Archive for March 24, 2012

South Sudan Says Will Not Arrest Bashir during Visit to Juba

Posted: March 24, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

By Naharnet


South Sudan said Saturday it will not arrest Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes, during an upcoming visit to the newly independent nation.

South Sudan said fears by former civil war foe Sudan that Bashir would be arrested when he visits Juba on April 3 were unfounded as he had been invited by his southern counterpart Salva Kiir.

“That itself is an assurance. You don’t invite someone as a trick,” Pagan Amum, the secretary general of the South’s ruling SPLM party told reporters upon his return from Khartoum where he delivered Kiir’s invitation to Bashir.

“President Bashir will be protected as a guest of state, as a head of state and the government of South Sudan is under the obligation to… build peaceful relations with the republic of Sudan and that is the business that President Bashir is coming for,” he added.

Members of Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) have voiced concerns that the invitation is a ruse by South Sudan to avenge decades of civil war in which an estimated two million people died.

“I would like to allay all the fears by NCP or by any concerned South Sudanese that the aim of inviting President Bashir is because we have business that is not finished. It is a business of peace, it is a business of interest of the people of South Sudan,” Amum said.

Amum, the South’s top negotiator in African Union-led talks on outstanding issues between the two countries after the south’s independence last July, said Bashir had accepted Kiir’s invitation.

The two leaders will sign an agreement struck at the latest round of AU talks in Ethiopia to demarcate an oil-rich border area and safeguard the rights of citizens in each other’s countries.

Relations between Sudan and South Sudan worsened in late January, when the south shut down oil production that accounts for 98 percent of its revenues in a fierce oil row in which Juba accused Khartoum of “stealing” its crude.

The two nations are still at odds over the South’s use of Khartoum’s pipeline and refinery to export its oil.

Amum said that after the first deals were signed, the two presidents would meet with the AU and negotiating teams to work on agreements about the thorny issues of oil and contested border areas.

“Then they can proceed in this new positive environment to discuss all the issues and help reach agreement with in a very clear time frame, hopefully a month or two. This is the result of our mission to Khartoum and the letter that we delivered to Bashir,” he said.

South Sudan hopes to end oil row within “a month or two”

Chicago Tribune – ‎‎
JUBA (Reuters) – South Sudan hopes to resolve a row over oil and other outstanding issues with Sudan within a month or two, South Sudan’s top negotiator said on Saturday, pointing to an easing of tensions between the two old civil war foes.
AFP – ‎
JUBA — South Sudan said Saturday it will not arrest Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes, during an upcoming visit to the newly independent nation. South Sudan said fears by former civil war foe 
East African – ‎
By A JOINT REPORT (email the author) The aftermath of South Sudan’s cessation coupled with political turmoil in the Arab world, have left the Khartoum government feeling isolated and economically vulnerable. At a recent conference on infrastructure and 
Washington Post – ‎
JUBA, South Sudan — On the day South Sudan became independent last year, China opened an embassy here, eager to protect its oil interests. It quickly dispatched its foreign minister and began discussing a huge aid package for this destitute land.
Ahram Online – ‎Mar 23, 2012‎
For a while, it seemed that Sudan and South Sudan were about to find a way to get along. An agreement signed in Addis Ababa was supposed to end border tensions, settle the status of expatriates across borders, and pave the way for in-depth talks about 
Capital FM Kenya – ‎Mar 23, 2012‎
Sudan, Mar 22 – South Sudan on Thursday invited its “brother”, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, to an April summit to resolve outstanding issues that have pushed the two countries to the brink of war. “We delivered the message to President Bashir and 

March 24, 2012

JUBA (Reuters) – South Sudan hopes to resolve a row over oil and other outstanding issues with Sudan within a month or two, South Sudan’s top negotiator said on Saturday, pointing to an easing of tensions between the two old civil war foes.The new nation also said it would not arrest Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of genocide and other crimes, when he visits the southern capital Juba next month.

South Sudan seceded from Sudan in July under a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war, but the two have continued to argue over issues including how much the landlocked South should pay to use Sudan’s oil facilities for export.The dispute pushed Juba to shut down its 350,000 barrel per day oil production in January.

But the two sides have made some headway in recent weeks, agreeing to provisional deals that allow for protection of citizens residing in one another’s countries and lay out plans to demarcate much of the poorly-drawn border.

Both presidents are set to meet in Juba on April 3 to sign the documents and discuss other unresolved issues including the status of the contested Abyei region and the oil dispute.

“They can proceed in this new positive environment to discuss all the issues and hopefully reach agreement within a very clear time frame, hopefully a month or two,” Pagan Amum, South Sudan’s chief negotiator, told reporters in Juba.

Amum said Bashir would not be arrested during his visit. South Sudan is not a signatory to the ICC’s Rome Statute, which compels members to arrest suspects.

“President Salva Kiir has provided assurance as he is the head of state inviting president Bashir and that in itself is an assurance. You don’t invite somebody as a trick,” Amum said.

Sudan does not acknowledge the ICC and says the accusations are politically motivated.

(Reporting by Hereward Holland; Editing by Alexander Dziadosz and Karolina Tagaris)

China in a tug of war between two Sudans
Washington Post
Juba, South Sudan — Soon after South Sudan became independent last year, China opened an embassy here, eager to protect its oil interests. It quickly dispatched its foreign minister and began discussing a huge aid package for this destitute land.
China walks political tight rope in Sudan’s oil fight
Washington Post
High-stakes feuding between Sudan and the new nation of South Sudan has cut off a source of oil to fuel China’s booming economy, while putting at risk billions in Chinese investments. Source: BP Statistical Review of World Energy, June 2011.
Protecting the Children of South Sudan
SOS Children’s Villages (press release) (blog)
March 23, 2012: There was a time in history when some children in Sudan were disfigured for their own protection. This is no longer the case, but child protection inSouth Sudan is still as important as ever. Akwoch Ayang, SOS Village Director with a
Jonglei peace to begin soon: South Sudan Archbishop says
Sudan Tribune
March 23, 2012 (ST) The committee presented Jonglei governor, Kuol Manyang, with the President of South Sudan’s, plans on how the committee should approach peace in the conflict torn state, where a disarmament campaign is taking place.

Relations with South Sudan needs improvement
Luanda – The relations between Angola and South Sudan need to be strengthened in various domains, due to the poor or non-existing bilateral co-operation, Angop learnt. This was said by the head of the Sub-Saharan department of the Angolan Foreign 

South Sudanese in Israel no longer refugees’
Jerusalem Post
By BEN HARTMAN South Sudanese child slave turned refugee turned Israel advocate and Coney Island lifeguard says South Sudanese are no longer refugees, but should be given more time to return home. By Courtesy Now that they have their own state South 

Central Africa: AU to Send 5000 Soldiers to Pursue Uganda’s LRA Rebels
The newly established unit will be comprised of 5000 soldiers from Uganda, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Central Africa Republic (CAR). These are the nations that have been most affected by more than two decades of LRA 
African Union launches US-backed force to hunt Kony
The AU force aims to coordinate soldiers already hunting for Kony from South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Central African Republic (CAR) and Uganda with logistical and intelligence help from Washington. In October, US President Barack 

The Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), in co-operation with African Studies Centre, Oxford University, is initiating a project entitled “The Dynamics of State Failure and Violence (DSFV)”. The research under the project will include a doctoral sub-project and we are inviting applications for a three-year position as a doctoral research fellow. The candidate will be selected on the basis of his/her skills and experience, and the quality and relevance of the proposed doctoral project.

Candidates for the position must
1) hold a Master’s degree in History or finish the degree before October 2012;
2) have academic experience with themes addressed in the DSFV project;
3) command of South Sudan recent history and knowledge of negotiation theory; and
4) be fluent in English. Preferably candidates should also have experience from archival research and oral history in Africa. A functional command of written Norwegian may be an advantage, but absolutely no requirement.
In exceptional instances other candidates may be considered.

The proposed doctoral sub-project should
1) outline a research topic related to peace and conflict in South Sudan in the period 1955-2005;
2) involve substantial archival research and collection of oral evidence in South Sudan and other relevant countries; and
3) contribute towards the theoretical and historiographical aims of the DSFV project.

See further details about the DSFV project’s analytical framework, and the expected content of the doctoral sub-project proposal.

The DSFV project is led by senior researcher Øystein H. Rolandsen and located within PRIO’s Centre for the Study of Civil War. DSVF is a collaborative project and the doctoral research fellow will be encouraged to spend a part of the project period at a collaborating institution.

PRIO will be the doctoral research fellow’s workplace and provide the funding for the position and for a reasonable amount of fieldwork, but the degree must be awarded by a university. The doctoral research fellow will be responsible for applying to, and enrolling in a compatible PhD programme, as well as cover any school fees (Enrolment in Ph.D. programmes at Norwegian Universities does not require any fees).

PRIO is an independent research institute and combines long-term academically oriented research with short-term policy-oriented projects. The institute encourages academic publishing of research results at the highest international level. PRIO is located in attractive premises in central Oslo. PRIO is committed to promoting the careers of female researchers and to foster a more ethnically diverse work force at the institute.

The initial salary for a doctoral researcher without relevant seniority is step 49 in the Norwegian state salary system (annual salary of app.: EURO 52 500).

The applications should include:
• Application form (Word file)
• Cover letter, addressing the required personal qualifications listed above
• CV, including a list of publications
• Copies of certifications of university exams
• One sample of academic writing
• Proposal for the doctoral sub-project (5-10 pages)
• Names and contact information of two referees

The application should be sent by e-mail, preferably as one PDF file, to The application deadline is 23 April 2012. The successful applicant is expected to start no later than 1 October 2012. Further questions regarding the PhD may be directed to Andrew John Feltham:

If you have not received an e-mail confirming that we have received your application within two working days, please contact PRIO immediately.

China walks political tightrope in Sudan’s oil fight

High-stakes feuding between Sudan and the new nation of South Sudan has cut off a source of oil to fuel China’s booming economy, while putting at risk billions in Chinese investments. Read related article.

China walks political tightrope in Sudan
Source: BP Statistical Review of World Energy, June 2011. The Washington Post. Published on March 23, 2012, 9:21 p.m.
China in a tug of war between two Sudans

Sudarsan Raghavan/The Washington Post – In early March, Sudan allegedly bombed a remote oil field at El Nar, nine miles from the jagged, contested border between Sudan and South Sudan, sending Chinese and other foreign oil workers scattering for their lives.

By Sudarsan Raghavan and Andrew Higgins, Published: March 23

Juba, South Sudan— Soon after South Sudan became independent last year, China opened an embassy here, eager to protect its oil interests. It quickly dispatched its foreign minister and began discussing a huge aid package for this destitute land.Just a few months later, Beijing finds itself trapped in a bitter wrangle between South Sudan and its former rulers in Sudan, with both countries pressing Beijing to take their side.

The dispute has cut off a significant source of oil to fuel China’s booming economy and imperiled billions of dollars in Chinese investments. It has also threatened Beijing’s diplomatic and economic relations with both the countries and strained the boundaries of a long-standing Chinese policy of noninterference in the internal affairs of other nations.“This new reality has left China uncomfortably stuck in the middle of a tug of war,” said Zach Vertin, a Sudan analyst with the International Crisis Group, a nonprofit think tank. “Both sides have attempted to leverage the Chinese oil interest and draw them in line with their own interests.”

The saga playing out in one of the world’s poorest regions highlights the troubles an increasingly prosperous China faces as it tries to adjust to tumultuous change: from Sudan to Libya, Syria and Burma, Beijing has resisted what it portrays as Western-style meddling. But by staying on the sidelines, China has jeopardized its interests and image as a friend of the developing world. Many Arab nations, for example, were furious when China joined Russia in blocking United Nations action on Syria.

At the center of the struggle between the two Sudans is oil, which until last summer was controlled by Khartoum but which now lies mostly within the borders of the world’s newest state, the Republic of South Sudan. China is the biggest player in the oil industry on both sides of the frontier: It holds big stakes in the main oil fields in the south and in pipelines and other infrastructure in the north.

After years of providing diplomatic cover and weapons to a regime in Khartoum ostracized by the West, China must face up to a simple fact, said Pagan Amum, the secretary general of South Sudan’s ruling party: “The master has changed. It was Khartoum. Now it is Juba.”

China’s efforts to shift gears in Sudan began in 2005, with the signing of a peace deal between Khartoum and southern rebels. The agreement ended what was Africa’s longest civil war and paved the way for South Sudan’s independence in July. But officials today say that the Chinese have not done enough to erase suspicions rooted in Beijing’s long support for Sudan’s president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, an indicted war-crimes suspect who used Chinese-supplied arms in trying to prevent the south from seceding.

South Sudan, which depends on oil for 98 percent of its revenue, insists that it wants to remain partners with China. But South Sudanese officials warn that if Beijing does not align its interests with their country, they will seek out U.S. and Western oil companies.

In testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this month after a trip to South Sudan, Hollywood star George Clooney, a longtime critic of Bashir’s regime, noted that China’s massive investment in Sudan makes Beijing crucial to settling continuing violence in the region. China, he said, has invested about $20 billion, but “right now they are getting nothing from this” because of feuding between Khartoum and Juba. Clooney and several members of Congress were later arrested during a protest at the Sudanese Embassy in Washington.Khartoum, which depends heavily on Chinese investment, trade and aid, is determined to keep Beijing on its side. The government dispatched a senior envoy to Beijing last month and has exerted influence over Chinese-led oil consortiums, which pump most of their oil in the south but still need the north to get it to China.

The south has refused to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties for using Sudan’s pipelines, saying that the fees were exorbitant. Sudan responded by seizing oil tankers carrying South Sudanese crude and imposed a blockade on the export of the oil. Last month, South Sudan shut down its oil production, roughly 350,000 barrels a day, after accusing Sudan of stealing $815 million worth of its oil.South Sudan says it will pay less than $1 a barrel in fees to transport oil through the north’s pipelines. Khartoum says it wants $36 a barrel and $1 billion in back payments. The two sides are even fighting in a London court, as South Sudan seeks to recover money from the sale of the seized crude.

South Sudan said recently that it intends to build a pipeline that would head south to Kenya. It is not clear who would fund such a massive project, but, if built, the pipeline would sharply reduce Juba’s dependence on the north — and the value of China’s huge investment in existing pipelines to Sudan’s Chinese-built oil export terminal on the Red Sea.

An old alliance under threat

It was inevitable that China would get tangled in the dispute. The state-owned China National Petroleum Corp., or CNPC, has a big stake in most of the biggest oil concessions. The oil from both Sudans represents at least 5 percent of China’s global crude imports.

This is much less than what China imports from Angola but is still important, especially as it is produced mainly by Chinese companies that are controlled by the state and, thus, in Beijing’s view, are more reliable. Angola’s oil, by contrast, is largely pumped by Western companies.

China also has great leverage over Sudan. Beijing provides massive loans to the north; oil and trade bring in billions more in foreign currency, vital to run Sudan’s economy and to buy weapons.

CNPC, whose boss in Beijing is appointed by the ruling Communist Party, declined to comment for this report. The company requested and received written questions but did not respond. In public comments, Chinese officials have sought to maintain neutrality, saying that both Sudans “can only achieve common development through peaceful co-existence.”

In Juba, officials stressed that China should make greater efforts to persuade Khartoum to accept South Sudan’s position. “We are not asking China to help us. We are asking China to help itself with its friend,” Amum said. He made clear that Juba would no longer tolerate China’s alliance with Khartoum.“They are used to looking north,” he said. “They are now being told to turn around, southward.”

There are signs that China’s previously rock-solid support for Khartoum might be softening. In a recent interview with Qatar’s al-Raya newspaper, Bashir complained that Beijing had cancelled a loan to his government for a big agricultural development project. China pulled out, the Sudanese president said, because Khartoum was due to repay the money with oil shipments, which had been disrupted by the south’s independence.Even so, it is unlikely, analysts said, that China would jilt Khartoum for Juba — that would probably alarm other repressive and corrupt regimes, such as those in Angola and Equatorial Guinea, where China has forged highly profitable oil relationships.

“The Chinese are not going to throw away old friends,” Vertin said. “They won’t abandon Sudan. That would be a bad precedent for them.”

Sudan also has some powerful and so far loyal friends in Beijing, though how long this lasts may depend as much on the labyrinthine internal politics of the Communist Party as events in Africa. One of Khartoum’s biggest backers in Beijing for years has been Zhou Yongkang, a member of the party’s Politburo Standing Committee responsible for security. In recent days, however, rumors — all unconfirmed — have swirled in Beijing that Zhou is in deep political trouble after the purge last week of a senior party official with whom he is thought to have been allied.

Zhou used to be the head of CNPC, the state oil company, and led its push into Sudan’s oil sector in the 1990s after American and other Western companies pulled out. He has visited Khartoum repeatedly.

China’s predicament

Amid mounting anger in Juba over China’s continuing coziness with Khartoum, South Sudan on Feb. 20 expelled Liu Yingcai, the head of Petrodar, a consortium that is majority owned by CNPC.

In a letter, the Juba government accused Liu of colluding with Khartoum to steal South Sudan’s oil and of not fully cooperating with orders to shut down oil production. Petrodar, in a statement, denied the allegations. The consortium said it had ordered staff members “not to comply with the forced lifting” of oil, which it said was done by members of Sudan’s national security forces.

Now, South Sudan has launched an investigation of Petrodar to determine the extent of its role in the oil theft. Juba is also probing the actions of the Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Co., an oil consortium that is 40 percent owned by China and that also may have helped Khartoum steal oil. If the consortiums are found sufficiently guilty, Amum said, their contracts could be terminated.

“It will be an opportunity for others, with possibly even better technology, to come in,” Amum said. “If the Chinese are not with us, we will have another very good story, too. With the Chinese or with others, we will prosper.”

As tensions between the two Sudans grow, China’s predicament becomes more precarious. Last month, Sudan allegedly bombed an oil field at El Nar in South Sudan, nine miles from the jagged, contested border between the two countries, sending Chinese and other foreign workers maintaining the oil wells scrambling for their lives.

“They bombed this place because of the oil,” said Miakol Lual, a local tribal chief. The attack destroyed portions of the oil infrastructure.

“It’s a message to all foreigners: ‘You deal with us, not the other side,’ ” said a foreign supervisor who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to talk to the media. Khartoum has denied attacking the field.

In Juba, Chinese expatriates are growing anxious. In January, rebels linked to South Sudan kidnapped 29 Chinese workers in Sudan, releasing them last month. The Chinese Embassy has ordered all its nationals to stay in at night and not discuss anything sensitive with locals.

“Everyone is worried about the situation,” said a Chinese telecommunications worker who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he feared he would get fired. “If things get worse, we have made preparations to move out of here.”