Posts Tagged ‘implementation panel’



April 12, 2012 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s government on Wednesday suspended oil production in the disputed oil-rich area of Heglig following the capture of the area on Tuesday by the South Sudan’s forces known as the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). Click the link below to read more:

http://www.sudantribune.com/South-Sudan-shuts-down-oil,42211

South Sudan army heads for 1956 border


April 11, 2012 (BENTIU) – Unity state’s information minister, Gideon Gatpan Thoar, told Sudan Tribune on Wednesday that South Sudan’s forces now are not only in control of Heglig but have advanced 23km north of it. Click the link below to read more:

http://www.sudantribune.com/UPDATE-South-Sudan-army-heads-for,42208

Sudan declares general mobilisation after Heglig clash


April 11, 2012 (KHARTOUM) — Sudan’s parliament declared a general mobilisation to recruit people into its army and paramilitaries across the country after the seizure of an oil rich area in South Kordofan yesterday by the South Sudan army. Click the link below to read more:

http://www.sudantribune.com/Sudan-declares-general,42205

South Sudan parliament backs public mobilisation against external aggression


April 11, 2012 (JUBA) – South Sudan said on Wednesday it would allow members of the two houses to go into recess in order to help in the public sensitisation and mobilisation against what it described as “external aggression”. Click the link below to read more:

http://www.sudantribune.com/South-Sudan-parliament-backs,42209

Sudanese MP proposes sending parliamentary platoon to fight South Sudan


April 10, 2012 (KHARTOUM) — A Sudanese legislator suggested Tuesday to form a military platoon from the Members of Parliament (MP) and to send it to the battle fields to fight against the south Sudanese army. Click the link below to read more:

http://www.sudantribune.com/Sudanese-MP-proposes-to-send,42200


South Sudan Army Attacks and Occupies Sudan Territory

PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, April 11, 2012

WASHINGTON, April 11, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – In yet another unwarranted act of aggression, South Sudan and its proxy forces again heinously attacked and occupied Heglig on April 10th, an area that is indisputably a Sudanese territory. The assault comes in the midst of strenuous peace-building efforts exerted by the African Union High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) whose chairman recently visited with both countries to push for dialogue. This attack is in direct contravention of those efforts and therefore clear proof that South Sudan is neither serious nor interested in forging peace with Sudan.

This latest incident also reinforces the ominous culture of impunity, which enables South Sudan and its proxies to launch attacks in Sudan killing scores of innocent civilians and there would be no international reprimand. There hasn’t been a single statement from those that are fond of wielding cameras to battle fields to capture the images of those massacred; nor was there a word from those with satellite imagery regarding the movement of thousands of SPLA troops invading Sudan with very visible tanks and heavy artillery. It is a glaring double-standard that speaks volumes to the Sudanese who as a result are increasingly growing cynical of all the talk of Humanitarianism.

The Government of Sudan reiterates its commitment to peace and opposition to aggression. However it will defend the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country when war is imposed on it, as is clearly the case now. In accordance with the United Nations charter and the International Law, Sudan reserves its legitimate right to respond to this and any further aggression as it sees fit. The international community is also called upon to bear witness to this provocation and forcefully condemn what is an obvious and blatant act of war. In this regard, it must be recalled that Sudan already has a number of complaints that it has previously submitted to the Security Council regarding South Sudan’s aggression and support of rebels, all of which continue to be ignored.

Sudan also urges South Sudan to realize that it isn’t in the interest of its citizens to wage a war that it clearly cannot win. Neither is this ill-conceived strategy of “attack and withdraw” prudent, as irreparable damage is caused to Sudan and its people whose patience is wearing thin. The Government of South Sudan must change course and shun this aggressive posture before it’s too late.

Embassy of Sudan Press and Information Office, phone: +1-202-338-8565, or fax: +1-202-667-2406

SOURCE Embassy of the Republic of the Sudan

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/660972#ixzz1rla6SKxl

By Embassy of the Republic of South Sudan – Brussels
ADDIS ABABA, Apr. 11:The African Union has released a statement calling on Sudan and South Sudan to exercise utmost restraint, and implicitly accused South Sudan of occupying Heglig.The African Union’s characterization of the presence of the South Sudan army in the disputed area as an “occupation of Heglig” is totally inaccurate, because Heglig is just one of the six disputed areas along the 1800km Sudan-South Sudan border.

What the African Union seems to have not realized or understood is that Heglig is not Sudanese territory, as the Sudan-South Sudan border is yet to be demarcated. In addition, the Sudan Armed Forces war planes have dropped 60 bombs in South Sudan in the month of March alone. Bridges, civilian centers have been targeted in the process.

Khartoum claims that Heglig is its territory because the PCA puts it outside Abyei. Ironically, Khartoum has not accepted the PCA ruling on the status of Abyei, and had sent in a military force to occupy the area instead. The African Union has been silent on this.

Khartoum has refused to endorse the “Four Freedoms” framework agreement mediated by the AUHIP, saying this framework agreement is a danger to its national security, because it would allow South Sudanese to reside and own property in Sudan.

The AU should instead work to demarcate the border so that both Sudan and South Sudan can live in peace within their territories.

South Sudan troops capture disputed oil town
Fox News
JUBA, South Sudan – A Sudanese minister says troops from rival South Sudan have captured an oil-rich border town claimed by Sudan after a day of fighting. The Sudanese government admitted late Wednesday that the South Sudan Army (SPLA) has taken over 
South Sudan troops move into disputed oil town
Bismarck Tribune
By MICHAEL ONYIEGO and MOHAMED SAEED AP JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — After a day of fierce fighting, troops from South Sudan captured an oil-rich border town that is claimed by Sudan, whose troops withdrew under the onslaught, a Sudanese government 
China Prepares to Receive President Kiir
AllAfrica.com
By Susan Athiei Mangar, 11 April 2012 Beijing — The Chinese Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs, Zhong Jianhua revealed yesterday in a meeting in Beijing attended by the South SudanAmbassador to China, Bak Valentino together with South Sudan media 
South Sudan Army Attacks and Occupies Sudan Territory
DigitalJournal.com (press release)
WASHINGTON, April 11, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — In yet another unwarranted act of aggression, South Sudan and its proxy forces again heinously attacked and occupied Heglig on April 10th, an area that is indisputably a Sudanese territory.

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.

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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


By ALEX DE WAAL
Published: January 24, 2012

South Sudan was born as an independent nation on July 9, 2011, with good will and a bounty. Three hundred and fifty thousand barrels of oil per day provided the government with $1,000 per year for each of its 8 million citizens.

But the only pipeline to market runs through northern Sudan, giving the government in Khartoum control over South Sudan’s economic artery. And on independence day there was no agreement on the terms of pipeline use.

When Sudan was still one country, 50 percent of the revenue from southern oil went to the central treasury, comprising 40 percent of its budget. After July 9, Khartoum received nothing — not even a transit fee. International promises of debt relief and lifting economic sanctions, to fill a part of the budget gap, came to nothing. Continued negotiations — convened by the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel on Sudan, which is headed by former President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa and to which I am an adviser — have failed to resolve the issue.

On Jan. 20, South Sudan announced the dramatic step of shutting down oil production, with immediate effect. As oil money comprises 97 percent of the South’s budget, it seems a suicidal step. The rationale is that for the last month, Khartoum has been diverting the oil to its own refinery and filling three tankers.

A year ago, President Omar al-Bashir congratulated his southern counterpart, President Salva Kiir, on independence and promised a new and peaceable chapter in the troubled history of north-south relations. This quickly turned sour, particularly with the outbreak of war in two areas of northern Sudan — Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile — where about half of the population is loyal to the former rebels of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, who are now the government in the South. Although the northern branch of the party supposedly split off, the South does not disguise its solidarity with its former comrades in arms.

Khartoum’s delegates to the just-concluding talks in Addis Ababa complain bitterly. “Why should we allow Southern oil to go free to market, when the money from its sales is used to arm rebels who want to destroy us?” They follow it up with a promise — we will reconcile our respective claims after we agree on a transit fee that matches a third of the budget gap.

The South counters, “Why do we allow our oil to be stolen and the money used to buy weapons to kill our comrades in arms? Khartoum has always wanted to control the South and its readiness to strangle us financially shows that they will never allow us to be truly free.” The Southern government in Juba has floated plans for a new pipeline through Kenya. Optimistically, this may cost $3 billion to $4 billion and take three years to build, but many Southern leaders would rather leave their oil in the ground than submit to Sudan’s coercion.

So South Sudan has set off its economic doomsday machine. The shutdown of wells is already beginning and within a week the oil companies will begin flushing the pipeline with water, so that the oil it contains doesn’t jam and turn into a 600-mile asphalt tube. After that, the best case would be six months’ work to reopen exports.

The South’s lead negotiator, Pagan Amum, said he was at peace with himself when he explained: “This is a matter of respect. We may be poor but we will be free.”

But South Sudan is a fragile state, as the recent interethnic killings in the Jonglei area show, and it will need massive foreign aid to compensate for the lost $650 million per month.

A northern general remarked, “The shutdown will hurt us but it will kill them.” But Sudan cannot be stable if its southern neighbor is in crisis.

Based on its principle that Sudan and South Sudan should be two viable states, at peace and mutually supportive, the African Union panel has proposed an agreement. This will keep the oil flowing, stop the unilateral diversion of southern oil by the north, and provide enough funds to cushion the economic crisis in the north. China — the main buyer of Sudanese oil — the United States and the United Nations have endorsed the African Union’s plan.

President Bashir and President Kiir are due to meet in Addis Ababa on Friday. This is the last chance, not only for the two to snatch a deal on oil, but also to stop an escalation into a wider north-south war. The two must step back from the brink.

Alex de Waal is the executive director of the World Peace Foundation.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/25/opinion/south-sudans-doomsday-machine.html?_r=1

“Sudan, South Sudan, and the Oil Revenues Controversy:
Khartoum’s Obstructionism Threatens War”
Overview
There has been much discussion about the intensifying dispute between Khartoum and Juba over how much in transit fees the Republic of South Sudan (RSS) should pay the northern regime in order to transport its oil to Port Sudan on the Red Sea.  This has all been brought into the sharpest possible focus with the January 20 decision by the Government of South Sudan to halt shipments to northern Sudan and begin constructing an alternate pipeline route to the Kenyan coast.  Formal announcement was made by RSS President Salva Kiir on January 23.  This is not, however, one bad decision somehow mirroring Khartoum’s “equally bad” decision to begin massive sequestration of South Sudanese oil and oil revenues, as some would have it.  Alex de Waal, an advisor for the almost inexplicably ineffective African Union mediating team, writes tendentiously:
“When Sudan was still one country, 50 percent of the revenue from southern oil went to the central treasury, comprising 40 percent of its budget. After July 9, Khartoum received nothing—not even a transit fee.” (New York Times, January 24, 2012)
What de Waal does not mention here is the expressed, indeed eager willingness of the leadership in South Sudan to arrive at some reasonable agreement on transit fees.  But instead of negotiating such a fee, Khartoum has proposed a fee of $32 per barrel (more recently, this was upped to $36 per barrel)—roughly a third the cost of a barrel of Sudanese crude oil.  This is a preposterous figure compared with other transit fee arrangements (e.g., the Russian oil pipeline through Ukraine, Chad’s oil pipeline through Cameroon; see below).  Moreover, de Waal’s implicit suggestion that an independent South Sudan should be obliged to replace 40 percent of Khartoum’s budget revenues is absurd, the more so since the budget gap is largely a function of profligate military and security expenditures, amounting to roughly half the real budget.  Much of this military force and equipment continues to be directed against the South, as well as the border regions of South Kordofan, Blue Nile, and Darfur.
The South did make an offer of some $5.4 billion dollars to assist in Khartoum’s transition from dependence on Southern oil revenues, a figure judged reasonable by economists of the International Monetary Fund’s and the AU, according to Pagan Amum, chairman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and chief RSS negotiator on oil issues:
“[Pagan] said that the International Monetary Fund, the African Union and South Sudan have agreed on a figure of $5.4 billion.” But in reply, “[northern] Sudan is demanding $15 billion in compensation for lost oil revenues after South Sudan’s independence.”  Also according to Pagan, and confirmed by subsequent statements from Khartoum, the regime “doesn’t want the African Union to mediate negotiations with the south.” (Bloomberg News, November 22, 2011)
Khartoum’s demand for $15 billion, almost three times the figure cited by Amum as having been judged fair by the IMF and AU, is not an economic calculation but rather a transparent grab, based on nothing but greed and a desire to push negotiations to the brink.  Like the $36 per barrel transit fee, this is simply not a good faith negotiating starting point.  Rather, it is a deliberate obstructionism.
With the sequestration of oil and oil revenues—in an amount that now approaches $1 billion—Khartoum has effectively compelled South Sudan to conclude that the regime has no intention of arriving at a reasonable resolution of these issues. The regime clearly felt that Juba had no choice except to capitulate.  The decision to build to the south, announced and vigorously defended by President Salva Kiir, demonstrates that this calculation by Khartoum was a serious error—if, in fact, Khartoum was simply playing a kind of negotiating brinksmanship.
But the regime’s actions have a larger context than de Waal’s narrow and misleading analysis would have us believe.  One key part of that context is the report today from the UN High Commission for Refugees that Khartoum’s military aircraft have again attacked Sudanese civilians in a refugee encampment inside South Sudan’s Upper Nile State, very close to the previous bombing of (New) Guffa on November 8, 2011.  The attack on Elfog refugee encampment wounded one boy, and has left fourteen people missing (Reuters [Juba] January 24, 2012). It bears comparison with yet another aerial attack by Khartoum, this on the refugee camp in Yida, Unity State (November 10, 2011), where one bomb landed right on the edge of a makeshift school in which shortly before some 200 students had been present.
This is not new.  Khartoum has bombed what is now the sovereign territory South Sudan repeatedly over the past 15 months—in Unity State, Upper Nile State, Western Bahr el Ghazal, and Northern Bahr el Ghazal.  An aerial attack on December 28 and 29 in Western Bahr el Ghazal reportedly killed some 40 people.  All these attacks are chronicled at www.sudanbombing.org.
Why these aerial attacks on civilians and humanitarians matter—beyond their brutal human destruction and displacement—is that they demonstrate, yet again, Khartoum’s continuous and flagrant violations of signed agreements, in this instance the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (2005), which guaranteed the South the right of self-determination.  This self-determination exercise has taken final form in the creation of the Republic of South Sudan, a sovereign nation whose territory cannot be bombed without violating Khartoum’s commitment to uphold the outcome of the Southern self-determination referendum (January 9, 2011). Khartoum’s cross-border aerial attacks also constitute egregious violations of international law, including international humanitarian law.
All this poses an inescapable question in the mind of Southerners: why should we trust any agreement—whether on transit fees or some other future contractual arrangement—with a regime that, without hesitation, bombs our people on our land?  The fate of Abyei—seized militarily by Khartoum on May 21, 2011—also weighs heavily in the calculations of the Southern leadership.  Here again, in conspicuous violation of the Abyei Protocol of the CPA and the decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) (July 2009), Khartoum first denied the promised self-determination for the “residents of Abyei” as that region is defined geographically by the PCA.  Then—in the wake of a silent military coup that secured a firm grip on political power in Khartoum—the regime moved into Abyei with its Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and heavily armed Misseriya militia forces in May.  The more than 100,000 indigenous Dinka Ngok displaced from Abyei into South Sudan have no prospect of returning to their homeland as long as Khartoum retains military control of the region, as it clearly intends.  This seizure included the Diffra oil site, which though not especially productive, nonetheless generates approximately 2,000 to 2,500 barrels of crude oil per day, or roughly $75 million per year.  This is not an inconsequential amount of revenue for South Sudan, especially since there is evidence of other potential oil reserves near Diffra.
De Waal reduces all of this to a single sentence: “The rationale [for the decision of the South to stop transporting oil to the north] is that for the last month, Khartoum has been diverting the oil to its own refinery and filling three tankers.”  This is hardly trivial for cash-strapped South Sudan.  Moreover, it is a disingenuously partial explanation of the difficult and costly decision by the South, and reflects nothing so much as the African Union’s penchant for “moral equivalence” when attempting to arbitrate between Khartoum and Juba—and frequently siding with Khartoum in ways large and small.  The AU mediation team led by former South African president Thabo Mbeki, and which de Waal advises, failed miserably in Darfur, and then moved on to Abyei, where it failed just as miserably.  In both cases failure came in large part because the African Union, and Mbeki in particular, were perceived by both Darfuris and the Dinka Ngok of Abyei as siding with Khartoum.
There is, crucially, another reason that Khartoum may have compelled this decision by Juba concerning the future of Southern oil.  For it continues a pattern of sustained, intense, and destructive economic warfare against the South by Khartoum—something de Waal makes no mention of, even as it has been conspicuous for more than a year.  And the purpose of this warfare is not only to destabilize the South, to deny it as much as possible the opportunity for economic development, but to provoke actual military confrontation and to create from this a casus belli for renewed war.  In such a war, Khartoum’s generals presume that they would be able to seize at least some of the South’s oil fields by force.  Ominously, on several occasions the SAF has attacked South Sudan on the ground in the oil regions, not simply from the air (most notably at Jau in Unity State).  These actions are so clearly provocative that it is difficult not to see them, along with aerial attacks on military and civilian sites inside South Sudan, as attempts to spark a response that will grow into a much larger conflagration, for which (Khartoum assumes) both sides will be blamed equally and urged to “show restraint,” without any acknowledgement of what is even now clearly aggression on the part of Khartoum’s forces.
None of this is mentioned by de Waal, nor does he mention the compelling evidence that Khartoum is supporting renegade militia groups operating in South Sudan.  Much of this evidence comes from the Small Arms Survey, which has in a number of authoritative reports compared equipment captured from rebel groups by the (southern) Sudan People’s Liberation Army, as well as by the SPLA-North, with equipment captured from Khartoum’s regular and militia and regular forces in South Kordofan and Blue Nile.  Instead of mentioning this highly destabilizing proxy military campaign by Khartoum, de Waal emphasizes instead only that “the northern branch of the party [the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army-North] supposedly split off [from the Southern SPLA/M, but] the South does not disguise its solidarity with its former comrades in arms.”  In fact, the SPLA/M-North—which has linked with other rebel movements from (north) Sudan’s marginalized regions—formally separated from the SPLM/A (South) on September 8, in accordance with the terms of the CPA.  There is no evidence of substantial aid from the South to the rebels fighting in South Kordofan or Blue Nile; every regional source I have consulted, while admitting we can’t know for sure, indicates a belief that material support, if it exists, is minimal.  Again, in an effort to fashion a moral equivalence between Khartoum and Juba, de Waal tendentiously and selectively presents current realities on the ground.
If Khartoum were attempting to create a factitious casus belli—one whose only requirement is that it not be immediately dismissed by the Arab League, the African Union, various allies at the UN, or the UN Secretariat—its actions would be exactly what we have seen since the seizure of Abyei on May 21: move next to attack South Kordofan (June 5), then Blue Nile (September 1), all the while denying humanitarian access to increasingly distressed populations.  This has created an enormous population of internally displaced persons and refugees, in both Ethiopia and South Sudan, and further strains the capacity of Juba to respond to crises elsewhere in the country.  The international community seems painfully ill-equipped diplomatically to respond to Khartoum’s military attacks on civilians, the consequent humanitarian issues, and the growing stream of refugees, now likely exceeding 150,000.
At the same time, receiving so little focused international diplomatic attention, Khartoum refuses to negotiate reasonably about border delineation (20 percent of the 2,100-kilometer north/south border remains undelineated, more than half a year after Southern independence); and the regime refuses to permit demarcation of what actually has been delineated (including the delineation of Abyei as rendered in the “final and binding” decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration).  Southerners—defined ethnically, not by place of birth—are being stripped of their citizenship in (north) Sudan, and are subject to increasing harassment and denial of opportunities for education, medical treatment, and other services, as well as jobs.  Christians and Christian churches in the north are facing an unprecedented assault by the regime, whose president, Omar al-Bashir, insists on a constitution based on sharia (Islamic law) and on an exclusively Arab identity in defining Sudan.
Despite the effort by de Waal and others, including the Obama administration in the U.S., to frame the dispute over oil transit fees as one involving two equally recalcitrant parties, equally guilty of peremptory and dangerous decisions, any fuller look at the history of the past year will reveal clearly that neither the political nor the moral equities in this dispute are at all comparable (see detailed timeline for this period at http://goo.gl/UJgwN).   Khartoum has assumed the posture of aggressor, both in the realm of economic relations and in offensive military actions against the South and the border regions.  To ignore these basic facts, to ignore the fundamental asymmetry in the respective positions of Khartoum and Juba, is to distort in highly consequential fashion the challenges at hand.  Certainly “moral equivalence” of the sort de Waal and others are trying to force into the negotiating context is a victory for the National Islamic Front/National Congress Party regime, and is perceived as such, both in Khartoum and Juba.
To those who doubt that Khartoum is as cynical as this analysis suggests, that the regime is as given to mendacity as I argue, I would point to two recent statements by the regime’s ambassador to the UN, Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman.  In the first, the ambassador declared that the humanitarian situation in the Nuba and South Kordofan is “normal,” an assessment that flies in the face of every single humanitarian indicator the international community has received, including the forecast by the Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWSNet) of near-famine conditions by March.  To risk hundreds of thousands of lives in an effort to deflect international pressure gives us a perfect picture of how the Khartoum regime regards the African peoples of these regions, as well as its willingness to lie in the most brazen fashion imaginable.  In an earlier statement, Khartoum’s UN ambassador declared of the November 10 bombing of Yida refugee camp that it was a fabrication and never occurred, this despite the fact that the attack had by that point been confirmed by journalists present during the attack, humanitarian personnel on the ground in Yida, as well as a UN investigation.
This is the negotiating face of the National Islamic Front/National Congress Party, and de Waal seems unwilling to confront it squarely.  And this in turn augurs very poorly for the success of the AU-mediated negotiations in Addis Ababa, which have been extended beyond January 24, but without any indication of progress.
Further context for the present dispute over oil transit fees
Despite the basic clarity of moral and political equities in the stand-off over oil revenues, there is a good deal that makes this discussion difficult and complicated.  We have only partially relevant precedents for such fees, although Khartoum’s proposal of $36 per barrel is indeed preposterously out of line with those we do have.  For example, Ukraine receives from Russia $7.80 to $9.50 per ton of oil transported through its territory by means of the immense Druzhba pipeline (there are approximately seven barrels in a ton of oil, so the price per barrel in transit fees would be $1.10 – $1.36). In 2009 Cameroon was negotiating an increase in the transit fee for oil from Chad passing through its territory from $0.41 to $1.00 per barrel.
Construction recovery costs for the partners of the Greater Nile Operating Company (Unity State) and Petrodar (Upper Nile) have either been recovered or very soon will be; Khartoum’s Sudapet is only a five percent partner in these two consortia. Indeed, since the 1990s Khartoum has been the beneficiary of major foreign technical expertise and capital investment; negotiations over the value of the infrastructure that remain in the south should certainly be part of broader negotiations about oil revenues.  But these costs should be separated from those for the continuing costs of transit fees and fees for the use of Port Sudan.  What Khartoum has attempted to do by sequestering large quantities of oil unilaterally, on the basis of a $32 per barrel transit fee, is not to calculate what a fair charge is for infrastructure, port fees, and transit fees; rather, it has estimated the size of its deficit and calculated the transit fee accordingly.  No matter that 75 percent of oil production comes from the South (which also has 80 percent of known reserves).  The regime is, in effect, charging South Sudan for its own gross economic mismanagement of the northern economy.
There are other important issues bearing on negotiations over oil revenues.  The north/south border is still undefined in key oil producing regions, including Abyei.  Losing the Bamboo and Heglig sites in the “final and binding” delineation of Abyei by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (July 2009) was a bitter disappointment to Southerners.  They abided by its terms, however, even as Khartoum has conspicuously not done so; and the military seizure of Abyei ensures that no resolution of this crisis is possible in the foreseeable future–certainly not for the more than 100,000 Dinka Ngok who remain displaced following the May 21 military occupation.
We should also recall that transparency in accounting, both for production and revenues figures, never figured in Khartoum’s sense of what it was obliged to provide the South, even after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (2005).  Given the complexity of the royalties contracts with China National Petroleum Corp., Malaysia’s Petronas, and Canada’s Talisman Energy (later replaced by India’s ONG), as well as the opaque rendering of costs for infrastructure and equipment, it is very difficult to know where a fair starting point might be in calculating what Khartoum has actually paid for and what it has received from these foreign nationals—and what it has already received from South Sudan since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.  The International Monetary Fund did a disastrously bad job monitoring oil revenues and military expenditures in the period 2000 – 2002, and has done little better subsequently; all we may be sure of is that huge amounts of these revenues went to profligate military spending and to lining the pockets of the regime and its cronies.
During the entire interim period (January 9, 2005 – July 9, 2011), Khartoum never made a good faith effort to provide transparent and plausible production or revenue figures to the Government of South Sudan (GOSS).  Of the roughly 50 percent of oil revenues from production in the South that were to have gone to the GOSS, hundreds of millions of dollars were diverted or disappeared by means of bookkeeping legerdemain.  Under the current regime, we are unlikely ever to know how many hundreds of millions of dollars the desperately needy South was denied during this six and a half year interim period.  It is not a figure that de Waal contends with in his account of oil revenue negotiations or how this reneging and withholding has affected Southern attitudes towards Khartoum.
Yet other relevant issues go back to Khartoum’s conduct of war later in 1990s through 2002, and the brutally destructive population clearances in the oil concession areas of what are now Unity State and Upper Nile State.  Ruthless displacement, deliberate attacks on civilians, stoking of ethnic tensions, and the use of foreign commercial actors as cover for these activities—all this defined early activities by Khartoum and the Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company (GNPOC), and somewhat later Petrodar in Upper Nile.  The largest partners in both consortia are the national oil companies of the People’s Republic of China, and they were as ruthless in their extraction efforts as Khartoum was energetic in creating a cordon sanitaire for what was at the time known as Western Upper Nile.  Amnesty International reported at the time a chilling observation about Chinese workers: they were armed and appeared ready to use their weapons (May 3, 2000).
The oil concession areas throughout Sudan were considered by Khartoum to be their mineral wealth fiefdom: the designation and sale of concession blocks, their security, and the complex royalty agreements that were signed at the time involved no consultations with the people of the South.  And as Khartoum was generating greater and greater external debt, even during this period of new oil wealth, no thought was given to development needs in the South—or indeed in any other marginalized region of Sudan.  Indeed, there are reports that Khartoum’s engineers were directed after January 9, 2005 to extract oil horizontally from the South through well sites just north of the border; oil so extracted then became “northern” oil production, with 100 percent of the revenues going to Khartoum.  Oil fields in South Sudan were also pumped more rapidly during the interim period than is consistent with maximum long-term production.
The regime’s present suggestion that South Sudan should absorb some of this enormous Khartoum-generated debt—expended disproportionately on military acquisitions that continue to be directed against the people of the South—is simply grotesque.  Even so, there can be little doubt that Khartoum’s present obstructionism is part of a larger strategy, whether it be one of continuing, widespread economic warfare against the South—or deliberate provocation of the Republic of South Sudan, with an aim to creating a military response from the SPLA and thus a casus belli that will justify a military seizure of Southern oil regions.
The Breaking Point for Peace
There is considerable skepticism about the Southern leadership’s optimistic estimate (roughly a year) for the time necessary to construct an alternate pipeline to the Kenyan coast.  Clearly Khartoum has assumed an insurmountably lengthy time-frame in judging that the South would never go so far as to shut down oil transport to north Sudan.  And indeed, most estimates average around two to three years for construction, although the Chinese built the pipeline from Heglig to Port Sudan in approximately a year, and Beijing has put in a bid to build the pipeline southward.  Juba would obviously push hard for construction to be as rapid as possible, and would also begin to build domestic refineries that could be supplied by Southern crude.  In short, Juba is clearly prepared to call Khartoum’s bluff—and this creates an extremely dangerous situation.
But without a fundamental shift in the negotiating posture of Khartoum, one that the AU is extremely unlikely to push for, to judge by de Waal’s skewed assessment of the two parties, the talks in Addis will break down on Friday (January 27) when Presidents Salva Kiir and Omar al-Bashir are scheduled to meet.  But we should keep in mind the clear possibility that a collapse of these talks is in fact deliberate on Khartoum’s part: since an already highly distressed northern economy would implode with the precipitous loss of all oil revenues from the South, economic woes of all sorts could be collectively blamed on a hostile and “belligerent” South.  The regime would blame this implosion not on its own gross mismanagement of the economy, its vastly excessive military and security expenditures, or its accrual of an unsustainable external debt of more than $38 billion—but rather on the South.  The generals in Khartoum who now make decisions about war and peace will have their pretext for war—a war that will be justified, in a grim irony, as punishing the South for its “economic warfare” against the north.
If war comes—and it almost daily appears more likely—it will be a war emerging from the indifference, foolishness, and cowardice of an international community that refuses to see the Khartoum regime for what it is, or even to speak honestly about what it has done and continues to do to the marginalized peoples of Darfur, Eastern Sudan, Abyei, Blue Nile, South Kordofan, and increasingly the border regions inside South Sudan.  We have reached the “brink of war” that de Waal speaks of not because of what South Sudan has done, but because of what the international community has not done.
January 24, 2012
_____________________________
Eric Reeves
Smith College
Northampton, MA 01063

ereeves@smith.edu
413-585-3326
Skype: ReevesSudan
www.sudanreeves.org

http://www.sudanreeves.org/2012/01/25/sudan-south-sudan-and-the-oil-revenues-controversy-khartoums-obstructionism-threatens-war/


Khartoum, Sudan – The African Union (AU) on Monday urged Sudan and South Sudan to end what it calls their current unilateral action, saying it threatens to bring the two countries to confrontation.

In a statement issued in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, African Union Commission Chairperson Jean Ping said he is ‘gravely concerned’ by developments in both countries.

He said the unilateral steps taken by the two governments had brought their relationship to a point of breakdown, ‘with the immediate danger of destroying the possibility of achieving the agreed goal of two viable states, friendly and mutually supportive”.

Representatives of the two countries are currently in Addis for talks to resolve outstanding issues after the implementation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA),

Mr. Ping warned that the spirit that led to a peaceful referendum one year ago and the amicable separation of South Sudan was “fast vanishing. “

He noted that against the backdrop of the absence of an agreement between the two states, the Government of Sudan recently began diverting oil originating from South Sudan for domestic refining and for international sale.

In the last few days, the Government of the Republic of South Sudan has initiated the shutdown of all oil production, in an accelerated manner that risks serious damage to the oil pipeline to the north.

He explained that those ‘reciprocal unilateral measures threaten grave damage to the economic prospects of both countries and relations between them.”

The statement said the actions had also taken place at a time when the AU High‐Level Implementation Panel  (AUHIP) on Sudan is convening negotiations on the question of oil and transitional financial arrangements.

It noted that the Panel presented a draft proposal to the two parties two days ago, and is revising and finalizing this proposal in line with the detailed responses provided by the two negotiating teams.

“The AU is confident that the differences between the parties can be bridged. Neighboring African states and the international community, including the United Nations, the United States and China, have expressed support for the AUHIP proposal. These negotiations are continuing in Addis Ababa.” the statement said.

In view of the urgency of the issues involved, the AU Commission chief revealed that the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), under the chairmanship of Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, is convening an Extraordinary Summit to support the work of the AUHIP

Pana 23/01/2012

http://www.afriquejet.com/sudan-south-sudan-au-urges-to-stop-unilateral-actions-2012012332003.html


(AFP) – 

WASHINGTON — The United States urged Sudan and South Sudan to redouble efforts to resolve a crisis over fees for oil transfers and said it supported a proposal by African Union mediators.

The statement by State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland came a day after South Sudan ordered a shutdown of its oil production because Sudan has seized oil transiting its territory.

She said Washington supports the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel’s roadmap for an agreement to resolve the crisis and set a timeline for a final oil and financial agreement between the two countries.

“We further urge the parties to redouble their efforts to reach an agreement on permanent oil and financial arrangements as the impending crisis threatens not only the flow of oil but also long term damage to infrastructure,” she said.

“Therefore an agreement that addresses the current crisis has become necessary and is in the interests of both countries,” Nuland said.

She said resumption of normal oil shipments was critical to stabilize the economies of both countries.

The South split from Sudan in July, taking with it 75 percent of the country’s oil production of 470,000 barrels per day, but despite its oil wealth, the new state of South Sudan lacks the infrastructure to refine and export oil.

Crucial facilities including a pipeline and Red Sea export terminal remain in Sudan, leaving the two states arguing over how much the south should pay to use the infrastructure.

Sudanese authorities recently stopped two ships loaded with 650,000 barrels of South Sudanese oil from leaving the export terminal because they did not pay the port fees, according to Khartoum’s foreign ministry.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gJ8uxUB_yXIfmWECqblQklhF7Xdw?docId=CNG.ed2a687c0642d8185d1e4e7ccab9f2c3.951

China Urges Calm Talk for Sudan, South Sudan

By SIMON HALL

BEIJING—China on Saturday urged the governments of Sudan and South Sudan to remain calm and restrained and resolve their differences over oil exports through “negotiation at an early date.”

“Oil is the economic lifeline shared by Sudan and South Sudan,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Weimin said in remarks posted on the ministry’s website, adding that the Beijing government “hopes that the two governments will fulfill their commitment to protecting the legal rights of Chinese enterprises and those of other partners.”

The ministry noted that on Friday the government of South Sudan had ordered the gradual halt of all oil production due to a disagreement with Sudan over fees for moving South Sudan’s oil via Sudan’s pipelines and harbors.

“We urge the two sides to remain calm and restrained, avoid taking any extreme action and continue working together with mediation by the African Union and other parties to resolve their dispute through negotiation at an early date and to benefit the two countries and their peoples,” Mr. Liu said.

South Sudan, which broke away from Sudan and became an independent country in July 2011 after decades of civil war, has accused Sudan of disrupting its oil exports and of stealing some of its oil. The two countries produce about 500,000 barrels of crude oil a day, approximately 75% of it South Sudan’s.

State-owned China National Petroleum Corp., India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corp. and Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Bhd., or Petronas, account for around 90% of the combined oil production in the two countries. The Chinese company is the largest foreign investor in the two countries’ energy sectors, and China takes about half of their oil exports.

Official customs data show China’s imports of oil from the two have ranged between 200,000 barrels and 280,000 barrels a day in recent months. The 2010 average was 253,000 barrels.

On Tuesday, South Sudan accused Sudan of preventing the export of its oil, which had been piped to Port Sudan in the north, and of loading some of it onto Sudanese-flagged ships.

Write to Simon Hall at simon.hall@dowjones.com

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204301404577174591034411010.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

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