Archive for February 4, 2012


Drilling tubing is piled next to the drilling site number 102 in the Unity oil field, South Sudan (2010 file photo).

Photo: AFP
Drilling tubing is piled next to the drilling site number 102 in the Unity oil field, South Sudan (2010 file photo).

African Union mediation to end an oil standoff between Sudan and South Sudan is expected to resume this week. Analysts say the stakes are high for the governments in Khartoum and Juba, both of which rely heavily on oil revenue to maintain themselves.

Jimmy Mulla, from the Washington-based Voices for Sudan advocacy group, is one of many analysts pessimistic about the current oil impasse. “I think as of now it is nearly impossible because the two parties are completely on different platforms,” he said.

Disagreements on oil transfer fees and accusations by South Sudan that Sudan was stealing southern oil coming through its pipeline led to Juba’s recent decision to shut down oil production.

Mulla puts most of the blame on Sudan. “For the most part, I would still go back and say the government in Khartoum has not been forthcoming in terms of making sure this agreement goes forward. There are international standards, there are international agreements on oil revenues, whether it is a transit fee, all these things are in place, and these are references that have been tabled both by the government of South Sudan and also by the African Union mediating body, so it should have been easier to resolve but the lack of political will to address this issue has been a major problem,” he said.

The exact terms of oil revenue sharing were not agreed to before South Sudan became independent last year, following decades of civil war.

A Washington-based international relations expert Walid Phares accuses Sudan of doing whatever it can to muddle the post-breakup phase. “Keep in mind that the northern regime did not really let go of South Sudan.  They want to try to control it.  They want to try to instigate trouble within the Southern Sudanese regions,” he said.

Both countries accuse each other of backing cross-border rebellions, as the exact border and some regions remain in dispute. Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir recently said his country was closer to war with South Sudan than peace.

After the breakup, Sudan started by asking $32 in transit fees for each barrel of South Sudanese oil shipped through its pipeline and then upped the request to $36. Those two figures are more than ten times standard rates.

Analysts say the government in Khartoum has been very nervous with the loss of oil revenue as it has also been struggling with a lack of foreign currency, high inflation, civil society discontent and $38 billion in external debt.

Eric Reeves, a Sudan researcher at Smith College, believes Sudan’s government also wants to use the oil impasse as leverage to ease its debt. “Now, there have been discussions in the UK, in Germany and France that suggests it might be the case that these countries anyway are contemplating debt relief. I think that is a terrible signal to be sending Khartoum.  It only encourages them to be more intransigent, more ruthless in expropriating revenues from southern oil,” he said.

Other analysts interviewed for this report said Asian countries which have been the main consumers of South Sudanese oil, especially the biggest buyer China, should try harder to help find a solution.

They warn South Sudan, which depends nearly entirely on oil revenues for state income, could easily become a failed state with escalating sectarian violence and angry unpaid soldiers if the oil shutdown persists.

South Sudanese officials have talked about building an alternative pipeline to the Kenyan port of Lamu, but most analysts say this seems unrealistic at this point, because of cost and security issues.

The only hope they say would be for a major deal which addresses other current concerns such as ending the cross-border violence and finding long-term solutions for the remaining regions in dispute.

http://www.voanews.com/english/news/africa/Growing-Sudan-South-Sudan-Oil-Impasse-Has-High-Stakes-138712714.html

Growing Sudan, South Sudan Oil Impasse Has High Stakes
Voice of America
February 04, 2012 Growing Sudan, South Sudan Oil Impasse Has High Stakes Nico Colombant | Washington African Union mediation to end an oil standoff between Sudan and South Sudan is expected to resume this week. Analysts say the stakes are high for the 

 

Sudan, South Sudan Chambers of Commerce Discuss Reactivation of Bilateral 
Sudan Vision
Khartoum – The Sudanese Businessmen Union and the South Sudan State’s Chamber of Commerce, and Industry and Agriculture discussed the mechanisms to reactivate the economic cooperation and trade between the two countries and to enhance the border trade 

By Edward Laboke
                It’s heartbreaking (if true) to hear that senior government officials call for the international community to help mediate the insurgent and cattle rustling dangers facing the country.  Although we appreciate the legacy of the Mesopotamian civilization of city-state autonomy, where the cities of Ur, Summer and Babylonia ruled themselves independently, such legacy are serious misfits in the 21st century.
               We rightly have 10 states in the Republic of South Sudan and within these states we have counties and cities. What is happening here similar to the Mesopotamian era is that, counties that mostly are drawn on the bases of tribal occupancies, appear to be opportunistic avenues for conflicts brewing. Despite that the appointed commisioners have some education and military backgrounds, they prove incapable simply because of the militant constituence of our village populations. Let’s not forget that most of our villages have been militarized during the war and no counter indoctrination initiatives of any kind has been conducted given that we haven’t militarily defeated our enemies.
                Secondly, if sysmpathies of camps within the RSS leadership is dragging the government effects down, then we are in for a second Somolia in Africa. Although decentralization is a better way of involving citizens in governance, it appears we need to set limits to certain organs of the government to serve beyond regional boundries as the army does. We need city and the state police who are trained at the state and national levels respectively. Better living and service conditions of the police needs to be prioritized.
                        The police need to know that they are the community peace-keepers rather than community harrassers as it appears to be the order of the day in most third world nations. Immigration, riot, traffic and ordinary police should know their limits and not cross-over at will. Strong work ethics and severe consequences  should be emphasized at training and of course employed in the field. If some police have been purged because of their miscoducts, less more will engage in similar behaviors. The same should happen with the military who often times come and harrass the police to take out people from the hands of the police. This is no way we can run a nation.
                     Thirdly, it’s time for our parliament to take action and not let senior civil servants to call for international non humanitarian missions to the country. It’s also time for our villagers to be educated that it’s only good to send in at least members of parliament who have some education because they are going to discuss with other educated people from different language groups; and where language barrier could become serious obstacle to little or not educated MPs.
                          Our parliament and executive should therefore, do the following:
1. Draft and pass abill (if not yet) for mandatory disarmament
2. Draft and pass another bill for reorganization of the deployment of the organized forces in the ten  states (meaning) at least 90% of the police, wild life, prison warden and fire marshals should comprise at least 50% from the nine states with only 10% should come from that state.
3. Change of lifestyle initiatives, such as dependently entirely on animal products needs to be phasely introduced to the communities whose sold life depends on the animals.
Similarly, agricultural communities should also be urgued to rare animals.
4. Religious leaders should also step up to the challenge because all happiness values are enshrined in all religious doctrines.
5. Any noncompliance group should not be lullabied but be dealt with to fullest extent of the law so other groups may learn from.
6. Finally, the central authorities at the state and national levels should not only provided fundings but keep in check, all the mechanisms employed in all the efforts in the regard.
Edward

The war of words between the recently-divided two Sudanese nations is escalating – with the President of Sudan saying war with the south is a ‘possibility’.

During an interview on state television, Omar Hassan al-Bashir insisted he wanted peace, but would go to war ‘if forced to’.

A dispute between the two countries over oil has been rumbling on for months.

Landlocked South Sudan has all the precious resource, but Sudan in the north has the ports and part of the pipeline passing through it.

The row is over fees Sudan believes it should be paid.

As the two have failed to agree a sum, Sudan has seized some of the oil in transit and detained some tankers during the export process.

South Sudan is accusing its northern neighbour of stealing 66 million euros worth of oil and stopped all production last weekend – affecting foreign companies. However, analysts predict the stoppage can not last more than five months.

http://www.euronews.net/2012/02/04/war-between-two-sudans-is-possibility/

Sudanese president: We are close to war with South Sudan

By JPOST.COM STAFF02/04/2012 07:23
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir warned Friday that his country is close to going to war against South Sudan, according to an AFP report.”The climate now is closer to a climate of war than one of peace,” said Bashir on national television.

Tension has been rising between the two countries since Sudan seized a shipment of 1.7 million barrels of South Sudanese oil.. In response to the move, South Sudan halted oil exports, which usually pass through Sudan, earning that country a substantial amount of money in taxes.

The countries are also locked in a border dispute over the oil-rich Abyei region, which both claim as their own sovereign territory.

Sudan’s Bashir says tensions with South could spark war
Fri Feb 3, 2012 8:50pm GMT

By Khalid Abdelaziz and Ulf Laessing

KHARTOUM Feb 3 (Reuters) – Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said on Friday tensions with South Sudan over oil transit payments could lead to war between the two countries.

Asked in an interview with state television whether war could break out with South Sudan, Bashir said: “There is a possibility.”

He said Sudan wanted peace but added: “We will go to war if we are forced to go to war.”

“If there will be war after the loss of oil it will be a war of attrition. But it will be a war of attrition hitting them before us,” he said.

South Sudan took away much of Sudan’s oil production when it split away from Khartoum as an independent country in July. Oil is the lifeline of both economies.

The landlocked South still needs to export its crude through the north’s port and pipelines. But the two countries went their separate ways without agreeing how much South Sudan was going to pay Sudan to use its oil infrastructure.

The crisis came to a head when Khartoum said in January it had seized some southern oil as compensation for unpaid fees. South Sudan responded by shutting down oil production.

Bashir accused Juba of shutting down the oil flow to provoke a collapse of the Sudanese government. Khartoum has been fighting an economic crisis since the loss of southern oil, sparking small protests against high food prices and corruption.

Bashir said it was clear Juba did not want to reach an oil deal after his southern counterpart Salva Kiir had refused to sign during a meeting with him a proposal made by the African Union in Addis Ababa last week.

“They (the South) didn’t sign and they will not sign,” Bashir said, adding that Khartoum was entitled to 74,000 barrels of day of southern oil. Juba pumped 350,000 bpd prior to the shutdown.

“This is our right,” he said.

There was no immediate comment from Juba. Kiir said on Thursday he had rejected the deal in Addis Ababa because it would have required the South to pay billions of dollars to Khartoum and keep exporting crude through Sudan.

South Sudan wants to develop an alternative pipeline to Kenya to bypass Sudan’s facilities but oil insiders are sceptical the project is viable.

ECONOMIC CRISIS

Bashir said the economic situation was difficult for Sudan this year but the country would boost current oil production of 115,000 bpd by 75,000 bpd. Sudan’s current output serves only domestic consumption.

Bashir said Sudan would also export gold worth $2.5 billion this year and expand the agricultural sector to compensate for the loss of oil. Experts have expressed doubts that raising gold exports and other plans to diversify the economy will offset the loss of oil revenues of $5 billion booked in 2010.

They say economic diversification has been hampered for years by corruption, misplanning and a U.S. embargo in place since 1997 for hosting militants such as Osama bin Laden in the past.

Apart from oil, the north and south also need to mark the 1,900 km (1,200 miles) long border and find a solution for the disputed region of Abyei. Khartoum also wants Juba to share Sudan’s external debt of $38 billion.

Both countries regularly trade accusations of supporting rebels on each other’s territory.

To read an analytical story about the conflict between Sudan and South Sudan double click on: (Reporting by Ulf Laessing and Khalid Abdelaziz)

http://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL5E8D33ZT20120203?sp=true


( Ryan Boyette / Associated Press ) – In this photo taken Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012, school Pastor Zachariah Boulus stands next to a building in the compound of the Heiban Bible College, following a bombing on Wednesday, at the school which was built by Samaritan’s Purse, a North Carolina-based aid group, in Heiban, Southern Kordofan, Sudan. Sudan’s military bombed the Bible school built by a U.S. Christian aid group, prompting students and teachers at the school to run for their lives in the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan state and the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations condemned the attack.

By Associated Press, Updated: Saturday, February 4, 10:01 AM

KHARTOUM, Sudan — A Sudanese newspaper says a military spokesman has denied that the country’s air force has bombed civilians in a southern province.The independent Akher Lahza daily ran the report Saturday, one day after teachers said that a Bible school had been attacked.
The paper quoted Col. Sawarmi Khalid Saad as saying that reports of civilians being targeted were “Western plots” to damage Sudan’s image.Pictures obtained by The Associated Press on Friday showed two demolished buildings in the Nuba mountains in South Kordofan state. No one was reported to have been hurt or killed in the Wednesday attack.U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice said she was outraged by the “heinous” bombing.The school was built by Samaritan’s Purse, a North Carolina-based aid group.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle-east/sudan-denies-targeting-civilians-in-southern-province-after-us-built-school-reported-bombed/2012/02/04/gIQArTQPpQ_story.html

Sudan: Statement by the Press Secretary on Aerial Bombardments in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile States

2 FEBRUARY 2012

PRESS RELEASE

Washington, DC — The United States strongly condemns the bombing by the Sudanese Armed Forces of civilian populations in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile States in Sudan. Aerial attacks on civilian targets are unjustified and unacceptable. Such attacks are a violation of international law and compound the ongoing crisis in these areas.

We continue to be deeply concerned by the ongoing fighting and lack of humanitarian access in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile States in Sudan, which is causing tremendous human suffering, death, and displacement.

In particular, we urge the Sudanese government to grant immediate and unconditional humanitarian access to civilian populations in need in these areas. More than 500,000 people are affected by this conflict, and without humanitarian access by March, the situation in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile will reach Stage 4 of a humanitarian emergency, one step short of full-scale famine. We believe that this conflict can only be resolved by dialogue, not through violence, and we encourage all parties to negotiate a peaceful settlement.

Washington Post – ‎
KHARTOUM, Sudan — A Sudanese newspaper says a military spokesman has denied that the country’s air force has bombed civilians in a southern province. The independent Akher Lahza daily ran the report Saturday, one day after teachers said that a Bible 
New York Times –
Sudan’s military bombed a Bible school built by an American Christian group in the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan State. Two stone school buildings were demolished in the attack on the school, Heiban Bible College, which was built by Samaritan’s 
Voice of America – ‎‎
February 03, 2012 Aid Groups Ask US to Consider Cross-Border Aid Effort in Sudan James Butty A coalition of human rights groups Thursday has appealed to the Obama administration to lead a cross-border aid operation into South Sudan to deliver 
NPR – ‎‎
by AP NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Sudan’s military bombed a Bible school built by a US Christian aid group, prompting students and teachers at the school to run for their lives in the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan state. The US ambassador to the United 
News24 – ‎Feb 3, 2012‎
Nairobi – Officials say that Sudan’s military has bombed a Bible school built by a US Christian aid group, prompting students and teachers at the school to run for their lives in the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan state.
Huffington Post – ‎Feb 3, 2012‎
JASON STRAZIUSO 02/ 3/12 12:43 PM ET AP NAIROBI, Kenya — Sudan’s military bombed a Bible school built by a US Christian aid group, prompting students and teachers at the school to run for their lives in the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan state.
Reuters Africa – ‎Feb 2, 2012‎
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States accused Sudan’s government on Thursday of carrying out air strikes on civilians in the restive border states of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile and said the attacks were compounding a crisis in the two areas.
Christian Broadcasting Network –
A Christian school built by Franklin Graham’s charity Samaritan’s Purse was bombed in Sudan, Friday. Eight bombs were dropped on the Heiban Bible College in South Kordofan state near the border with South Sudan. Two school buildings were destroyed in 
StarAfrica.com – ‎Feb 3, 2012‎
WASHINGTON, February 3, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The United States strongly condemns the bombing by the Sudanese Armed Forces of civilian populations in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile States in Sudan. Aerial attacks on civilian 
Zawya (registration) – ‎Feb 2, 2012‎
WASHINGTON, Feb 03, 2012 (AFP) – The White House on Thursday condemned the “unjustified and unacceptable” bombing of civilians by the Sudanese military in the states of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile. President Barack Obama’s spokesman Jay Carney 

Chinese workers who escaped after being abducted sit after arriving at Khartoum Airport January 30, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer

 BEIJING | Sat Feb 4, 2012 12:09am EST

(Reuters) – Sudanese rebels said they are looking for ways to hand over 29 Chinese workers held in the border state of South Kordofan, Chinese state media said, as Sudan’s government confirmed the death of one worker in a firefight.

The construction workers were captured last Saturday and are apparently being held as pawns in a dispute between Sudan and rebels allied with the newly independent and oil-rich South Sudan.

“Presently we are looking for a way … to release these Chinese workers, set a date for their release and the party to which they are to be handed over,” Arno Taloudy, a rebel spokesman, told China’s state news agency Xinhua.

Chinese officials had returned to Khartoum from Juba, the capital of South Sudan, and had been urging the rebels through “various channels” to release the workers, beginning with two women being held, Xinhua reported late on Friday.

The case marks the third abduction of Chinese in Sudan since 2004 and highlights the risks to China’s expanding economic footprint in Africa, particularly in troublespots often shunned by Western companies.

On Wednesday, China secured the release of two dozen Chinese cement factory workers who were kidnapped in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, a day after being taken hostage by Bedouin tribesmen, Chinese and Egyptian media reported.

Beijing is facing immense pressure to secure the safe return of the workers. State-owned newspapers have called for more protection for its overseas workers as the world’s second-largest economy expands its investments around the globe.

One worker, previously said to be missing after rescuers came under attack, had been killed by a stray bullet, a Sudanese official said, according to the mouthpiece of China’s ruling Communist Party, the People’s Daily.

The official said the body could not be recovered because the area was riddled with land mines, but that authorities had made an “initial determination” of the location of the other Chinese workers, as well as seven Sudanese also captured.

An earlier account from Xinhua quoted the Chinese embassy in Sudan as saying rebels from the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) attacked a total of 47 Chinese workers last Saturday.

Eighteen managed to flee the scene of the attack and all but one of those were taken to safety after the rescue attempt on Sunday. One worker from that group, now dead, had been shot and deemed missing.

Abdalla Masar, a Sudanese government spokesman, told Xinhua that Sudan had not received terms for release and had had no communication with the rebels.

“We never deal with this movement because it is illegal and outlawed,” he said.

Sudan and South Sudan, which seceded in July, are at odds over issues including oil revenues. Each accuses the other of supporting insurgencies.

China has sought to maintain good relations with Sudan, a long-time ally, and South Sudan, home to investments by state-owned Chinese oil giants China National Petroleum Corp and Sinopec.

(Reporting by Michael Martina and Sabrina Mao; Editing by Nick Macfie)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/04/us-china-sudan-idUSTRE81305R20120204

Shootout at South Sudan peace meeting kills dozens
CNN International
(CNN) — At least 37 people were killed during a shootout at a meeting to resolve cattle disputes inSouth Sudan, officials said Saturday, the latest in a spate of violence in the world’s newest nation. One UN officer was wounded during the meeting at 

International Organization for Migration South Sudan
Afrique en Ligue
IOM Director-General tours South Sudan – The Director-General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), William Lacy Swing, arrived in Juba, South Sudan, Thursday on the third leg of his visit to East Africa. Ambassador Swing had earlier 

Sudan rebels “seeking way” to hand over abducted Chinese
Reuters
The construction workers were captured last Saturday and are apparently being held as pawns in a dispute between Sudan and rebels allied with the newly independent and oil-rich South Sudan. “Presently we are looking for a way … to release these 

Sudan denies bombing civilians in south
Atlanta Journal Constitution
Sudan’s military bombed the Bible school built by a US Christian aid group, prompting students and teachers at the school to run for their lives in the Nuba Mountains ofSouth Kordofan state and the US ambassador to the United Nations condemned the ..