just keep quiet which is why I will ask you to read through with me as I take you along on what I think is not rightly done.

Sudan army claims new S. Sudan push into Heglig

Posted: April 2, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël in Junub Sudan
Tags:

Sudan’s army late Sunday claimed South Sudanese forces launched another push into the Heglig oil region, adding to mutual accusations surrounding stalled crisis talks in the Ethiopian capital.

“In South Kordofan state today the South Sudanese army crossed the Sudanese international border and went three kilometres (two miles) into the Heglig area,” army spokesman Sawarmi Khaled Saadwas quoted by the official SUNA news agency as saying.

The disputed border between the two countries is undemarcated, and tensions along the frontier have mounted since South Sudan separated in July last year after an overwhelming vote following Africa’s longest war.

Talks in Addis Ababa were called after clashes between north and South on Monday and Tuesday in the Heglig border area sparked global alarm and fears of a wider war.

On the eve of those talks late Friday, Sudan’s army alleged the South sent cannons and tanks to back a rebel attack on Talodi, about 100 kilometres (60 miles) northeast of Heglig.

It said the rebels were defeated, suffering heavy losses.

The insurgents, from the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), denied receiving Southern support and said the battle for Talodi was continuing for a third day on Sunday.

Late Saturday the Sudanese army spokesman alleged a battalion of South Sudanese troops had crossed the contested border and was moving towards Talodi.

Juba’s chief negotiator Pagan Amum dismissed the accusation as “categorically untrue” and instead said the north was planning further attacks along the disputed frontier.

“We are here … to attempt to make peace; the government of Sudan is waging war on South Sudan,” Amum said in Addis Ababa.

“The government of Sudan is bombing us as we speak,” said Amum, reporting fresh battles in the towns of Manga and Panakuach in Unity state.

A member of the Khartoum delegation, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Sudan “did not declare war and we have no intention to declare war”.

Teams from both countries have been in the Ethiopian capital for the African Union-led negotiations since Saturday, but so far there have been no Khartoum-Juba talks.

Amum said the north’s failure to send the head of its security delegation has delayed the proceedings but Khartoum’s foreign ministry spokesman, Al-Obeid Meruh, said the defence minister would join the delegation after attending to prior appointments Sunday and Monday.

Sudan’s delegation, in a statement issued by SUNA late on Sunday, repeated various accusations against South Sudan including the most recent alleged incursion into Heglig.

But it said Sudan still favours dialogue.

“We will make our best effort to cooperate with the government of South Sudan… in spite of all difficulties,” the statement said.

Last week’s clashes prompted Khartoum to call off an April 3 summit in Juba between President Omar al-Bashir and the South’s Salva Kiir.

Analysts said there were elements in Khartoum, as well as the South, opposed to recent moves towards warmer relations between the two countries and suggested last week’s flare-up over Heglig was an effort to sabotage a rapprochement.

http://news.yahoo.com/sudan-army-claims-sudan-push-heglig-221134267.html

S.Sudan accuses Sudan of new attacks, Khartoum denies it

ReutersBy Aaron Maasho | Reuters 

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - South Sudan on Sunday accused Sudan of bombing the oil-producing area straddling the two countries’ borders as talks aimed at ending the worst hostilities since Juba declared its independence were delayed.

Sudan’s army denied the accusations, however, saying no military operation had been conducted on Sunday following a series of clashes between the two armies in the contested border region in recent days.

“The government of Sudan attacked Manga today at two in the morning,” Pagan Amum, head of South Sudan’s negotiating team, told reporters in Addis Ababa where the African Union is trying to restart talks between the neighbours.

“Panakuach, also in Unity State, has been subjected to aerial bombardment today, including attacks by helicopter gunship,” he said. “As we speak, Sudan is bombing South Sudan.”

Sudanese army spokesman Sawarmi Khalid Saad denied the allegation. “There is no military operation today,” he said.

The United Nations and the United States fear the clashes could escalate and re-ignite a civil war between the mainly Muslim north and the South where most adhere to Christian and animist beliefs.

South Sudan became independent from Khartoum under a 2005 peace agreement that ended decades of civil war that killed two million people.

Both sides were supposed to resume talks this weekend but African Union officials said key members of Sudan’s delegation such as its defence minister and the chief-of-staff of its army had not yet arrived.

The two officials were expected in Addis Ababa “tonight or tomorrow morning,” a member of Sudan’s delegation told Reuters.

“The government of Sudan did not send the leader of their team. It is now clear that they have different intentions,” said Amum, the head of Juba’s delegation.

As well as agreeing a halt to further hostilities, the two sides need to decide how much the landlocked South must pay to export its crude oil through Sudan. Juba has shut down its entire oil production to stop Khartoum taking oil as compensation for what it calls unpaid transit fees.

Both countries have yet to mark the 1,800 km (1,200 mile) long border, much of which is disputed, or found a solution to the disputed border region of Abyei. Both sides also continue to accuse one another of supporting rebels on each other’s territory.

http://news.yahoo.com/sudan-accuses-sudan-attacks-khartoum-denies-143001490.html

SPLM/RSS Press Release

Posted: April 1, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël in Junub Sudan
Tags:

Dear All
Please find the attached file; a press release about the on-going negotiations of the Joint Political and Security Mechanism JPSM. the two parties failed to start their meeting because Sudan’s Minister of the Defense and the Chief of General Staff of Sudanese Armed Forces SAF were not able to attend to Addis due to military situation that Sudan is  faced now a days. instead Khartoum sent its delegation to Addis just to file an official complaint to AUHIP accusing SPLA of the Republic of South Sudan is invading their territories and they cannot continue with talks  meanwhile the SPLA attacking their territories.the AUHIP requested the Minister of Defense and his Chief of staff to come to Addis to resume the talks over the JPSM.SPLM/RSS delegation held a press conference this afternoon to address the false accusations disseminated by the GoS after the AUHIP resolved that the two delegations should prepare their position for next joint meeting which may take place right after the arrival of the Khartoum’s delegation to AddisAtif kiiir
Press Secretary
SPLM Secretary-General’s office
Addis  Ababa

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Hereward Holland and Ulf Laessing ReutersMarch 31, 2012

JUBA/KHARTOUM (Reuters) – South Sudan said on Saturday the Sudanese army had bombed its positions in the oil-producing border area, resuming a conflict that had eased earlier this week, just hours ahead of new talks.

Trading accusations, Khartoum said South Sudan had supported a rebel attack on a border town in South Kordofan state and was building up troops at the poorly-marked frontier where fighting flared on Monday and Tuesday.

Those skirmishes ended when southern troops moved out of the disputed Heglig oil field, on the Sudan side of the border, where they had gone in response to what they said was Khartoum’s bombing of southern oil fields.

It was the worst direct confrontation between the neighbors since South Sudan became independent in July under a 2005 agreement that ended decades of civil war.

Both sides are to resume talks in Addis Ababa on Saturday but diplomats see no breakthrough after Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir called off a summit with his southern counterpart Salva Kiir due to the violence.

Philip Aguer, spokesman for South Sudan’s army, the SPLA, said on Saturday the Sudanese army had bombed SPLA border positions.

“They have been bombing our positions since yesterday at 5 p.m. Their target seems to be to invade Unity (state) oil fields. They are the ones bombing our forces in different places and pushing southwards,” he said.

South Sudan’s Information Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin said the clashes were “minor” and did not amount to an escalation.

NEW TALKS

Sudanese army spokesman Sawarmi Khaled Saad accused the SPLA of helping rebels of the SPLM-North conducting an assault on the border town of Talodi in South Kordofan.

“South Sudan supported the rebels with tanks and artillery,” he told state news agency SUNA late on Friday, adding that rebels had failed to take the town and had fled to regroup.

He also said the SPLA army was amassing troops at the border south of Heglig. “The goal is to attack the Heglig area another time,” Saad said.

Aguer denied the SPLA had supported the rebel attack.

The Heglig field is key to Sudan’s economy because it produces around half of the country’s oil output of 115,000 barrels a day.

The field was awarded to Sudan by the Permanent Arbitration Court in 2009 but some southern officials have laid claim on it.

The border states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile are home to populations which sided with the south during the civil war but were left on the Sudan side of the border. The Sudanese army has been fighting SPLM-North in both states since last year.

(Writing by Uf Laessing; Additional reporting by Khaled Abdelaziz; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-sudan-fightingbre82u08j-20120331,0,999110.story

Sudan and South Sudan accuse each other of border attacks

ReutersBy Hereward Holland and Aaron Maasho | Reuters
 

JUBA/ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Sudan and South Sudan have accused each of launching further attacks in the oil-producing area straddling their border, dashing hopes for a new round of talks designed to end the dispute.

Clashes first broke out on Monday in the worst direct confrontation between the two since South Sudan became independent in July 2011 but died down two days later when South Sudanese troops moved out of the disputed Heglig area, inside Sudan.

But on Friday Sudan launched an aerial bombardment on South Sudanese army border positions, according to South Sudan’s army. A Sudanese army spokesman in Khartoum said it attacked with artillery, not aircraft, and only in response to an earlier South Sudanese artillery attack on Heglig.

The United Nations and the United States have both warned that the clashes could reignite a civil war that stretched for decades between the mainly Muslim north and the Christian and animist South.

The Heglig field is key to Sudan’s economy because it accounts for around half of the 115,000 barrels of oil Sudan produces each day. The field was awarded to Sudan by the Permanent Arbitration Court in 2009 but some southern officials have laid claim on it.

At the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, the first set of talks since violence erupted were due to begin on Saturday but would now not take place until at least Sunday, diplomats there said.

“We are here and we are ready to talk,” Idris Abdelgadir, head of Sudan’s negotiation team, told Reuters as he arrived, but his counterpart accused Khartoum of delaying.

“We are still waiting for talks but they never showed up,” Juba’s top negotiator Pagan Amum told Reuters. “That’s because they are planning to carry out more attacks on South Sudan.”

Diplomats see no breakthrough after Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir called off an April 3 summit with his southern counterpart Salva Kiir, due to the violence.

A diplomat and Sudanese source said Khartoum was ready to talk about rescheduling the presidents’ summit but nothing had been decided yet.

GUERILLA ATTACK

Sudanese army spokesman Sawarmi Khaled Saad said the SPLA, South Sudan’s army, was also supporting rebels of the SPLM-North in an attack on the town of Talodi in South Kordofan by covertly slipping regular soldiers over the border.

Philip Aguer, spokesman for the SPLA denied it was supporting the rebel attack.

The Sudanese states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile are home to populations which sided with the south during the civil war but were included in Sudan when the border was drawn. The Sudanese army has been fighting SPLM-North rebels in both states since last year.

Sudan holds air superiority over South Sudan and has greater land firepower than the SPLA – an army drawn from former rebel militias created during the civil war.

(Writing by Ulf Laessing; Additional reporting by Khaled Abdelaziz; Editing by Ben Harding)

http://news.yahoo.com/sudan-south-sudan-accuse-other-border-attacks-204436226.html

South Sudan keen to strengthen ties with Angola: minister
People’s Daily Online
LUANDA, March 30 (Xinhua) — Visiting South Sudanese Minister of Cabinet Affairs Deng Alor Koul said here on Friday his newly independent country hoped to strengthen ties with Angola in various fields, and the oil sector in particular…

South Sudan says clashes with Sudan ahead of talks
WXEL
By Hereward Holland and Ulf Laessing JUBA/KHARTOUM (Reuters) – South Sudan said on Saturday the Sudanese army had bombed its positions in the oil-producing border area, resuming a conflict that had eased earlier this week, just hours ahead of new talks
Top Sudan officials head for crisis talks with South in Addis Ababa
Al-Arabiya
(Reuters) By AFP Top Sudanese security officials headed to crisis talks in the Ethiopian capital on Saturday after a delay threw negotiations into uncertainty following fresh fighting allegedly backed by South Sudan, the foreign ministry said.

Fierce battles erupt at key town in Sudan’s South Kordofan state
Sudan Tribune
A source inside Teludi told Sudan Tribune today that SPLM-N briefly entered Teludi but were pushed back later in the evening. The SPLM-N has made a number of attempts to capture Teludi since the conflict in South Kordofan broke out in June last year…

Sudan Accuses South Over Rebel Attack in Oil-Rich State
Bloomberg
Sudan’s army accused South Sudan of supporting a rebel attack on a town in the oil-rich border state of Southern Kordofan and amassing troops. Clashes between Sudanese insurgents and government soldiers erupted on March 29 for control of Taludi,

BancABC Targets Angola, Uganda, South Sudan
AllAfrica.com
Oil-rich but under-banked Angola and South Sudan, together with Uganda, are among Munatsi’s targets. BancABC, which turned over 659 million Pula during the review period from 546 million Pula in 2010, is listed on the Botswana and Zimbabwe stock

South Sudan Closer to Being Polio-Free
Voice of America
March 30, 2012 South Sudan Closer to Being Polio-Free Andrew Green | Juba South Sudan officials are hopeful the country will soon be declared polio-free, as the latest round of nationwide polio immunizations wraps up. On the brink of being polio-free

South Sudan says clashes with Sudan ahead of talks
Chicago Tribune
JUBA/KHARTOUM (Reuters) – South Sudan said on Saturday the Sudanese army had bombed its positions in the oil-producing border area, resuming a conflict that had eased earlier this week, just hours ahead of new talks. Trading accusations, Khartoum said

South Sudan’s Kiir orders public mobilization
Sudan Tribune
March 30, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit, has instructed governors of the country’s five states bordering northern neighbor Sudan to mobilize the public for defense. In an address he delivered at the final session

Sudan accuses South Sudan of backing armed rebel groups
Telegraph.co.uk
Sudan’s army accused South Sudan of backing a rebel attack on the strategic town of Talodi on Friday, the eve of planned crisis talks between the two nations after earlier clashes caused global alarm. “They came supported by tanks and cannons from

South Sudan boy’s journey from refugee camp to Yale
New Straits Times
By Nicholas D Kristof 0 comments A girl collecting water in South Sudan. Chronic poverty and unrest is denying thousands of children education. AFP pic PAUL Lorem epitomises a blunt truth about the world: talent is universal, but opportunity is not…

Sudan, South Sudan to resume talks, don’t want war
euronews
By Hereward Holland and Ulf Laessing JUBA/KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Sudan and South Sudan are expected to resume talks on Saturday, with leaders of the former civil war foes playing down the risks of a war after the most violent border clashes since the


Sudan-South Sudan Clash Prompts Urgent Mediation Effort
Voice of America
March 29, 2012 Sudan-South Sudan Clash Prompts Urgent Mediation Effort Peter Heinlein | Addis Ababa A high-level international team of mediators is gathering in Ethiopia’s capital for another try at easing tensions that have brought Sudan and South 
Israeli foreign ministry recommends postponing deportation of South Sudanese
Haaretz
On April 1, collective protection for South Sudan nationals is set to expire; Jerusalem District Court also issues an injunction forbidding any deportation of South Sudanesenationals before April 15. By Barak Ravid Israel’s foreign ministry 
South Sudan wants to learn basketball with Angola
AngolaPress
Luanda – The minister of Youth and Sports of South Sudan, Cirino Hiteng Ofuho Thursday in Luanda said that his country is interested in cooperating specifically in basketball for considering Angola the greatest power on the African continent.
South Sudan says it pulls back troops from border
Longview Daily News
South Sudan said Wednesday it has pulled out its troops from a contested area along the border with Sudan shortly after clashes between the two countries’ armies sparked fears of a return to war. Military spokesman Col. Philip Aguer said that southern 
South Sudanese migrants in Israel get reprieve
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South Sudanese migrants will not be forced to leave Israel by the end of the month as planned. On Thursday, Israel’s Foreign Ministry recommended that the refugees be permitted to remain in Israel for another six months after the Jerusalem District 
SudanSouth pledge peace as crisis talks delayed
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ADDIS ABABA: African-brokered crisis talks between Sudan and South Sudan after days of border clashes were delayed Thursday but the rival sides pledged to stop an escalation into full-blown war. The talks in the Ethiopian capital were likely to be 

Sudanese Activist Artist Breaks Down Borders
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His own home region in the south of Sudan is experiencing conflict and humanitarian crisis amid the messy separation between Sudan and the world’s newest country South Sudan. On the wall of his room in a suburb of Washington, he describes pictures of a 
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By Ngor Arol Garang March 29, 2012 (JUBA) - South Sudan has formed a technical fact finding committee to investigate the cause of a plane crash at Wau Airport on Thursday morning, according to officials. Multiple eyewitnesses told Sudan Tribune that no 

Sudan wants to live peacefully with S Sudan: Bashir
Zee News
Baghdad: Sudan wants to resolve peacefully all disputes with South Sudan and build up good relations with the former civil war foe, President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said on Thursday, after two days of border clashes between the two countries.

Sudan and S.Sudan start negotiations on possible cease fire in in the Ethiopian capital to avert all out war following days of airstrikes and bloody border violence

AFP , Wednesday 28 Mar 2012
Senior leaders from Sudan and South Sudan will meet Thursday in the Ethiopian capital to avert all out war following days of airstrikes and bloody border violence, officials on both sides said.

Sudan’s Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Rahamatalla Mohamed Osman said he was in Addis Ababa “to represent my country in the negotiations… with regards to security along the border.”

South Sudan official Pagan Amum said he would travel to Ethiopia for African Union-mediated talks to stop the bitter clashes escalating into war.

“What we expect to achieve is the cessation of hostilities,” Amum said by telephone from the South Sudanese capital. “We will stop the fighting that is there, and ensure that this does not erupt into war between the two countries.”

Sudanese warplanes on Monday launched air raids on newly independent South Sudan, while the rival armies clashed in heavy battles.

Both sides claim the other started the fighting in contested oil-rich border regions, the worst since South Sudan declared independence from Khartoum last July after decades of civil war.

The meeting was scheduled to take place before fighting broke out Monday.

Osman said the mood remained tense, which could jeopardize further talks between the two countries.

“We are talking about security arrangements at a time when there are attacks,” he told AFP. “I am not sure we can accept any more offers (from the South),” he added, warning the clashes could create a stalemate.

However, Amum urged both sides to “rescue the positive spirit” of earlier talks, and said he remained confident fighting will stop after the meeting.

The African Union and the UN Security Council have called for an end to the violence, while US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Khartoum bore the responsibility for the renewed hostilities.

The pan-African body said Wednesday it was deeply concerned at an “escalating security situation” on the border between the former civil war foes, and called for troops to pull back 10 kilometres (six miles) either side of the border.


South Sudan
 official says Sudan bombs oil field

BusinessWeek
By MICHAEL ONYIEGO Sudan’s military bombed an oil field in South Sudan on Tuesday, a South Sudan official said, as a dangerous flare-up in border violence appeared to scuttle plans for a presidential summit between the two countries.
A Letter From South Sudan - Rearmament in Warrap State
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Sent to gather the guns of the civilians of Warrap State, they were part of the next round of rural disarmament in South Sudan. The Titweng were often cited as the principle target for disarmament. In contrast to previous disarmament attempts, 
AU Hopes Sudan-southSudan Meeting Will Have Positive Outcome
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ADDIS ABABA, March 28 (BERNAMA-NNN-ENA) — The chairman of the African Union (AU) Commission has expressed hope that the meeting between the leaders of Sudan and South Sudanin Juba early next month will have a positive outcome.
Sudan and South Sudan may slide back to war, world powers warn
CNN
By the CNN Wire Staff (CNN) — Sudan and South Sudan may be sliding back toward war, the United States and other international powers are warning, amid reports that Sudan is bombing its newly independent neighbor. The White House is “alarmed” by recent 

Camp Sees Influx From Sudan, South Sudan
AllAfrica.com
Twenty years later, the refugee camp in north-western Kenya is now filling up again with a new influx of people fleeing conflict in parts of South Sudan and Sudan. More than 4500 people have arrived in Kakuma camp so far this year, over 76 per cent of 

Sudan and South Sudan to meet amid border conflict
Ahram Online
Senior leaders from Sudan and South Sudan will meet Thursday in the Ethiopian capital to avert all out war following days of airstrikes and bloody border violence, officials on both sides said. Sudan’s Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Rahamatalla 

Sudanese refugees to leave Israel
infolive.tv
Israel and South Sudan are working out a deal for the return of some 1500 refugees to their homes in the African republic, starting April 1. Refugees have returned voluntarily to South Sudan in the past. This happened on a small scale and did not 

Humanitarian disaster unfolds in South Sudan

Posted: March 17, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël in Junub Sudan
Tags: ,

South Sudan: UN Desperately Seeking Helicopters
AllAfrica.com
The United Nations is pleading with members to provide military helicopters for its peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, where recent tribal violence has displaced more than 100000 people, a UN report showed on Thursday. The chopper shortage arose 

Humanitarian disaster unfolds in South Sudan
Aljazeera.com
The governments in South Sudan and Sudan continue to be mired in disputes while a humanitarian crisis looms. Washington, DC – Less than a year since South Sudan’sindependence, thousands of people in the region continue to face the stark realities of
Progress on citizenship and border issues in Sudan and South Sudan?
Christian Science Monitor
South Sudan and Sudan appeared to make progress in their latest talks in Addis Ababa, despite heightened regional tensions, writes guest blogger Amanda Hsiao. By Amanda Hsiao, Guest blogger / March 16, 2012 • A version of this post appeared on the blog 
S. Sudan Agrees to Release Child Soldiers
Voice of America
March 16, 2012 S. Sudan Agrees to Release Child Soldiers Hannah McNeish | Juba The United Nations says a new deal signed with South Sudan’s army could lead to the newest country being delisted from nations which use and recruit child soldiers.
Lugar frets over Sudanese conflicts
UPI.com
WASHINGTON, March 16 (UPI) — The “genesis of dozens of violent conflicts” in an independentSouth Sudan erases some of the confidence for regional peace, a US lawmaker said. This week, the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan expressed concern about 
South Sudan’s Army Promises to Free Child Soldiers
Voice of America
16 March 2012 South Sudan’s Army Promises to Free Child Soldiers TO DOWNLOAD the MP3 of this story, click on the MP3 link in the upper right corner of the page. Double-click any word to find the definition in the Merriam-Webster Learner’s Dictionary.

SUDAN: Aid needs urgent as refugees head south
IRINnews.org
YIDA, 16 March 2012 (IRIN) – The international community should act urgently to provide assistance to thousands of people affected by conflict in Blue Nile and South Kordofan states in Sudan, and the many refugees who have fled across the border into 

UN’s Ban commends Sudan and South Sudan on political progress
MI News 26
NEW YORK (BNO NEWS) — United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday commended the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan for the progress they have made in talks aimed at resolving post-independence issues. Ban said both parties have 

UN desperately seeking helicopters for South Sudan
The Sun Daily
UNITED NATIONS ( March 15, 2012) : The United Nations is pleading with members to provide military helicopters for its peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, where recent tribal violence has displaced more than 100000 people, a UN report showed on 

South Sudan criminalizes money-laundering
Sudan Tribune
March 17, 2012 (JUBA) – The eight-month old independent state of South Sudan has criminalized money-laundering as part of the ongoing effort to arrest the rampant corruption in the country. Over one billion US dollars of public money has disappeared 
South Sudan cabinet to convene emergency meeting over looming food crisis
Sudan Tribune
March 16, 2012 (JUBA) - South Sudan’s cabinet is set to convene an “emergency meeting” immediately after the country’s president, Salva Kiir, returns from a trip to the Bahr el Ghazal region, a senior official told journalists on Friday.

Sudan Urges a Deal On Security Issues With the South Before Presidential Summit
AllAfrica.com
Khartoum — Sudan’s foreign minister has urged South Sudan to settle security file in a manner to pave the way for the implementation of the recent border and four freedoms agreements reached this week in Addis Ababa. Delegation of the two countries 

UN sees progress with Sudan aid, wants more access
Yahoo! Contributors Network
Clashes broke out between Sudan’s armed forces and rebels of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) in South Kordofan last June, then spread to Blue Nile state in September. Both areas border newly-independent South Sudan.

Amum said Sudan can take the south’s offer or leave it. “The figures for transit fee is 69 cents. If they don’t, there will be no deal, he said.”

Peter Heinlein | Addis Ababa

A senior Sudanese negotiator said he sees little hope for progress in talks with South Sudan on contentious issues left over from the two countries’ separation last July. Mediators in Addis Ababa are measuring progress in millimeters.

Former Sudanese Central Bank governor Sabir Mohamed al Hassan was blunt Friday when asked whether he thinks the current session of African Union-mediated talks might yield forward movement. “Personally, no. I don’t think so. I’m not really optimistic,” he said.

One track of the talks focuses on oil. The landlocked south must use the north’s pipelines to send its oil abroad. But a dispute over transit fees prompted the south to shut down production, costing both sides hundreds of million dollars per month in income.

Hassan, Khartoum’s lead negotiator in the oil talks, said it would be a victory if the two sides could simply agree to talk in a spirit of compromise.

“That the two parties sit down and negotiate in good faith, negotiate with the objective of reaching a compromise,” Hassan said. “That the two parties move forward to meet each other, not each party standing on its position.”

Pagan Amum, Chief Negotiator of the southern Sudan People's Liberation Movement (L), listens to remarks by Stephen Dhieu Dau, Minister of Petroleum and Mining in South Sudan, at Paloich Airport in Melut, South Sudan, February 21, 2012 Pagan Amum, Chief Negotiator of the southern Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (L), listens to remarks by Stephen Dhieu Dau, Minister of Petroleum and Mining in South Sudan, at Paloich Airport in Melut, South Sudan, February 21, 2012

Speaking to VOA earlier in the week, South Sudan’s chief negotiator Pagan Amum indicated the oil talks are hopelessly deadlocked. The Khartoum side is asking for a package of charges totaling $36 a barrel, while the delegation from Juba is offering a flat rate of 69 cents.

Amum said Sudan can take the south’s offer or leave it. “The figures for transit fee is 69 cents. If they don’t, there will be no deal, he said.”

Diplomats following the talks say the atmosphere had been frigid since this 10-day negotiating session began with a shouting match over the sensitive issue of nationalities – specifically, the fate of southerners in the north, and northerners in the south.

A member of the African Union mediation team urged patience, noting that the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended the Sudanese civil war took four years to negotiate.

The main sticking point in the nationalities track of the talks is the fate of 35,000 women and children the south says were abducted by the north during the long civil war.  Briefing VOA on condition of anonymity, a senior South Sudan official said any agreement must refer to these people as “abductees.”

Khartoum flatly rejects such a characterization. Northern negotiator Hassan blames the south for adopting an uncompromising position when it would be easy to refer the matter to a high-level commission.

“I don’t know how to say it, but the way, the approach, was not constructive,” Hassan said. “We said, let us set up the committee, give it the power to look into the situation of all nationalities, without exception, but they insisted, no.”

Analysts watching the talks say breaking the deadlock is critical because of the degree to which both sides financially depend on oil. The south in particular has no other significant source of foreign revenue.

The nationalities issue is considered equally critical. With the south’s independence looming last year and no solution in sight, the two sides agreed to allow another six months for a settlement. Those six months are up April 8. After that date, hundreds of thousands of people on both sides of the border could become illegal aliens in their own homes.

http://www.voanews.com/english/news/africa/Hope-for-Progress-Dim-in-Sudan-South-Sudan-Talks-142084643.html


A picture taken on March 3, 2012 shows environmental damage caused by bombs which hit El Nar oil field in Unity State, South Sudan on February 29.

Photo: AFP
A picture taken on March 3, 2012 shows environmental damage caused by bombs which hit El Nar oil field in Unity State, South Sudan on February 29.

Talks between Sudan and South Sudan broke down in a shouting match late Tuesday, not long after the U.N. demanded the countries take steps to avoid war.

A participant in the talks said that the talks stopped after the sides could not agree on the wording of a draft agreement over citizenship issues.  Negotiations are scheduled to continue Wednesday.

Earlier, the U.N. Security Council demanded that Sudan and South Sudan take steps to reduce hostility amid bitter disputes involving oil, and accusations that each side supports the other’s rebel groups.

Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant of Britain, which holds the rotating Council presidency, said Tuesday the Council is gravely concerned about reports of troop movements and airstrikes along the border.

He urged the countries to respect a non-aggression pact they signed less than a month ago. “The Security Council demands that all parties cease military operations in the border areas and put an end to the cycle of violence,” said the ambassador.

The Council also demanded that Sudan and South Sudan “take no action that would undermine the security and stability of the other.”

The statement came as Sudan and South Sudan began the scheduled 10 days of talks in Addis Ababa.  The African Union is trying to mediate disputes centered on oil revenue sharing, the undemarcated border, and citizenship questions raised by South Sudan’s independence in July.

The south took over most Sudanese oil production but is refusing to pay what it considers excessive transit fees to use northern pipelines.  The landlocked south needs the pipelines to send the oil to international markets.

The dispute prompted South Sudan to shut down all oil production, a move analysts say is likely to hurt both countries financially.

The sides are also in disagreement over borders of the oil-producing Abyei region, and the status of southerners living in the north.

A previous round of talks last month yielded no progress, except for the non-aggression pact.

When Sudan was a unified country, the north and south fought a bloody 21-year civil war.

http://www.voanews.com/english/news/africa/UN-Demands-Stop-to-Sudanese-Violence-141603693.html

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“President Al Bashir told Kiir on the AU summit sidelines that Pagan Amum was not the right person to lead a delegation to achieve an agreement,” he said, adding Pagan is a warlord who has no interest for peace and does not care about what happens to our people in the North and the South as he has no sense of belonging to this land, his family and money are abroad. (Sudan Vision, March 4, 2012).

By Paanluel Wël, Washington DC, USA, Planet Earth.

It is crystal clear now that Khartoum is not comfortable with Pagan Amum, the SPLM’s Secretary General and the current head of South Sudan delegation to the on-going Addis Ababa talks between Juba and Khartoum. President Kiir appointed Hon. Pagan Amum last year, after the formation of South Sudan first government, to serve as his special envoy to the talks between the two countries over contentious issues of border demarcations, oil and debt sharing, transit fees, and Abyei regions, among others. Thus, since the independence of South Sudan, Pagan has been serving in that position as South Sudan’s chief negotiator to the Addis Ababa Talks.

However, the talks have been dragging on with no definitive breakthroughs. One sensitive issue, of late, has been on the question of the transit fees—the amount of dollars per barrel that South Sudan should pay Khartoum for the usage of their Chinese-built pipeline and refineries. Although much of the oil is produced in the South, Khartoum took the discriminative decision during the war to build all the refineries in, and pipeline through, North Sudan. With no refineries and pipeline of her own, the newly independent state of South Sudan is entirely at the mercy of Khartoum for the export of her oil.

That 98% of South Sudan revenues come from the oil make matters worse for South Sudanese leaders: Juba is beholden to Khartoum. By designed or pure chance, Khartoum is fully aware and exploitative of this Juba’s achillean heel. While Juba, in accordance with international precedents, is willing to offer 1-2 dollars per barrel as a transit fees for the usage of the northern pipeline, Khartoum is demanding a staggering amount of 36-32 dollars per barrel. On the debt issue, Juba is prepared to offer “Khartoum $2.6 billion in cash and forgiving $2.8 billion of its debt to break the deadlock.” Instead, Khartoum is asking for $15 billion in cash to break the stalemate in Addis Ababa Talks.

The disputed border region remains undesignated because Khartoum is refusing to recognize the old 1956 pre-independence border between the two nations. This is complicated further by the fact that much of the oilfields fall just at the border regions, particularly in Unity state and Abyei region. That makes it no longer about the exactitude of the borderline as to the location, and future ownership, of the vast oil wealth dotting the border regions. The case in point being the town of Jau, recurrently bombed and occupied by Khartoum, which is claimed by both sides though it squarely lies within South Sudan according to the old map of 1956.

Abyei region is presently occupied and militarily rule by Khartoum, contrary to the stipulation of the CPA that had proposed a joint ruling by the two parties. CPA-mandated referendum in Abyei, one that was supposed to run concurrently with South Sudan’s plebiscite, is yet to be conducted owing to the disagreement over whether or not the nomadic Mesiriya Arabs should vote. The only CPA-recognized connection of the Mesiriya Arabs to Abyei Region is a right to graze their cattle freely as they have been doing in the past. Consequently, South Sudan’s objection to the participation of the Mesiriya Arabs in Abyei referendum is informed not just by the fact that Mesiriya Arabs are not natives of Abyei Area—defined in the CPA as nine-chiefdoms of the Dinka Ngok people—but also because allowing the Mesiriya to vote in the Abyei referendum would lead to vote rigging since Khartoum would bring in any nomadic Arab tribe to vote in the name of Mesiriya. Simply put, it is seen in Juba as Khartoum’s grand strategy to outnumber the Ngok Dinka to tilt the referendum in their favor and retain control of the oil-rich Abyei Area.

The ensuing controversies over these unresolved post-separation disputes, couple with the stalemate over the talks taking place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, boiled over into a full blown out conflict in January when South Sudan shut down oil production over accusation that Khartoum was siphoning off South Sudan oil in direct collusion with foreign oil firms, mainly the Chinese-Malaysian’s Petrodar. Addressing South Sudan Legislative Assembly, President Kiir declared that

“At this time we have no guarantee that oil flowing through the Republic of Sudan will reach its intended destination…we can’t allow assets which clearly belong to the Republic of South Sudan to be subject to further diversion” (Bloomberg BusinessWeek, January 23, 2012).

Enraged by the accusation of oil theft and caught off-guard by South Sudan unilateral action of shutting down oil production, Khartoum responded by forcefully and unilaterally confiscating South Sudan oil:

“Sudan has confiscated 2.4 million barrels of South Sudan’s oil, bringing the total volume of crude Khartoum has seized in a row over oil transit fees to more than 6 million barrels since December, a South Sudanese official said on Tuesday. This included 1.2 million barrels taken in December, four shipments totaling roughly 2.5 million barrels in January and another 2.4 million barrels reported this month.” (Reuters, Feb 14, 2012).

Khartoum officials justified their illegal seizures of South Sudan oil by maintaining that their country

“is entitled to a share of the oil because South Sudan has refused to pay the related fees since it seceded, fuelling inflation and a foreign currency shortage in the northern country.” (Reuters, Feb 14, 2012).

In spite of combative response from Khartoum, Juba has stood firm and went ahead to complete the process of oil shutdown. Austerity measures have been adopted to balance the budget and sustain the government. Dr. Machar, the vice president of South Sudan defiantly announced to the BBC that “we can live without oil” while Pagan Amum, the ruling party general secretary, said that the decision to shut down the oil was a “matter of national pride.”

In a surprising twist of fate—a blessing in disguise for President Kiir—the government of South Sudan, considered by most citizens to be totally corrupt, generally mismanaged and irreparably inept, received an astounding support and praises across all ten states of the republic for shutting down the oil and standing up against Khartoum. Remarkably, in a young country torn apart by tribal clashes, internal rebellions and besieged by abject poverty and underdevelopment, President Kiir uncharacteristic decision to order the closure of oil wells seemed to have buoyed his popularity among the citizens. The only other occasions whereby South Sudanese matched in unison were on the occasions of the signing of the CPA, the announcement of the referendum results and the proclamation of the South Sudan’s independence.

Juba’s vulnerability to and dependence on Sudan’s oil facilities has compelled South Sudan to seek an alternative pipeline to export her oil to the international market. Following the bitter fallout in January, Juba signed landmark agreements with Kenya-Ethiopia, on one side, and Ethiopia-Djibouti on the other side. The deal with Kenya-Ethiopia to build a pipeline/railway/highway from the Kenyan port city of Lamu through Isiolo to Juba was finally realized this week when the three head of states—President Kiir of South Sudan, president Kibaki of Kenya and Prime Minister Meles of Ethiopia—inaugurated the project dubbed by the media as Lapsset (Lamu Port-Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor).

Although disputed by many experts, the Lapsset project is slated to be complete within 1-2 years. Whether—or how—South Sudan will remain financially afloat within the next 1-2 years is another question altogether. And so is the question of ‘what will happen to the Lapsset project’ should the talks in Addis Ababa bear fruit and Khartoum accept the proposed transport fees: Will Juba bolt out of the Lapsset project or will it dump Khartoum no matter what they are prepared to consent to at the moment? If so, then there is no point of continuing to discuss the transit fees anymore: South Sudan should rather concentrate on the other post-independence remaining issues like the border, debts and Abyei region.

Whichever way Juba goes, the inauguration of the Lapsset project will further compound the Addis Ababa discussions because Khartoum would undoubtedly complicate the negotiation process if they are aware of the total loss of any future transit fees because of Lapsset. Since there is no any indication that Juba is bluffing—using the Lapsset project merely as a negotiating strategy to put pressure on Khartoum, it is inevitable that the full realization by Khartoum of having loss the life-giving oil revenues from South Sudan oil will be of a great devastation to their economy. Khartoum might invade the oilfields or declare total war on Juba as it did in Abyei—something they are threatening now on the pretext of an alleged South Sudan’s aggression on Sudan’s territory though it is the Sudan Revolutionary Forces who carried out the humiliating assault on the SAF. President Kiir must prepare—finding a way out of this looming explosive hostility.

Having retraced the fundamental root and the picturesque trajectory of the on-going differences and quarrels between Juba and South Sudan, it is just fanciful to hear Khartoum announcing today that any “Breakthrough in Addis Talks Depends on Changing the Current South Sudan Delegation.” In other words, Khartoum sincerely believe that should President Kiir nominate someone else other than Hon. Pagan Amum, then they would be able to get $32-36 per barrel as a transport fees, and $15 billion as a compensation for the loss of oil revenues following South Sudan secession. What is more, even the indefinitely postponed Abeyi’s referendum would go ahead with Mesiriya accepted as voters. South-North border demarcation would get started with Khartoum’s interest well catered for in total disregard to the 1956 pre-independence borderline.

This is how Mona Al-Bashir of the Sudan Vision, a northern newspaper, summarizes Khartoum’s views on the stalemate, blaming everything on Pagan Amum:

“Prof. Ibrahim Ghandour, who is also the NCP Spokesperson, indicated that previous round of talks had failed because South Sudan delegation was not willing to arrive at an agreement and the delegation members harboured ill-intent towards Sudan and their leader [Pagan] is also notorious of his hostility towards the North and the Arabs. “President Al Bashir told Kiir on the AU summit sidelines that Pagan Amum was not the right person to lead a delegation to achieve an agreement,” he said, adding Pagan is a warlord who has no interest for peace and does not care about what happens to our people in the North and the South as he has no sense of belonging to this land, his family and money are abroad. Ghandour, however, pointed out that the Sudanese Government cannot interfere in the process of how the South selects its delegation but if it wants to achieve peace with Sudan it should alter its delegation members” (Sudan Vision, March 4, 2012).

In spite of the independence of South Sudan, Khartoum still behaves, and considers South Sudan, as if it is still just one of its provinces. South Sudan, to those in Khartoum, is just but a colony to be manipulated at will no matter how it may claim to be independent. In fact, judging by their official demeanors, utterances and actions, South Sudan independence is yet to register in the minds of Khartoum officials. They might be milking the past. During the 1960s as many African countries were shedding off colonization, it was not uncommon for the head of a newly independent African state to receive direct orders from London or Paris. For example, the market and the price of their agricultural produce were pre-determined according to the whims of the former colonial master.

By publicly asking an independent state to alter the list of its delegation to the negotiating table, Khartoum appears to be harboring a neo-colonial mentality of the past whereby African independent states remain subservient to their former colonial masters in spite of their proclaimed independences. Yet, there is nothing on the ground to substantiate Khartoum’s European-ness over Juba. South Sudan has more resources—oil, arable land, minerals etc. South Sudan does not depend on Sudan’s market for agricultural produce nor oil: China is the main consumer of most raw materials from Africa. With the commencement and the future completion of the Lapsset project, Khartoum will be more dependence on Juba for economic opportunities than vice-versa.

Therefore, to prevent Khartoum from proclaiming unmerited propaganda war against Juba, President Kiir must stand behind Pagan and his team. After all, whatever that Pagan present at the talks is what President Kiir and his cabinet proposed and consented to, to be presented at the negotiating table. Picking another person will not change the parameters of the talks since none of the South Sudanese chief negotiators would ever venture outside the officially sanctioned mandate from the government of South Sudan. Khartoum displeasure with Pagan could be attributed to Pagan’s sharp-shooting, take-no-nonsense approach to negotiation. Take for instance Khartoum ludicrous claim of South Sudan’s aggression reported to the UN Security Council today: such gibberish would not be entertained before Pagan.

There are unconfirmed rumors that President Kiir is considering replacing Pagan Amum. President Kiir must never listen to one-sided story from Khartoum. Any changes called for must be initiated and executed by both parties—Khartoum must also replace the head of their delegation if Juba has to reciprocate in kind. Since when has Khartoum been the official advisor to Juba? Do they really have South Sudan’s interest at heart? Definitely not and so is the implausibility of their call to ouster South Sudan chief negotiator. Assumed that President Kiir give in and recall Pagan tomorrow, will South Sudan replace the next head of the delegation if Khartoum is not happy with him?

PaanLuel Wël is the Managing Editor of PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese bloggers. He can be reached through his Facebook page, Twitter account or on the blog. 


Lamu port project launched

NAIROBI, 4 February 2012 - As a joint venture between the Republic of South Sudan, Republic of Kenya and the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Lamu Port for South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) corridor project, located in the northern part of Mombasa was officially launched on Friday March 2nd, 2012 by the heads of the three states H.E Salva Kiir Mayardit the president of South Sudan; H.E Mwai Kibaki the President of Kenya; and the Prime Minister of Ethiopia H.E Meles Zenawi. The three heads of state also at the same time attended the ground-breaking ceremony at the Lamu port.


Presidents Kiir and Kibaki laying the foundation stone for the LAPSSET project.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]
LAPSSET is one of Africa’s most ambitious infrastructure and economic development project. It consists of four major transport infrastructure components namely the highway, railway, oil pipelines and three airports.
A new transport corridor will be constructed from Lamu port to Isiolo where it branches off through Marsabit and Moyale to Ethiopia and another branch from Isiolo through Lodwar and Lokichoggio to South Sudan. Lamu port is positioned as an important transshipment hub poised to handle crude oil and oil products from the Republic of South Sudan.


The three heads of state raising their respective flags during the ceremony.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]
In his key remarks during the ceremony, President of the Republic H.E. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit congratulated President Kibaki and all the people of Kenya, and congratulated Prime Minister Zenawi for making the dream to be realized. President Kiir emphasized that Lamu port will create a new venture for the people of the three countries and will create routes of trade to enhance the economic development in the region. President Kiir pointed out that the three nations are now ready to grow from friendship to more productive economic partners.
Meanwhile the President of the Republic of Kenya H.E Kibaki said Kenya will closely work with South Sudan and Ethiopia in the development projects of mutual interest. He said the presence of the heads of the two states in Lamu port was a testimony of the importance of the port which links the entire East and Central Africa region to the international markets and will promote economic activities of 167 million people in the region.


President Kiir shakes the hands of H.E. Zenawi and President Kibaki looks on.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]
The Prime Minister of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia H.E Zenawi described the LAPSSET project as a new venture in the region and explained that the project will address transportation problems and will connect the eastern and western coast of Africa.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth from Nairobi

H.E Kiir in Nairobi to attend ground-breaking ceremony at Lamu Port

NAIROBI, 2 March 2012 - The President of the Republic H.E. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit arrived in Nairobi Kenya yesterday afternoon with a good number of ministers and senior officials from his office and from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to attend the ground-breaking ceremony for Lamu Port for South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Project, which will take place on Friday, 2nd March, 2012 in Mombasa.


H.E Kiir arrives in Nairobi on his way to Lamu Port. 
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]
The ministers accompanying H.E the President are Hon. Kosti Manibe, minister for Finance and Economic Planning; Hon. Emmanuel LoWilla, minister in the Office of the President; Hon Stephen Dhieu Dau, the minister for Petroleum and Mining; Hon. Garrang Diing, the minister for Commerce, Industry and Investment.
The ground breaking ceremony for the Lamu Port for South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport corridor will be attended by the President of the Republic of Kenya H.E Mwai Kibaki and the Prime Minister of Ethiopia H.E Meles Zenawi. The three heads of state are expected to address the historic ceremony today.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth from Nairobi-Kenya

http://www.goss.org/

By Usama Abu Jamal (Chonjo Magazine).

Lapsset (Lamu Port-Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor) is the name given to the low-tech, high-cost infrastructure project that will create a system of railroads, highways and pipelines from Lamu to Isiolo and on to Juba and Addis Ababa. The new transport network will link up with existing and proposed transport hubs on the coast and Isiolo to open up to the rest of the world what has previously been an isolated expanse of the coast and northern Kenya. The project calls for an estimated US$ 20 billion (and rising) investment.

The Lapsset concept advocates establishing an equatorial land bridge spanning the continent’s Atlantic and Indian Ocean seaboards—connecting Douala in Cameroon to a place on the Kenyan coast called Magogoni in Lamu District. Construction of a modern port in Lamu is the cornerstone of the Kibaki government’s Vision 2030 strategy for making Kenya an emerging industrial economy.

The historian Roland Oliver argued that imperialism’s major contribution to sub-Saharan Africa was the development of roads. The project will substantially extend land, sea, and air transport links that have witnessed little or no improvement since the end of the colonial era.

But this exceedingly ambitious venture raises some serious issues about the nature of regional development in this era of ‘late capitalism’. As in the case of colonial intervention, natural resources are the driver of foreign interests. Access to the continent’s oil and acquisition of ‘underutilized’ land, including tracts the size of small countries, are just two examples of the latest variation of external exploitation.

In the Lamu context, many issues need to be examined including the question of why the port is being actively developed despite human rights abuses, rampant land speculation, and mounting criticism of the security concerns attending the proposed port and other impacts. Why place the port in remote Magogoni in Manda Bay, especially when Kilindini Harbour in Mombasa is currently undergoing expansion and its transport links already exist?

Prerequisites for an operational port
According to government sources, the Manda Bay location offers several technical advantages. They claim the harbour will enable seven large ships to enter the port, whereas Kilindini allows only two, facilitating a 50 per cent increase in the tonnage the new facility can handle. The reported 38-metre depth of the channel will allow the latest generation of cargo ships (known as post Panamax) to dock at its berths.

The depth of the channel may be 38 metres in places, but as anyone who has fished the area and traversed the route between Mkanda and Mtangawanda at low tide knows, a large portion of the bay is relatively shallow. A long sand bar extends from Shaka la Paye and bisects the channel facing the Magogoni waterfront.

It is hard to envision seven ships simultaneously entering and exiting the Mlango wa Manda, the southern entrance to the bay—the picture of an oil tanker crashing into the Mwamba Khasani reef (the coral reef that borders the entrance) is much easier to conjure up. The Mlango Mkuu wa Kizingtini route in the north-east is much longer and considerably shallower.

While these and similar technical issues require clarification, it also follows that such obstacles are not a problem for the transformative powers of global capital.

Tweaking the area’s primary inshore fishery, the main livelihood resource for local fishermen during the economically difficult period of the Kusi south-east monsoon, is a simple matter of massive dredging. Dynamite can demolish the inconveniently located corals of Mwamba Khasani.

The reef is an important offshore fishing ground, and the only place this mtonyi (fisherman) has encountered the bonefish (mborodi in Kiswahili). The serious sport fisherman’s most elusive trophy, the run of the mborodi hooked on light tackle can make 200 metres of line scream off the reel like a banshee. Billfish are wimps in comparison.

Tourism will, of course, survive, but the makeover will claim other sectoral causalities.

The mangroves fringing Lamu’s islands and mainland—the critical hatchery for fish, shrimp, crab, and other delicacies gracing the tables of tourist hotels and Nairobi’s fine restaurants—will suffer major damage. Stakeholders fear the project’s negative impact on the area’s game and marine reserves, forests and water resources.

Turtles, dugongs and other endangered citizens of the sea will have to seek out other sheltered habitats to reproduce; Lamu’s indigenous communities may find themselves in the same boat.

Designed to promote economic integration of the larger region, the project’s railway master plan states that the Great Equatorial Land Bridge will also “facilitate cultural exchange” across the vast territory between Douala and Lamu—a distance of over 3,000 kilometres. Such benefits are more spin than reality.

In addition to the range of negative environmental and social impacts, costs on the ground are likely to include the deterioration of Swahili culture, a legacy that developed over the past two millennia. Amu (known to the outside world by its anglicized name, Lamu), long considered the centre of the civilized universe by its indigenous inhabitants, will no longer exist as we know it.
Lamu District’s population grew from 72,686 in 1999 to 85,641 in 2008. This 17.8 per cent increase does not reflect the parallel process of local out-migration during the same period. Yet, Kenya’s national rate of demographic increase over the same period was 2.8 per cent, a whopping 15 per cent below Lamu’s figures. The proposed port will see the current immigration of outsiders responsible for this unprecedented population growth turn into an avalanche.

According to an article in The Standard, the population of the district will balloon to 1 million over the coming years. Displacement has been under way since the late 1960s. The indigenous people of Lamu—long subject to humiliation, harassment and chronic insecurity—have good reasons to fear that they will end up a poor and landless minority in their own homeland.

If the planners talk blithely about cultural exchange, the Lapsset infrastructural elephant is clearly not about the Bajuni exporting coconuts to the pygmies in exchange for the hardwood needed to build their dhows.
More sober observers reckon that it may insure the extinction of the culture and society that gave Kenya its national language and the region its famous lingua franca. Pastoralists inhabiting the rangelands between Lamu and Juba fear the influx of foreign capital and infrastructural development will be the Trojan horse that dooms their identity and way of life. They rue the irony of this happening just when their traditional economy of trading in livestock is generating the monetary value and institutional respect it deserves.
Those opposing the project, in contrast, could be accused of ignoring the big picture motivating its architects, planners and financiers. Kenya, for example, is a dynamic yet poor nation with a government sensitive to the needs of its burgeoning population of young and increasingly educated citizens.
On the surface, the Lamu port at Magogoni and other Lapsset initiatives present a timely opportunity to provide for their long-term welfare. Perhaps the same could be said in respect to the quest for internal energy and food security motivating China and other national governments queuing up to finance the project.

Under conditions where land and citizen rights are secure, local inhabitants aware of the costs imposed by their historical isolation would welcome investment and development on this scale and accept that some eggs will be broken along the way. The diverse voices raising objections in this particular case are not opposed to making an omelet per se. Rather, it’s the unrealistic scale and timelines for implementation, the secrecy of the ‘black box’, and other contradictions invoked by the project’s implementation that raise the alarms.

At a time when the principle of local participation is the rule elsewhere in Kenya and implementation of the new constitution holds out hope that historical injustices will be rectified, the issues raised by the Magogoni Port contradict the content and spirit of the reformist agenda.

The memorandum of understanding for the ROLLA Project—an acronym for
Road, Rail, Oil-Pipeline, Oil-Refinery, Fibre-Optic Cable, Lamu Port and Airport
—a predecessor to Lapsset overtaken by events, granted full control of contracting and hiring to foreign investors and the project included allocating a large tract of prime Tana Delta agricultural land to investors.

After a series of brief meetings with local stakeholders in 2009, the minister of Transport claimed that the mainland site of the port was empty land, and declared the locals to be strong supporters of the project. Although release of the feasibility study undertaken by a Japanese firm and discussion of its contents in parliament is supposed to precede implementation, the government proceeded to issue tenders for the construction of the first three berths.

In the 1980s Magogoni was home to a growing community where internally displaced Bajuni farmers and sedentarized Boni hunter-gathers lived in harmony with a sizeable minority of upcountry settlers. Kenyans need to know both what happened to these people and about the blatant subversion of individual and communal indigenous land ownership that is going on right now.

In local eyes, Lapsset is equated with land-grabbing from above. The primary targets are Magogoni and adjacent areas scheduled for an oil refinery, an international airport, a Dubai-style tourist city and workers’ camps. State elites have reportedly claimed many of the prime parcels. Speculators from coastal tycoons to upcountry investors of more modest means are scrambling to acquire plots, leaving the “legally titled” properties advertised on the internet to more gullible parties.

Reliable sources report that the phenomenon is being replicated in Isiolo and along the designated route to Juba passing through Samburu and Turkana. Issues beyond Kenya’s borders include the quantity and accessibility of new and potential oil deposits in conflicted areas of Uganda, Congo and Southern Sudan.

Oil money can deliver the World Cup to Qatar but translating lines on the map of Africa into a “Great Equatorial Land Bridge” is a much more daunting proposition. Those interested in potential parallels mirroring the scenario unfolding in this part of the world can try typing “Gwadar” in their Google search box. Several years ago the Chinese financed the development of a modern port in this traditional Pakistani dhow harbour and transport links transiting the hinterland of central Asia. Hyped to promote prosperity and regional integration, the Gwadar project spawned massive corruption and land-grabbing by state elites, and fuelled a raging insurgency by Baluchi secessionists. The three Gwadar berths completed before things went awry still remain unused.

A Daily Nation report on the prospects for Kenya in 2011 cited a statement by the latest occupant of the Transport ministry, who stated, “When we are ready, we shall hit the ground and show the locals how they will get involved.” Meanwhile, back in Lamu, there are reports of locals jumping the gun.

The State House interests unveiled in one of the WikiLeaks documents appear unconcerned with security implications of the Gwadar project and other hotbeds of Islamist ferment—like the situation in Somalia a mere 30 kilometres north of the proposed port.

Farmers are vowing to die defending their smallholdings. Their less valorous neighbours are reportedly cutting down trees and burning their houses. The interception of several school leavers intent on joining Al Shabaab last November vindicated rumours of the growing number of locals slipping across the border.

Although Lamu has been one the region’s most important ports for centuries, since 1963 state interventions have worked to choke the traditional Lamu economy based on dhow building, mangrove poles, small-scale fishing and agriculture, and local and international maritime transport.

That the port is sounding the death knell for sub-Saharan Africa’s most sophisticated maritime culture is the project’s darkest irony. That the same infrastructure development could be undertaken more efficiently by encouraging local participation and through partnerships with the new county governments may prove to be its cruellest contradiction.


KHARTOUM | Thu Feb 16, 2012 

(Reuters) – Sudan and South Sudan want to have the bulk of their loosely-defined and volatile border demarcated as soon as within three months, a Sudanese official said on Thursday, in a possible bid to ease tensions between the two former civil war foes.

The demarcation, however, would not include five areas that are still disputed by the two sides, said Yahya al-Hussein, a senior government official and member of Sudan’s negotiating team.

South Sudan broke off from its northern neighbor in July under a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of conflict, but lingering issues such as where to draw the border and how to untangle the oil industry have continued to stoke tensions between the two sides.

Tribal disputes, overlapping territorial claims, rebel fighting and the presence of economically vital oil fields have beguiled attempts to define the exact boundary.

“The two parties have agreed to begin work on drawing the border immediately, and finish work within three months if operating conditions allow for it,” Hussein told reporters in Khartoum.

The two sides have agreed on about 90 percent of the border since 2009, Hussein added.

They have been meeting this week in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to discuss the border and other sensitive issues such as oil.

Tensions along the boundary have made it harder for the two sides to reach a deal around how much landlocked South Sudan should pay to send its oil – vital to both economies – through northern pipelines running to an export terminal in Sudan.

The new nation shut down its roughly 350,000 barrels per day of production last month in protest after Khartoum began confiscating some oil to make up for what it called unpaid fees. Officials on both sides have suggested war could break out over the row.

Hussein downplayed the chance of armed conflict, however, saying it would not benefit Sudan.

“We have no desire to enter into a war with South Sudan,” he said. “We do not have an interest in security tensions in South Sudan, which affect us negatively in the form of displacement and other issues.”

Some 2 million people died in the civil conflict between north and south, waged for all but a few years between 1955 and 2005 over ideology, ethnicity, religion and oil.

(Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; Writing by Alexander Dziadosz; Editing by Alessandra Rizzo)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/16/us-sudan-southsudan-border-idUSTRE81F1MZ20120216

Old African division takes violent turn

By GWYNNE DYER

Sudan was bombing South Sudan again last week, only a couple of months after the two countries split apart. Sudan is mostly Muslim, and South Sudan is predominantly Christian, but the quarrel is about oil, not religion. And yet, it is really about religion too, since their border is along the religious divide.

Ivory Coast was split along the same Muslim- Christian lines for nine years, although there is an attempt to sew the country back together.

But in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest country, the situation is going from bad to worse, with the Islamist terrorists of Boko Haram murdering people all over the country in the name of imposing shariah law on the nation. The death toll from terrorist attacks and army reprisals is probably a few hundred a month, but the potential for much greater slaughter is there.

“Boko Haram,” loosely translated, means “Western education is forbidden,” and the organization’s declared aim is to overthrow the government and impose Islamic law on all of Nigeria. In a 40-minute audio message posted on YouTube two weeks ago, the group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, threatened his next step would be a bombing campaign against Nigeria’s secondary schools and universities.

This is not only vicious; it is also completely loony. There is no way that Boko Haram could conquer the entire country. Only half of Nigerians are Muslims, and they are much poorer than the country’s 80 million Christians. The Christian south is where the oil, the ports and most of the industry are, so that’s where most of the money is, too. The same pattern is repeated in many other African countries: Poor Muslim north; prosperous Christian south.

There was no plan behind this. Islam spread slowly south from North Africa, which was conquered by Arab armies in the seventh century, while Christianity spread rapidly inland once European colonies appeared on the African coast in the last few hundred years. The line where Islam and Christianity meet runs across Africa about 1,100 kilometres north of the equator (except in Ethiopia, where the Christians have the highlands and the Muslims the lowlands).

In general, Muslims ended up with the desert and semi-desert regions of Africa because Islam had to make it all the way across the Sahara, while the more fertile and richer regions nearer to the equator and all the way down to South Africa are mainly Christian because the Europeans arrived by sea with much greater economic and military power. But nowhere does the frontier derive from conquest: These populations are not looking for revenge.

There probably won’t be a full-scale civil war in Nigeria this time around, but Boko Haram is targeting Christians indiscriminately. The Nigerian army, not known for its discipline and restraint, is almost as indiscriminate in targeting devout but innocent Muslims in the northern states that are home to the terrorist organization.

It will get worse in Nigeria, and it is getting bad again in what used to be Sudan, and Ethiopia is an accident just waiting to happen. Even Ivory Coast may not be out of the woods yet. There is a small but real risk that these conflicts could some day coalesce into a general Muslim-Christian confrontation that would kill millions and convulse all of Africa.

Boko Haram’s style of radical Islamism is an import from somewhere else, and it would be a terrible mistake for large numbers of Muslim Nigerians to embrace it. On the other hand, if Nigeria doesn’t get a choke chain on its army, its brutal actions are all too likely to drive Nigerian Muslims in exactly that direction.

– Gwynne Dyer is a London-based independent journalist whose articles are published in 45 countries.

http://www.owensoundsuntimes.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3473772

South Sudan: VP Declares His Net Worth, Urges Peers to Do Same
AllAfrica.com
Juba — The Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan, Riek Machar, has officially declared his personal income, assets and liabilities while calling on all constitutional post-holders in the country to do the same. Machar issued a public statement ..

Old African division takes violent turn
Owen Sound Sun Times
By GWYNNE DYER Sudan was bombing South Sudan again last week, only a couple of months after the two countries split apart. Sudan is mostly Muslim, and South Sudan is predominantly Christian, but the quarrel is about oil, not religion…

Sudan, South Sudan agree to start drawing border: Sudan
Reuters
KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Sudan and South Sudan want to have the bulk of their loosely-defined and volatile border demarcated as soon as within three months, a Sudanese official said on Thursday, in a possible bid to ease tensions between the two former 

South Sudan accuses Sudan of breaking peace pact
Newsday
Click here South Sudan accuses Sudan of breaking peace pact Originally published: February 14, 2012 10:29 AM Updated: February 14, 2012 3:11 PM By The Associated Press MICHAEL ONYIEGO (Associated Press) (AP) – South Sudan on Tuesday accused its 

South Sudanese asylum-seekers fear expulsion to newly-independent state
Haaretz
In April, the Israeli government plans to expel asylum-seekers like Lurla back from whence they came, with officials arguing that since South Sudan declared independence last July, the decades-old civil war, in which 2.5 million people were killed and 

Sudan and South Sudan Fail to End Oil Dispute

By ISMA’IL KUSHKUSH

Published: February 17, 2012

KHARTOUM, Sudan — Negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan over billions of gallons of oil have ended with very little progress, prolonging a dispute that is undermining the fragile economies of both nations and straining the tenuous peace between them after decades of war.

“There was nothing new,” Yahia Hussein, a member of Sudan’s negotiating team, said Thursday after returning from the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, where the negotiations were being held.

Sudan and South Sudan have been locked in a series of talks since the south seceded and became independent last July. The highly volatile issues to be resolved include the demarcation of the border separating the nations, the status of citizens in each country and, most thorny of all, oil.

Most of the oil is in South Sudan, a landlocked nation, so the pipelines and the facilities to export it are in the north, requiring the two sides, which fought one of Africa’s longest and deadliest civil wars, to cooperate.

Both nations depend enormously on the oil revenues, but the distance between them is wide. Sudan is demanding a $36 per barrel fee, citing the costs of processing the oil and various fees and services. South Sudan says that it would pay only the transit fees, putting the cost at $3 per barrel.

Last month, South Sudan stopped its oil production in protest, accusing Sudan of stealing $815 million worth of oil and announcing that it would seek to construct alternative pipelines to Kenya and Djibouti. Sudan argued that it was taking its fees “in kind” because it had not received any payments for transit since July.

Mr. Hussein, the negotiator, stated that the government of South Sudan “was willing to start re-exporting its oil through Sudan on the condition of reaching a final agreement.”

But Nhial Deng Nhial, South Sudan’s foreign minister, appeared to be less optimistic.

“The gulf is still huge,” he said in a statement, according to Agence France-Presse. “I don’t know if it can be bridged.”

Abdelwahab El-Affendi, a professor at the University of Westminster in London, said oil would be the most difficult issue to resolve. “The southern leadership has unleashed powerful nationalist sentiments over the oil issue, which would be difficult to contain and would constrain the leadership’s ability to make concessions in the short term,” Professor El-Affendi said.

Still, negotiations over the borders seem to have achieved some progress. Mr. Hussein said the two sides had agreed to start marking the borders immediately, an process that should take about three months.

Sudan and South Sudan share a long border with a number of disputed areas. Seeking to calm fears of renewed conflict, Sudan and South Sudan signed a nonaggression agreement last Friday, but just days later South Sudan accused Sudan of bombing a border town and killing four soldiers, an accusation Sudan denies.

The two sides must also deal with matters of citizenship. In April, at the end of an initial transition period, South Sudanese who live in Sudan will be classified as foreigners, and vice versa. Tens of thousands of South Sudanese seeking to go south have been stuck in the river city of Kosti, and South Sudanese officials accuse Sudan of hindering their return. Mr. Hussein denied the charge.

The African panel that has been mediating the talks under the leadership of former President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa had helped improve the “mood of talks,” Mr. Hussein said.

“There was less verbal abuse from their side,” he said, smiling.

At some point, Professor El-Affendi said, the negotiators will have to deal with the conflicts in the Sudanese states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan, which share borders with South Sudan and whose leaders have historical ties with the regions.

But, he said, “this war is not even on the agenda in the Addis Ababa talks, since it is regarded as an ‘internal issue’ for the north,” he said. The problem, he noted, is that “when the real issue is not talked about, you cannot hope to resolve other issues.”

Last year, conflict in both states broke out when rebels who previously fought with the south took up arms against the Sudanese government in Khartoum. Sudan accuses South Sudan of supporting them. Without a cease-fire in those conflicts, “not much progress can be hoped for,” Professor el-Affendi said.

A new round of negotiations has been set for the end of this month.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/18/world/africa/sudan-and-south-sudan-fail-to-end-oil-dispute.html?_r=1

Sudan Plans to Resume Oil Talks With South Sudan By Month-End

BusinessWeek
15 (Bloomberg) — Sudan expects to resume talks with South Sudan by the end of this month to try to end a dispute over oil payments after failing to make a breakthrough at the latest round of discussions, a negotiator from the north said.

Sacked South Sudanese block Khartoum road, hurl rocks
Reuters Africa
KHARTOUM (Reuters) - South Sudanese fired from their government jobs in neighbouring Sudan blocked a major road in Sudan’s capital Khartoum on Wednesday, hurling rocks at passing cars and demanding severance benefits, witnesses said.

Priests Released amid Wave of Abductions in Sudan
ChristianNewsToday.com
KHARTOUM, Sudan – Two Catholic priests abducted at gunpoint in Rabak, Sudan last month have been released amid a wave of forcible conscriptions into rebel southern militias. Their captors –South Sudanese militiamen loyal to (north) Sudan’s Islamic 

South Sudan accuses Khartoum of violating Addis Ababa deal
Sudan Tribune
By Ngor Arol Garang February 14, 2012 (JUBA) - South Sudan on Tuesday accused Khartoum of violating the recently signed memorandum of understanding on non-aggression and cooperation, by preventing the movement of barges back to Juba.

   

Sudan Plans to Resume Oil Talks With South Sudan By Month-End

BusinessWeek
15 (Bloomberg) — Sudan expects to resume talks with South Sudan by the end of this month to try to end a dispute over oil payments after failing to make a breakthrough at the latest round of discussions, a negotiator from the north said.

Sacked South Sudanese block Khartoum road, hurl rocks
Reuters Africa
KHARTOUM (Reuters) - South Sudanese fired from their government jobs in neighbouring Sudan blocked a major road in Sudan’s capital Khartoum on Wednesday, hurling rocks at passing cars and demanding severance benefits, witnesses said.

Priests Released amid Wave of Abductions in Sudan
ChristianNewsToday.com
KHARTOUM, Sudan – Two Catholic priests abducted at gunpoint in Rabak, Sudan last month have been released amid a wave of forcible conscriptions into rebel southern militias. Their captors –South Sudanese militiamen loyal to (north) Sudan’s Islamic 

South Sudan accuses Khartoum of violating Addis Ababa deal
Sudan Tribune
By Ngor Arol Garang February 14, 2012 (JUBA) - South Sudan on Tuesday accused Khartoum of violating the recently signed memorandum of understanding on non-aggression and cooperation, by preventing the movement of barges back to Juba.



South Sudan challenges Khartoum to produce backup for high fees demanded
Sudan Tribune
By Ngor Arol Garang February 15, 2012 (JUBA) - South Sudan on Wednesday said the government of neighboring Sudan has “failed” to produce genuine reasons that support their demand for high charges in return for using the oil pipelines passing through 

Sudan Oil Talks End With Recriminations, Large Rift
Voice of America
February 15, 2012 Sudan Oil Talks End With Recriminations, Large Rift Peter Heinlein | Addis Ababa, Ethiopia South Sudan has threatened to keep the oil pipeline to the Red Sea shut permanently following a failed round of talks on sharing revenues with 

South Sudan denounces barge ban
News24
Juba - South Sudan said on Wednesday Khartoum’s decision to stop the return of hundreds of thousands of Southerners by barge on the White Nile was a looming disaster, and that alternative means were untenable. Sudan early this week halted the use of 

South Sudan: Khartoum Violates Non-Aggression Pact
Voice of America
February 14, 2012 South Sudan: Khartoum Violates Non-Aggression Pact Peter Heinlein | Addis Ababa, Ethiopia South Sudan is accusing neighboring Sudan of bombing southern targets, days after the two sides signed a non-aggression deal…

Little Progress in Sudan, South Sudan Oil Talks
Voice of America (blog)
Talks aimed at ending a bitter oil dispute between Sudan and South Sudan have ended without agreement. The six-day talks in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, finished early Wednesday. South Sudanese officials said late Tuesday that the sides remain far 

 

South Sudan challenges Khartoum to produce backup for high fees demanded
Sudan Tribune
By Ngor Arol Garang February 15, 2012 (JUBA) - South Sudan on Wednesday said the government of neighboring Sudan has “failed” to produce genuine reasons that support their demand for high charges in return for using the oil pipelines passing through 

Sudan Oil Talks End With Recriminations, Large Rift
Voice of America
February 15, 2012 Sudan Oil Talks End With Recriminations, Large Rift Peter Heinlein | Addis Ababa, Ethiopia South Sudan has threatened to keep the oil pipeline to the Red Sea shut permanently following a failed round of talks on sharing revenues with 

South Sudan denounces barge ban
News24
Juba - South Sudan said on Wednesday Khartoum’s decision to stop the return of hundreds of thousands of Southerners by barge on the White Nile was a looming disaster, and that alternative means were untenable. Sudan early this week halted the use of 

South Sudan: Khartoum Violates Non-Aggression Pact
Voice of America
February 14, 2012 South Sudan: Khartoum Violates Non-Aggression Pact Peter Heinlein | Addis Ababa, Ethiopia South Sudan is accusing neighboring Sudan of bombing southern targets, days after the two sides signed a non-aggression deal.

Little Progress in Sudan, South Sudan Oil Talks
Voice of America (blog)
Talks aimed at ending a bitter oil dispute between Sudan and South Sudan have ended without agreement. The six-day talks in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, finished early Wednesday. South Sudanese officials said late Tuesday that the sides remain far 

Oil talks between Khartoum and Juba fail to produce a breakthrough


February 14, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The current round of talks between north and South Sudan on oil will likely be adjourned and resumed in two weeks time, an official in Khartoum said today.

JPEG - 24.2 kb
Pagan Amum, South Sudan’s chief negotiator (AFP)

The two sides have been unable to reach a middle ground during almost five days of negotiations in the Ethiopian capital that are moderated by the African Union High-Level implementation Panel (AUHIP).

In this round, Khartoum’s delegation tabled a paper detailing its position on oil transit fees and how it should be calculated per barrel of crude exported by South Sudan through the pipelines.

But South Sudan’s negotiating team led by Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) Secretary General Pagan Amum rejected Khartoum’s demand of $36 per barrel saying that this represents no change from previous figures.

In the past, Juba said that the fair fee should be around $1 per barrel of oil.

The Sudanese foreign ministry spokesperson Al-Obeid Marwih said that the two sides will return to the negotiating table by the end of this month. He revealed that a preliminary accord could be signed on other post secession issues such as borders and trade.

Specialised committees from the two countries will convene later this month to continue discussions on trade as well citizenship issues.

In a related issue, SPLM Secretary General said that Khartoum seized 2.4 million barrels of its oil in a continuation of measures implemented by the Sudanese government since late last year, which brings total volume of crude seized to 6 million barrels.

This included 1.2 million barrels taken in December, four shipments totalling roughly 2.5 million barrels in January and another 2.4 million barrels reported this month, according to figures provided to Reuters by South Sudan’s negotiating team in Addis Ababa.

“Yesterday we have been informed that the government of Sudan has again stolen 2.4 million barrels of our best quality crude oil,” Amum said, according to Reuters.

South Sudan took with it three quarters of Sudan’s daily oil production of 500,000 barrels when it seceded in July under a 2005 peace deal that ended more than two decades of civil war between the two sides.

Previous rounds of protracted negotiations failed to yield an agreement on a fair charge to transport South Sudan’s oil through Sudan’s infrastructure, triggering a crisis that saw Khartoum confiscating oil and Juba suspending production all together.

Juba has been insisting that it must be reimbursed for the oil Khartoum says it confiscated to make up for unpaid fees.

Amum said Sudan had released two vessels that had been waiting to load South Sudanese crude at Port Sudan but another six had arrived. Eight in total are now prevented from entering the port, he said.

“Six vessels were ready to come and load oil that they already bought, but they are not allowed to come to Port Sudan,” the senior SPLM official said.

“These companies are not coming because they have been informed that the oil they bought from South Sudan has been stolen by the government of Sudan,” he added.

Last week, Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir described Juba’s decision to halt oil production is “suicide”.

He accused Juba of seeking to strangle his country economically by this move but he dismissed it saying that his country’s gold exports are booming.

(ST)

http://www.sudantribune.com/Oil-talks-between-Khartoum-and,41608

Sudan Fails to Reach Oil Deal With South Sudan
Wall Street Journal
By NICHOLAS BARIYO Sudan on Tuesday failed to reach a much-awaited deal on oil transit fees with its land-locked neighbor, South Sudan, and seized an additional 2.4 million barrels of oil shipments, officials said late Tuesday.

South Sudan Oil Dispute Raises Specter Of War
Eurasia Review
By Gabe Joselow South Sudan and Sudan have been engaged in a war of words since the south stopped pumping oil to the north in a dispute about pricing. Both sides have warned that a return to violence is a possibility. South Sudan is retooling its armed

SOUTH SUDAN: Briefing ? life without oil
Reuters AlertNet
South Sudan, one of the poorest countries in the world, reliant on oil for 98 percent of its revenues, in January took the drastic step of halting crude production, as a row with former civil war foe Sudan over transit fees hit a deadlock.

South Sudan accuses Sudan of breaking peace pact
KTAR.com
By JOHN HEILPRIN JUBA, South Sudan (AP) – South Sudan is accusing its northern neighbor Sudan of violating a non-aggression agreement between the two nations just hours after it was signed. South Sudanese military officials on Tuesday said Sudan

Asia-Pacific Crude-Pyrenees hits fresh high on tight supply
Reuters Africa
SINGAPORE, Feb 15 (Reuters) – Australian heavy sweet crude surged in Asia on Wednesday with Pyrenees trading at a fresh high in April after storms reduced output and as South Sudan stopped exports. No resolution is in sight for a resumption of output

Bangladesh Officials Discuss Investment With Ministry of Commerce
AllAfrica.com
By Misuk Moses Mule, 15 February 2012 Juba — The Minister of Commerce, Industry and Investment, Garang Diing Akuang and the Bangladesh delegation yesterday discussed plans of investment in South Sudan. The discussion was held at the minister’s office

South Sudan’s VP declares his net worth, urges peers to do same
Sudan Tribune
February 14, 2012 (JUBA) – The Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan, Riek Machar, has officially declared his personal income, assets and liabilities while calling on all constitutional post-holders in the country to do the same.

South Sudan in dire need of unity
Borglobe
In a short article entitled ‘the Myth of South Sudan‘, published in Pambazuka News, Issue No. 569 of February 2012, Makol Bona Malwal has the following to say: “Most South Sudanese have little idea what the country stands for, what binds its people


South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir gives a press statement on his reasons for rejecting an African Union proposal to resolve its oil crisis with its northern neighbor, in Juba Feb. 2, 2012. (Reuters)

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir gives a press statement on his reasons for rejecting an African Union proposal to resolve its oil crisis with its northern neighbor, in Juba Feb. 2, 2012. (Reuters)

By Aaron Maasho

Feb 14 (Reuters) – Sudan has confiscated 2.4 million barrels of South Sudan’s oil, bringing the total volume of crude Khartoum has seized in a row over oil transit fees to more than 6 million barrels since December, a South Sudanese official said on Tuesday.

South Sudan seceded from Sudan in July under a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war. The new nation took with it about three quarters of the country’s oil output but must still pipe crude through Sudan to the Red Sea terminal at Port Sudan to export it.

The two sides have failed to agree how much the South should pay to do this, and Khartoum has started taking southern oil to make up for what it says are unpaid fees.

“Yesterday (Monday) we have been informed that the government of Sudan has again stolen 2.4 million barrels of our best quality crude oil,” South Sudan’s chief negotiator, Pagan Amum, said.

South Sudan last month shut down its roughly 350,000 barrels per day of oil production. Amum did not specify where and how Sudan was able to seize the additional 2.4 million barrels, but Sudanese officials previously said there was oil left in the pipeline even after the shutdown and that Khartoum would continue to confiscate what it considered its fair share until the two sides reached a deal.

They met on Tuesday in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, but the talks finished again without resolving the dispute.

Sudan’s foreign ministry spokesman could not immediately be reached to comment on the accusation.

Amum said Sudan had released two vessels that had been waiting to load South Sudanese crude at Port Sudan but another six had arrived. Eight in total are now prevented from entering the port, he said.

“Six vessels were ready to come and load oil that they already bought, but they are not allowed to come to Port Sudan,” he said. “These companies are not coming because they have been informed that the oil they bought from South Sudan has been stolen by the government of Sudan.”

EXPORTS

South Sudan claims Khartoum has “illegally loaded” more than 6 million barrels of its oil since late last year.

This included 1.2 million barrels taken in December, four shipments totaling roughly 2.5 million barrels in January and another 2.4 million barrels reported this month, according to figures provided to Reuters by South Sudan’s negotiating team in Addis Ababa.

Correspondence between oil firms and government officials, which South Sudan provided to reporters this month, confirmed that four January cargoes were loaded, but the other seizures could not be independently verified.

Industry sources have said Sudan has sold at least one cargo of confiscated oil is offering more. South Sudan’s negotiators did not specify how much of the other crude was intended for use in domestic refineries and how much was meant to be exported.

Sudanese officials have said the country is entitled to a share of the oil because South Sudan has refused to pay the related fees since it seceded, fuelling inflation and a foreign currency shortage in the northern country. (Writing and additional reporting by Alexander Dziadosz in Khartoum; Editing by Jane Baird)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/14/southsudan-oil-idUSL5E8DE7VM20120214


Map of Sudan and South Sudan

Photo: VOA
Map of Sudan and South Sudan
 
South Sudan: Khartoum Violates Non-Aggression Pact

Peter Heinlein | Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

South Sudan is accusing neighboring Sudan of bombing southern targets, days after the two sides signed a non-aggression deal. The allegation threatens already troubled talks on sharing oil revenues.

South Sudan’s chief negotiator at the African Union-mediated talks, Pagan Amum, said Sudanese jets bombed an area in the south’s Unity state, not far from the two countries’ disputed border. He gave few details, saying word of the attack had just been received.

The bombing, if confirmed, would be the first violation of a non-aggression agreement signed Friday at the beginning of a round of talks on oil and other contentious issues. Amum accused Khartoum of continuing its attempts to destabilize the border.

“That is a bad sign that the government of Sudan is not serious to non-aggression, but we expressed our hope the government of Sudan would now end its attacks on South Sudan, particularly areas of bombardment,” said Amum.

Speaking to reporters, Amum said the south is continuing to take a tough line on the main issue in the six days of talks – sharing oil revenues. He said any decision to reopen the pipeline that carries southern oil to international markets would only come after Khartoum pays for oil it took from the pipeline while the payments dispute raged last month.

“There is no way for us to resume unless the government of Sudan pays the south the market value of all the oil they have stolen, which is in excess of $500 million. We cannot export our oil if it is not secure and safe, if the government of Sudan are practicing state piracy. It would be dangerous for us to send even one barrel, not millions,” said Amum.

South Sudan took the bulk of Sudanese oil when it became independent last year, but the oil must pass through the north to reach Port Sudan on the Red Sea.

Khartoum’s negotiators did not speak to reporters as they left the African Union headquarters, where the two sides briefed the AU Peace and Security Council.

The talks, mediated by former South African president Thabo Mbeki, are expected to carry on through at least Wednesday, but diplomats close to the negotiations say they may be extended if there is any sign of a deal that might open the oil pipeline.

Experts say the pipeline shutdown is costing both countries hundreds of millions of dollars a month in lost revenues.

http://www.voanews.com/english/news/South-Sudan-Khartoum-Violates-Non-Aggression-Pact-139299998.html

Sudanese air strike hits S Sudan, breaking pact: army

(AFP) –   

JUBA — Sudanese warplanes dropped several bombs wounding four soldiers in a contested area claimed by South Sudan, breaking a fresh non-aggression pact between the two sides, Juba’s army spokesman said Tuesday.

“Sudanese Armed Forces airplanes bombed the Jau area in Unity state on Sunday, wounding four of our soldiers,” South Sudanese army spokesman Philip Aguer told AFP.

South Sudan — which declared independence from former civil war enemies in north Sudan in July — has accused Khartoum of carrying out several bombing raids in frontier regions of its territory, claims denied by the northern army.

The bombings took place in oil-rich areas along the disputed border with the rump state of Sudan, which both sides claim as theirs. The Jau area has seen several bombings in recent months as well as fighting between the two sides.

“There were several bombs launched from Antonov aircraft,” Aguer said.

The region borders Sudan’s Southern Kordofan state where rebels — once part of the ex-guerrilla turned official South Sudanese army — are battling the Khartoum government forces.

Sudan and South Sudan signed a non-aggression pact late Friday over the disputed border in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, a move praised by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

However, Aguer said the latest bombings showed the deal had not been taken seriously by Khartoum.

“Nothing has changed, it is business as usual for them,” Aguer said.

Gideon Gatpan, minister of information for Unity state, confirmed there had been “several bombings” on Sunday in the Jau area.

According to the pact, the two sides agreed to “respect each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity” and to “refrain from launching any attack, including bombardment.”

Border tensions have mounted since South Sudan split from Sudan in July, becoming the world’s newest nation.

South Sudan took three quarters of Sudan’s oil when it gained independence, but all pipeline and export facilities are controlled by the north.

Last month, the South halted oil production — accounting for 98 percent of government revenue — after Juba accused Khartoum of stealing $815 million worth of crude oil.

The latest round of talks between Khartoum and Juba continue in Addis Ababa to resolve the furious oil crisis.

The UN chief last week warned that tensions between the two nations could escalate if outstanding issues are not resolved.

However, the South has demanded that a deal includes settlement on the undemarcated border, parts of which cut through oil fields, as well on Abyei, a Lebanon-sized region claimed by both sides but occupied by northern troops.

At least 105,000 Sudanese refugees have fled into South Sudan since fighting erupted in the states of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile last year, after Khartoum moved to assert its authority in the wake of southern secession.

The refugees are adding to the woes of the grossly impoverished South, which is reeling from internal crises including a wave of bloody ethnic violence, rebel attacks and severe food shortages.

In addition, Juba is struggling to support over 364,000 people who have returned to their homeland since October 2010 from the north, where they fled during the war.

An estimated 700,000 ethnic southerners remain in north Sudan, where aid officials are increasingly concerned for their future, with an April 8 deadline approaching for them to either register or leave Sudan.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gQMkFvUoOaLtq_M7H3FxDw9HyZbQ?docId=CNG.f403ea8aad2faad073236239e9b0c0df.a01

South Sudan Accuses Sudan of Air Attack

Posted Tuesday, February 14th, 2012 

South Sudan has accused Sudan of carrying out airstrikes on a disputed border town, just two days after the neighboring countries signed a non-aggression pact.

Authorities in South Sudan say Russian-made Antonov jets dropped several bombs on the town of Jau on Sunday, wounding at least four people.

South Sudan claims Jau is located inside its Unity state, while Sudan puts the town inside its own state of Southern Kordofan.

Disputes over borders and oil have raised tension between the two Sudans, and leaders on both sides have suggested the countries could go to war.

On Friday, an African Union mediation team persuaded the two Sudans to sign a non-aggression pact. The countries have accused each other of supporting the other’s rebels, and the south says the north has bombed its territory on several occasions.

The AU is hosting talks in Addis Ababa aimed at settling the dispute over oil revenues, the biggest source of income for both countries.

South Sudan took 75 percent of Sudan’s oil when it declared independence in July. But the landlocked south must rely on pipelines that run north to an export facility at Port Sudan.

The two sides are embroiled in a battle over how much money South Sudan should pay to use the pipelines and Sudan’s export facilities.

The dispute prompted Khartoum to seize South Sudan’s oil at Port Sudan. South Sudan responded by shutting down all oil production.

http://blogs.voanews.com/breaking-news/2012/02/14/south-sudan-accuses-sudan-of-air-attack/

South Sudan Oil Dispute Raises Specter of War

Gabe Joselow | Juba, South Sudan

South Sudan and Sudan have been engaged in a war of words since the south stopped pumping oil to the north in a dispute about pricing. Both sides have warned that a return to violence is a possibility.South Sudan is retooling its armed forces – working to strengthen the former rebel Southern People’s Liberation Army into a more formal military.

Soldiers here at the Bilpam military base in Juba could be called into battle sooner than expected, if a bitter oil dispute with Sudan turns from a war of words into action.

The south shut off oil flows to the north, claiming Sudan has stolen millions of dollars worth of crude. Khartoum says it confiscated the oil to compensate for unpaid transit fees.

South Sudanese Deputy Defense Minister Major Majak D’Agoot said such actions represent a serious threat to the new nation.

“I don’t want to pinpoint it to any particular source, but anything that tends to threaten our core interests as a nation of course will have to be responded to,” said D’Agoot.

Although Major D’Agoot did not specifically say Sudan was the primary threat to South Sudan, outside his office a statue of former SPLA General John Garang points firmly toward the north.

Amanda Hsiao of the Enough Project says the oil shutdown also could provoke Sudan to take action.

“With the South saying that, one: they’re willing to break of relations completely with the North; two: that they will seek alternative pipelines so that their oil doesn’t have to flow to the north, Khartoum is left with very little options in terms of dealing with its economic situation. Remember it’s a regime that has few friends in the international community,” said Hsiao.

South Sudan declared independence from the North last July, following decades of civil war that killed more than one million people.

Sporadic fighting has continued. In the past year, Sudan has bombed areas near the border where it suspects Southern-backed militias to be active, including an attack on Abyei in May of last year that displaced up to 100,000 people.

The leaders of both nations have said a return to war is a possibility.

On the streets of Juba, a rapidly developing capital, businessmen are nervous about the prospect of violence.

Michael Toma sells automotive supplies at the Jebel market.

“In my own opinion, I for one think war – I don’t want to rule out war because war is inevitable. However, I’d like to ask the two authorities to work together and come into dialogue so we can reach a harmonious conclusion that’s going to benefit either country,” said Toma.

Others, like Simon Gatdier Yieh, say if Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir wants war, he will get it.

“If the Bashir came with the peace then our president will talk to the Bashir in a peaceful manner. If the Bashir wants to fight with the people of South Sudan we are ready, even now we are ready,” said Yieh.

Both countries are dependent on South Sudanese oil and, as a prolonged shutdown continues to drain their two economies, tensions are bound to increase.

 SOUTH SUDAN - PS to absorb returning workers
PS News
JUBA: 8 February 2012: A plan to employ up to 3000 returning South Sudan workers in Government agencies and institutions, as well as the private sector, has been announced. Chair of the committee tasked with accommodating the returning workers, 
Rick Santorum and Christians in Peril
Huffington Post (blog)
Right now, millions of Christians in Nigeria and Sudan are being bombed, starved, ethnically cleansed, or intimidated. Evidently Santorum wasn’t referring to them, however, because they are black and African, and they don’t have votes in the Republican 
South Sudan officials welcome Israel’s Spacecom
IT News Africa
Israel’s communications satellite company Spacecom, hope recent discussions with South Sudanwill boost their communications and telecommunications industry role in the world’s youngest nation . South Sudan’s Telecommunications Ministry said officials 
South Sudan Accuses Sudan of Air Attack
Voice of America (blog)
South Sudan has accused Sudan of carrying out airstrikes on a disputed border town, just two days after the neighboring countries signed a non-aggression pact. Authorities in South Sudan say Russian-made Antonov jets dropped several bombs on the town 
South Sudan Oil Dispute Raises Specter of War
Voice of America
February 14, 2012 South Sudan Oil Dispute Raises Specter of War Gabe Joselow | Juba, South Sudan South Sudan and Sudan have been engaged in a war of words since the south stopped pumping oil to the north in a dispute about pricing…
Migration group says South Sudanese strike deal with Sudan to resettle by April 8
KSPR
By AP GENEVA (AP) — The International Organization for Migration says Sudan and South Sudanhave signed a deal allowing half a million South Sudanese to choose where they want to live. But IOM spokesman Jumbe Omari Jumbe says the deal sets an April 8 
Obama’s 2013 Budget Includes $2.4 Billion in Possible Debt Relief to Sudan
LoanSafe
The Sudanese government has been intensively pressing the international community to have its external debt canceled as a reward for letting South Sudan secede peacefully last July after recognizing the referendum results conducted in early 2011…
South Sudan’s inflation drops to 48%
Sudan Tribune
By Julius N. Uma February 13, 2012 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s inflation, which in December of last year stood at a whopping 65.6% dropped to 47.8% in January, the country’s national bureau of statistics said in its latest report…
Sudanese air strike hits South Sudan, breaking pact
AFP
JUBA, South Sudan — Sudanese warplanes dropped several bombs wounding four soldiers in a contested area claimed by South Sudan, two days after agreeing to a non-aggression pact, Juba’s military spokesman said Tuesday. “Sudanese Armed Forces airplanes 

Breakdown of negotiations leads South Sudan to cut off oil through Sudan.

Amanda Hsiao
February 13, 2012 15:18
South sudan oil cut off 2012 2 12

South Sudan President Salva Kiir at a press conference in Juba on February 2, 2012. Kiir warned of renewed conflict with former foes in north Sudan if bitter oil negotiations do not include a deal on other key issues, including the contested Abyei region. Khartoum has said that Juba had not paid it for using its pipelines and refinery since South Sudan seceded in July, and admits to having confiscated 1.7 million barrels of South Sudan crude. In response South Sudan in January took the extreme step of shutting down oil production, the fledgling nation’s top revenue source. South Sudan split from Sudan in July, taking with it three-quarters of the country’s oil, but all pipeline and export facilities are controlled by Sudan. (Isaac Billy/AFP/Getty Images)

JUBA, South Sudan — “We will completely break relations with Sudan,” said Pagan Amum, South Sudan’s lead negotiator. “It is in our long-term interest to not cooperate with Khartoum.”

It was three days into the last round of talks between Sudan and South Sudan in Addis Ababa in late January. Amum had just emerged from a meeting in which he threatened to cut the flow of oil from the South to the North, the economic lifeblood for both countries. Days later, the shutdown began.

For the last year and a half, Sudan and South Sudan have been negotiating the arrangements of their separation, which occurred on July 9, 2011, including the amount of money the South should pay to pump its oil through pipelines in the North.

The negotiations have rested on the key assumption that both sides would work toward the viability of the other state, the conventional wisdom being that building on the existing economic linkages between the former civil war foes would encourage Juba and Khartoum to remain at peace with one another following southern independence. The two pipelines that connect oilfields in the South to a port and refineries in the North are the most visible manifestations of the ties that continue to bind the two countries. Cultural and historical connections between the two populations and a common 1,305-mile border were also reasons to believe that creating dependency between the two states would be the best means for establishing peaceful relations.

Juba’s decision to cut oil flow to the North has upset this dynamic.

“We reject the assumption that mutual dependency of our two nations is the path to peace. It is not,” said South Sudan President Salva Kiir in a recent statement to the press. In a game-changing move, the government of South Sudan upturned the foundation on which the international community has based its approach to South Sudan-Sudan relations.

The immediate cause for the South’s oil stoppage was Khartoum’s decision to confiscate what the South estimates to be $815 million worth of southern oil during negotiations. In response, Juba decided the only means of protecting its most valuable national asset was to keep it in the ground.

More importantly, the decision speaks to the deep-seated distrust that Juba has for Khartoum, and the view that the North has been, and will always be, an unreliable partner in the negotiation and implementation of peace agreements. Juba asks, exasperated and bitter after years of what it sees as subjugation to Khartoum’s aggressions and whims: “They have never engaged with us in good faith, why should we be expected to continue to deal with them now that we have the freedom to decide not to do so?”

But Juba’s decision is not purely defensive. The South calculates that an oil shutdown will ultimately hurt Sudan’s economy more than South Sudan’s, thus returning the advantage to Juba’s side in the North-South feud. However, Juba, too, stands to lose tremendously in the short-term. One of the world’s least developed nations, South Sudan has now shut off the source of 98 percent of its annual budget.

The distrust and emotional baggage from decades of war go both ways.

Economic mismanagement and the loss of oil revenues from the South left Khartoum with an economic crisis that threatens to destabilize the political patronage network on which the regime sits. Already, Khartoum faces a rebel movement mobilizing for regime change, calls for reform from detractors and allies alike, and shifting dynamics within the government itself. Despite the economic crunch, the government has been hesitant to adopt the full range of austerity measures necessary to alleviate the situation because the measures will be politically unpopular. Absent any international allies willing to bail it out, Khartoum has turned to Juba for what the regime sees as its rightful share of oil money.

Khartoum believes that Juba has been delaying an agreement on how much to pay for the transport of its oil as a means of further weakening Sudan’s economy, and thus the regime’s hold on power. Feeling that it could no longer afford to wait, Khartoum began to take payment in the form of southern oil, a move that also strengthened its hand at the table.

Above all, Khartoum is resentful that Juba is providing materiel support to rebels agitating for regime change in Sudan — undercutting, in Khartoum’s eyes, the South’s positions at the negotiating table. The North is also providing weapons to militia groups provoking instability in the South.

The outbreak of violent rebellion in Sudan marked a seismic shift in negotiating dynamics. The conflict raised the specter of regime change in Sudan, creating pressure for Khartoum to get as much as it can out of the talks, and prompting some in Juba to consider a future without Omar al-Bashir’s regime in the North. The promise of mutual viability was undermined.

Should Sudan-South Sudan relations remain broken, the international community faces a deeply isolated regime in Khartoum that will lash out against South Sudan with as much force as it can muster. Khartoum’s bombings of southern territory will likely intensify, as will the supply of arms to detractors of the southern government in South Sudan. Juba may be prompted to respond, and will, at a minimum, provide more support to armed opposition movements in Sudan. Tit-for-tat escalation to the point of direct hostilities is a possibility. Such a scenario is what the international community had hoped to avoid when it began backing the African Union panel in its efforts to broker an agreement a year and a half ago.

At this moment, the two parties are engaged in a last-ditch attempt in Addis Ababa to strike a deal. The signing of a non-aggression pact is a positive gesture, but without coordinated, and targeted international pressures, it appears all but impossible that the two sides will budge from their current positions on an actual deal. China, Ethiopia, and the United States, in particular, should be in the lead. Should no agreement or progress toward an agreement emerge, the chance for peaceful reconciliation around a negotiation table may be all but lost.

The biggest obstacle to a deal is not that an agreement palatable to both sides does not exist. The parameters of a possible comprehensive deal are clear. South Sudan could transfer to Sudan:

1) a fee, based on international best practices and industry standards for the use of oil infrastructure located in the North

2) a financial assistance package to address Khartoum’s economic situation that is tied to a final resolution on border disputes that addresses South Sudan’s territorial concerns.

Anything short of a comprehensive agreement will not be acceptable to Juba, which can only be compelled to offer billions of dollars in assistance to Khartoum if it receives something substantial in return, and reasonably so. A comprehensive agreement encompassing not only the oil dispute, but the other, key unresolved issues between the two parties is the only solution that will accommodate enough interests on both sides to make a deal viable.

If the current round of negotiations in Addis Ababa fails, the international community will have to devise a new negotiations model that accommodates the gaping rift between the two sides. A mediator with leverage to exert over the two governments, coupled with increased and sustained engagement on the part of key international stakeholders, will be necessary.

The premise that South Sudan and Sudan’s fates should remain interlinked should be also reexamined. Continued relations between the two states remain a reality, and the adage that economic linkages may encourage the two countries to remain at peace likely still rings true. But mutual dependency can only arise from mutual trust, a sentiment that is sorely lacking in North-South relations.

Amanda Hsiao is a Field Researcher with the Enough Project, whose mission is to end genocide and crimes against humanity.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/opinion/120212/south-sudan-cuts-oil-through-sudan

Sudanese Oil Talks Open Amid Somber Atmosphere

Peter Heinlein | Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said tensions with South Sudan over oil transit payments could lead to war between the two countries during an interview with state TV, in Khartoum, February 3, 2012.

Photo: Reuters
Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said tensions with South Sudan over oil transit payments could lead to war between the two countries during an interview with state TV, in Khartoum, February 3, 2012.

Sudan and South Sudan have resumed talks on sharing oil revenues that are a key component of both countries’ economies. South Sudan shut down production at its oil fields last month, after accusing the Khartoum government of stealing crude that passed through northern pipelines. The talks began in a somber atmosphere.

A member of the South Sudan negotiating team told VOA on Monday the pipeline would remain closed until Sudan accepts southern demands in the two countries’ bitter dispute over oil payments. The negotiator spoke on condition of anonymity.

As day three of the six-day session of talks dragged on, the solemn faces of negotiators told the story as they emerged from meetings.

The tone of rhetoric coming from Khartoum and Juba suggests the two sides are far apart. Sudan has accused the South of having a negative attitude toward the talks. Southern officials are holding fast to a series of demands, including payment for $850 million worth of oil they say the north stole from the pipeline.

Sudanese news agencies quoted President Omar al-Bashir as saying the south’s decision last month to suspend oil production is “suicidal.”  Several analysts have said the same thing, noting the Juba government depends on oil for 97 percent of its income.

But southern officials reject what they call the “prophets of doom.”

The south’s acting defense minister, Majak D’Agot, calls the cutoff a “blessing in disguise.”

“Despite the hardship and the consequences, it’s a blessing in disguise in the sense [South] Sudan has consummated its independence because it is fully assuming control of its natural resources, it’s assuming control of its territory, and assuming control of this critical and strategic resource: oil,” said D’Agot.

D’Agot says the south is much better able to withstand the oil cutoff than the north. He told VOA the Khartoum government is suffering much more because the north is more oil-dependent than the impoverished south.

“[The] Sudanese economy is fast industrializing. It was much dependent on oil and the need for oil in north Sudan cuts across all sectors of the economy, whereas in South Sudan we know this is an economy trying to emerge out of distress as a result of war and underdevelopment. It is more or less a subsistence-based economy, so the effect of oil or lack of it has not yet been felt by the majority of people in South Sudan,” said D’Agot.

The talks are being held under the auspices of the African Union mediating team led by former South African president Thabo Mbeki. The Mbeki panel succeeded in persuading the two sides to sign a non-aggression deal Friday on the first day of the meetings.

But D’Agot, who led his side in the security segment of the talks, said the oil negotiations are much tougher. He said the south will insist that Khartoum admit it was wrong to unilaterally take oil from the pipeline.

“They took an extreme gamble, which was unnecessary. All they need to do is have rational expectations. If they are beginning to entertain rational expectations and not to expect they can take what they don’t deserve from South Sudan’s oil, then we can reach a deal,” said D’Agot.

Despite the hardline positions, the two sides are under extreme pressure to reach a deal that would reopen the pipeline. Negotiators say China, the main consumer of Sudanese oil, is deeply involved in trying to bridge the differences.

U.S. President Barack Obama’s special envoy to Sudan, Princeton Lyman, arrived Monday to join the negotiations.

http://www.voanews.com/english/news/africa/Sudanese-Oil-Talks-Open-Amid-Somber-Atmosphere-139239053.html

Sudan, South Sudan Sign Treaty of Non-Aggression

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South Sudan President Salva Kiir at a press conference in Juba on February 2, 2012. Kiir warned of renewed conflict with former foes in north Sudan if bitter oil negotiations do not include a deal on other key issues, including the contested Abyei
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Voice of America
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