Posts Tagged ‘addis ababa ethiopia’

In Sudan, Give War a Chance

Posted: May 5, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in World


Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

LESS than a year after South Sudandeclared its independence, it appears headed for war once again with its northern neighbor, Sudan. At the same time, marginalized northerners are rebelling against the government of Sudan’s president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir. The international community has called for a cease-fire and peace talks, but the return of violence is not necessarily a bad thing. Soldiers killing one another in war would be far less devastating than thousands of women and children starving to death while waiting for a negotiated peace that will never come.

Mr. Bashir’s government cannot be trusted. It has for years systematically betrayed its agreements — signing dozens of treaties and then violating them. Paradoxically, an all-out civil war in Sudan may be the best way to permanently oust Mr. Bashir and minimize casualties. If a low-intensity conflict rages on, it will lead to a humanitarian disaster.

South Sudan seceded from the rest of the country last year in what once seemed a radical solution. But the conflict has continued. This is because Sudan’s wars have for too long been mistakenly seen as a result of tension between a Muslim north and a Christian south. According to this logic, separating them would bring peace.

But this logic was flawed. Sudan’s recurring wars don’t stem from religious conflict but from the Arab government’s exploitation of various non-Arab groups on the country’s periphery — including the southern Christians and predominantly Muslim groups like the Darfuris in the west, the Bejas in the east, the Nubians in the north and the Nuba in Kordofan. These peripheral regions have been exploited by Khartoum since the 19th century. But until recently, the South was the only region aware of this exploitation because it was neither Arab nor Islamic.

The rest of the country lived for more than 150 years under the illusion that it shared fundamental values with the Arab center. It was only when black Muslim soldiers were sent south to kill their black Christian compatriots in the name of Islamic purity that they began to realize that Islam did not give them any advantage in terms of education, health and economic status over the “heathens” they were ordered to kill.

The American-sponsored comprehensive peace agreement of 2005 was supposed to cure Sudan’s endemic conflict, but it used the wrong medicine. The agreement was signed by only two sides: the Muslim north and the Christian south. That left fully one-third of the Sudanese people — the African Muslims — without a political leg to stand on. And it is that forgotten third that is now fighting the Sudanese government because, after years of serving as its house servants and foot soldiers, they have come to realize that they will never be anything but second-class citizens, despite their Islamic faith.

Although the Arab world has been shaken by a series of upheavals, Sudan has remained the odd man out. Islamists continue to rule Sudan after 23 years of failure. They promised to end the civil war but instead militarized the country, killed more than two million people, ruined the non-oil economy, gutted civil liberties and gagged the press and academia. After losing the war (and the north’s oil resources), they realized they had no plan B. Their only recourse was to vilify African Muslim rebels as traitors, denounce southern Christians as instigators of the Muslim revolt and promise more repression.

Whenever foreign leaders demand greater respect for human rights or peace talks, Sudan always agrees, because agreeing makes the international community happy. But we forget too quickly. A year ago northern Sudanese forces invaded the disputed town of Abyei on the eve of South Sudan’s independence; they later agreed to withdraw, but they never left.

The status quo is not working, regardless of what American and United Nations officials might believe. Mr. Bashir recently referred to the black leaders of South Sudan as “insects” and insisted that Sudan must “eliminate this insect completely.” For those who remember Rwanda and the racist insults hurled by Mr. Bashir’s janjaweed militias during their brutal attacks in Darfur, his vile words should be a wake-up call. Indeed, without some moral common ground, “negotiations” are merely a polite way of acquiescing to evil, especially when one’s interlocutors are pathologically incapable of respecting their own word. And in the case of a murderer like Mr. Bashir, there is no moral common ground.

Sudan has now reached its point of no return. Many Arabs across northern Sudan have become fed up with the jingoistic frenzy now being deployed by their exhausted tyranny and are quietly waiting for a chance to join the revolt begun by non-Arab Muslims.

The rebels battling Mr. Bashir’s government are waging a real battle for freedom, and their de facto alliance with southern Christians could finally bring Sudan’s endless conflict to a close. War is a tragic affair, but the brave Sudanese men who have chosen it as a last resort deserve to be allowed to find their own way toward a Sudanese Spring, even if it is a violent one.

Gérard Prunier, the former director of the French Center for Ethiopian Studies, in Addis Ababa, is the author of “Darfur: A 21st Century Genocide.”

Prunier’s war appetite

By Magdi El Gizouli

May 7, 2012 — Gérard Prunier, the prominent French historian of East Africa, published a piece in the New York Times on 5 May under the title ‘In Sudan: Give War a Chance’ reposted on Sudan Tribune. Prunier presented his readers with a Rwandan history of Sudan as it were. In his mind the ills of Sudan stem from an essential racial conflict between Arabs and Africans, one that that the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) could not resolve since only religion was considered in its fashioning. The CPA, wrote Prunier, “was signed by only two sides: the Muslim north and the Christian south. That left fully one-third of the Sudanese people – the African Muslims – without a political leg to stand on”.

From this premise Prunier arrived at the conclusion that the way ahead is to support the African Muslim rebels fighting the government in alliance with the southern Christians. “War is a tragic affair, but the brave Sudanese men who have chosen it as a last resort deserve to be allowed to find their own way toward a Sudanese Spring, even if it is a violent one”, he opined. What Prunier is advocating for, without reservations, is a race war where the Sudanese fight it out to redemption as Africans and Arabs. He, I suppose, would have the privilege to observe, count the dead, and eventually publish a bestseller.

Race has been and continues to be invoked by Khartoum’s rulers and their rebel contenders in the Sudanese peripheries. It was exactly in the terms that Prunier now advocates that the Khartoum regime portrayed the confrontation with the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement (SPLA/M) in the 1983-2005 round of the Sudanese civil war fought predominantly in southern Sudan but with lasting extensions in the Nuba Mountains and the Blue Nile of northern Sudan, areas where the SPLA/M found similarly aggrieved allies among the Nuba and the Ingessena. The SPLA/M’s attempt to open a front in Darfur among the Fur and the Masalit was not as successful. An invading SPLA force of Dinka under the joint command of Abd al-Aziz al-Hilu, an ethnic Maslati and the man who now leads the northern faction of the SPLA/M in South Kordofan, and Dawoud Yahia Bolad, an ethnic Fur and disaffected Islamist, was rapidly crushed by a force of locally recruited Bani Halba in 1991. The invocation of race in Darfur demonstrated its full wrath in the war that began in 2003.

What deserves investigation is not only the resort to race by rebel groups seeking to solidify and extend their constituencies or by a government threatened by an arc of rebellions but the brave resistance of a critical mass of the Sudanese to the lure of racist mobilisation. In Darfur, where racial polarization in northern Sudan proved most devastating, the Rizeigat of South Darfur preferred to preserve the peace with their Fur neighbours over Khartoum’s war commission, even after rebel fighters of the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) raided Dar Rizeigat in 2004. Angered by the brazen defiance of the Rizeigat nazir, Said Madibbu, Khartoum upgraded the sheikh of the neighbouring Maaliya, traditionally a client of the Rizeigat chieftaincy, to the rank of nazir in 2005. The government intervention empowered the Maaliya to claim land ownership rights in areas that the Rizeigat consider to be under lease to the Maaliya but ultimately their own. What followed was a neglected chapter of Darfur’s ‘other war’ to use Julie Flint’s depiction. The Rizeigat and the Maaliya, two peoples that classify under Prunier’s Muslim Arabs, engaged in episodic deadly raids until a settlement was reached between the two sides with cynical government mediation in 2009.

The distinction between the readiness of the northern Rizeigat, the landless camel nomads of northern Darfur, to serve Khartoum’s purposes and the unwillingness of their kin, the southern Rizeigat, the land-endowed cattle nomads of southern Darfur, to do the same might appear to Prunier and those who share his views an insignificant detail that does not disturb the race blueprint. To the Sudanese who are ready to imagine a future beyond the determinacy of war it bespeaks of the harsh political economy that underlies the country’s incessant conflicts.

The author is a fellow of the Rift Valley Institute. He publishes regular opinion articles and analyses at his blog Still Sudan. He can be reached at,42515



24 APRIL 2012


The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 319th meeting held,at ministerial level, on 24 April 2012, adopted the following decision on the situation between the Republic of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan:

1. Takes note of theparagraphs on the situation between Sudan and South Sudan, as contained in the report of the Chairperson of the Commission on the situation in Guinea Bissau, Mali and between Sudan and South Sudan, and the briefing given by former President Pierre Buyoya on behalf of the AU High‐Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP). Council also takes noteof the statements made by the representatives of the Republic of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan, as well as by IGAD, the United Nations and other bilateral and multilateral partners;
2. Recalls thecommuniqués adopted at its 310thand 317thmeetings, held on 14 February and 12 April 2012, respectively, as well as the press statements issued by the Chairperson of the Commission on 11, 17 and 22 April2012. Council also recalls the communiqué issued by the 3rd meeting of the Sudan‐South Sudan Consultative Forum, held in Addis Ababa on 29 March 2012, under the auspices of the AU and the UN;
3. Expressesgrave concern at the prevailing situation along the border between Sudan and South Sudan, which poses a seriousthreat to peace and security in both countries and in the region as a whole,undermines the economic viability of the two countries, as well as the rights and welfare of their citizens;
4. Further expresses deep concernat the humanitarian situationcreated by the fighting between Sudan and South Sudan, the aerial bombardments, the continued fighting in the states of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, in Sudan, as well as the fate of the nationals of bothcountries resident in each other’s territory, following the end of the transition period that occurred on 8 April 2012;
5. Welcomes the withdrawalfrom Hegligofthe army of South Sudan andcalls for the immediate cessation of aerial bombardments by the Sudan Armed Forces against South Sudan.
6. Strongly condemnsthe violations of human rights of non‐combatants in the affected area, the damage to economic infrastructure,in particular oil installations, and the inflammatory statements from both sides in the media resulting in mutual demonization andthe threat of hostile action by extremist elements, including xenophobic attacks;
7. Reaffirms its strong commitment to the respect for the unity and territorial integrity ofSudan and South Sudan and the inviolability of the border between the two countries, defined as that existing at the time of Sudan’s independence on 1 January 1956, taking into account the disputed areas as agreed in the deliberations of the Technical ad hocBoundary Committee. Council reiteratesthat the territorial boundaries of statesshall not be altered by force, and that any territorial disputes shall be settled exclusively by peaceful means;
8. Recalls the provisions of theConstitutive Act of the African Union, as well as the Charterof the United Nations, which prohibit the use of force or the threat of force among Member States and call for non‐interference in the internal affairs of Member States and for peaceful settlement of all disputes;
9. Welcomes the continuing efforts of Africa and the rest of the international community to support the Parties in addressing the legacy of conflict and bitterness in Sudan, notably through the conclusion of the January 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), its implementation, in particular the holding of the referendum on self‐determination of South Sudan, and the negotiations on post‐secession relations. Councilcommends the efforts of the AUHIP, headed by former President Thabo Mbeki and including former Presidents AbdulsalamiAbubakar and Pierre Buyoya, the Chairperson of IGAD, Prime Minister MelesZenawi, the United Nations Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, Haile Menkerios, and the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) under the leadership of Lieutenant General Tesfay Tadesse, as well as the support provided by AU’s partners, including the Troika on Sudan (Norway, United Kingdom and the USA), the members of the Security Council, the European Union (EU) and the League of Arab States;
10. Expresses Africa’s dismay and deep disappointment at the failure of the leadership in both countries, to build on the goodwill of Africa and the rest of the international community, as well as on the achievements they have already made,to address their post‐secession relations,live up to their stated commitment to the principle of two viable states, in peace with one another, and create the necessary conditions of peace, security and stability to meet the most basic needs of their peoples;
11. Expresses deep concernat the failure of the Parties to implement agreements that they themselves have freely entered into, in particular the Agreement on the Temporary Arrangements for the Administration and Security of the Abyei Area of 20 June 2011, the Agreement on Border Security and the Joint Political and Security Mechanism (JPSM) of 29 June 2011, the Agreement on the Border Monitoring Support Mission of 30 July 2011, the decisions of the JPSM of 18 September 2011, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Non‐ Aggression and Cooperation of 10 February 2012;
12. Decides,in light of the above,to adopt the Roadmap outlined below, for implementation by both Sudan and South Sudan, in order to ease the current tension, facilitate the resumption of negotiations on post‐secession relations and the normalization of their relations:
(i) immediate cessation of all hostilities, including aerial bombardments, with the Parties formally conveying their commitment in this respect to the Chairperson of the Commission, within 48 hours;
(ii) unconditionalwithdrawalof all of their armed forces to their side of the border,in accordance with previously adopted Agreements, including the Agreement on the Border Monitoring Support Mission of 30 July 2011;
(iii) activation, within a week from the adoption of this decision, of the necessary border security mechanisms, namely the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mission (JBVMM), the Secure Demilitarized Border Zone (SDBZ), in accordance with the administrative and security map presented to the Parties by the AUHIP in November 2011, it being understood that this map in no way prejudices ongoing negotiations on the disputed areas and demarcation of the border. In this respect, Council calls on UNISFA to take the necessary steps to provide force protection and logistical support, in accordance with relevant provisions of UN Security Council resolution 2024 (2012);
(iv) cessation ofharbouring of, or support to, rebel groups against the other state;
(v) activation of the ad hoc Committee, under the JPSM, to receive and investigate complaints and allegations made by one party against the other. In this regard, Councilrequests the AUHIP to convene a meeting of the JPSM, within ten (10) days of the adoption of the present decision;
(vi) immediate cessation of hostile propaganda and inflammatory statements in the media, as well as of any attacks against the property, religious and cultural symbols belonging to the nationals of the other State. To this end, the two governments must take full responsibility for the protection of each other’s nationals in line with international principles, as agreed in the Framework Agreement initialed in March 2012. In this regard, Council requests the Commission, in close collaboration with the United Nations and relevant agencies, to design a monitoring mechanism to verify compliance by both Parties; and
(vii) implementation ofpending aspects of the 20 June 2011 Agreement on Temporary Security and Administrative Arrangements for theAbyei Area, in particular the redeployment, within two weeks, of all Sudanese and South Sudanese forces out ofAbyei. Council requests UNISFA to report on compliance with this decision, for further action by Council as necessary;
13. Urges the Parties unconditionally to resume negotiations, under the auspices of the AUHIP and with the support of the Chairman of IGAD,within two weeks, at a time to be set by the Panel in consultation with relevant international partners, to reach agreement on the following critical issues:
(i) arrangements concerning oil and associated payments;
(ii) the status of nationals of one country resident in the other, in accordance with the Framework Agreement initialed in March 2012;
(iii) resolution of the status of the disputed and claimed border areas and the demarcation of the border; and
(iv) the final status of Abyei.
14. Decides that these negotiations must be concluded within three months of the adoption of this decision. Should these negotiations fail to result in an agreement on any or all of the issues identified above within the allotted timeframe of three months, Council requests the AUHIP to submit to it a comprehensive report on the status of the negotiations, including detailed proposals onall outstanding issues, to be endorsed as final and binding solutions to the post‐secession relations. Council undertakes to seek the endorsement of, and support by, the United Nations Security Council of the same;
15. Further decides that failure by either Party to implement the provisions of the Roadmap outlined in paragraph 12 above, or to cooperate in good faith with the Panel towards the conclusion of the negotiations on the outstanding issues as enumerated in paragraph 13above, will result in Council taking appropriate measures, as provided for in the Peace and Security Council Protocoland the Constitutive Act of the AU, and to seek the support of the UN Security Council and all AU partners to measures it may take;
16. Reiterates AU’s convictionthat there can be no military solution to the conflict in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, and stresses therefore the urgent need for a political and negotiated solution,based on respect for diversity in unity. Council requests the Government of Sudan and the SPLM‐North to extend full cooperation to the AUHIP and the Chair of IGAD, to reach a negotiated settlement on the basis of the Framework Agreement on Political Partnership between NCP and SPLM‐N and Political and Security Arrangements in Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan States. Pending the convening of talks by the AUHIP, Council calls on the Government to accept the tripartite proposal submitted by the African Union, the United Nations and the League of Arab States, to permit humanitarian access to the affected population in the two areas;
17. Requests all AU Member States to support and abide by this decision, bearing in mind the provisions of article 7 (2 & 3) of the Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council, under which Member States agreed that, in carrying out its duties, Council acts on their behalf, and undertook to accept and implement the decisions of Council, in accordance with the AU Constitutive Act;
18. Requests the Chairperson of the Commission to transmit this decision to the United Nations Security Council, as well as to all other AU partners. Council seeks the support of the Security Council and its endorsement, under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, of the Roadmap of paragraphs 12 and 13above. Council also requests the Chairperson of the Commission, in consultation with the Secretary‐General of the United Nations,to urgently convene a meeting of the Sudan and South Sudan Consultative Forum, to mobilize its full support for the present decision and agree on practical ways and means for the implementation of its relevant provisions;
19. Further requests the Chairperson of the Commission to followup on the implementation of this decision and to take all steps deemed necessary to this end, including interaction at the highest level with the Sudanese parties, involving as appropriate relevant AU organs, including a visit to both countries by a delegation of Council;
20. Looks forward to the submission by the Chairperson of the Commission of monthly factual reports on the evolution over the situation on the ground and compliance by Sudan and South Sudan with the relevant provisions of this decision, status of the negotiations on all pending issues and efforts to mobilize increased support from the international community, in order to enable it take appropriate decisions as maybe called for by the evolution of the situation;
21. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Kampala (Platts)–1Feb2012/336 am EST/836 GMT

South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit has said that his country will not resume oil production and exports despite Sudan’s decision over the weekend to release two oil tankers that were detained due to a dispute between the two countries over transit fees.

Speaking at the 18th African Union Assembly in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, late Monday, Mayardit said that oil production would remain suspended until a permanent resolution to the conflict is reached, according to a copy of his speech obtained by Platts.

The ships were freed By Sudan as a goodwill gesture in the hope that South Sudan would reverse a protest shutdown of its oil facilities, Platts reported earlier this week citing a Sudanese official.

The Sudanese government and South Sudan are locked in a bitter row in which Khartoum has been demanding that landlocked Juba pay $32.20/barrel, according to Mayardit’s speech, for the transit of oil through the only pipeline connecting South Sudan’s oil fields to export facilities located at Marsa Bashayer in Sudan on the Red Sea.

South Sudan earlier this month declared a force majeure on its end-December and January loading supply of Nile and Dar Blend crude, industry sources said previously, and was moving toward a total suspension of oil production and operations.

On January 25, South Sudan’s parliament agreed to halt oil production in the country.

In his speech Monday, Mayardit said: “We acknowledge that most of the oil infrastructure lies on the territory of Sudan, however, the oil clearly belongs to South Sudan.”

“This unilateral decision to take our crude entitlements is unmistakably a violation of the sovereignty of South Sudan and must be condemned.”

South Sudan has alleged that Khartoum blocked four ships with 3.5 million barrels of Dar Blend from sailing out of Marsa Bashayer, and have further prevented another four ships — due to load 2.8 million barrels of Nile and Dar Blend crude — from docking at the port, according to an earlier statement by Mayardit.

Mayardit said Monday that South Sudan has lost more than $850 million since Sudan began confiscating the country’s oil exports on December 8, 2011. But he reiterated that South Sudan remained committed to resolving the dispute and that it was willing to negotiate payment terms for the transit of oil.

He added that all outstanding dues and claims between the two countries should be settled through an independent transparent committee comprising three members– one each to be nominated by Sudan and South Sudan and the third by the African Union.

On January 26, South Sudan signed a memorandum of Understanding with Kenya to construct an alternative oil pipeline that would run from South Sudan’s oil fields to Kenya’s Lamu Island in the Indian Ocean. South Sudan produces around 350,000 b/d of crude oil.

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[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]

Speech delivered by President Salva Kiir Mayardit at the 18th AU Assembly in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Your Excellencies,

On behalf of the people of South Sudan, allow me to express to all the member states of African Union our gratitude for the warm welcome accorded to the Republic of South Sudan upon our admission into this noble and prestigious organization.  We are truly honored to join you as a sovereign state and look forward to fully engaging in this forum.

The people of South Sudan will long remember the African Union and particularly IGAD for facilitating the resolution of the decades-long conflict in Sudan along with many of our international friends.  Without your invaluable support and guidance, peace may have taken longer to achieve.

Your Excellencies,

On the current oil crisis in our country and in response to the statement just issued, I would like to clarify the position of my government. The ongoing negotiations between the Government of South Sudan and the Government of Sudan – which we continue to be involved in – have been critical for both nations.  We believe that true negotiations must be based on the following two principles:

The principle of peaceful coexistence of South Sudan and our neighbor, Sudan.  This stability will also strengthen the overall stability of the region in particular and the continent at large.

Secondly, the principal of reasonable and fair commercial engagement that ensures the economic viability of both states, in a manner that is respectful and agreeable to both nations.

Your Excellencies,

We reached this current crisis for several reasons.  Most significant was Khartoum’s unilateral decision to enact a bill to levy a fee of 32.2 dollars per barrel to the South Sudan oil that passes through their territory.   While negotiations were taking place to determine a fair fee, Khartoum began diverting and confiscating our oil by force.

We acknowledge that most of the oil infrastructure lies on the territory of Sudan, however the oil clearly belongs to South Sudan.  This unilateral decision to take our crude entitlements is unmistakably a violation of the sovereignty of South Sudan and must be condemned.

This act was implemented despite the fact that the oil operating companies have repeatedly explained that the Republic of South Sudan has been and is paying transit fees to Sudan.

We have no objection to paying Khartoum for the use of their infrastructure, however it must be a mutually agreeable price and to date we have NOT agreed on their proposed price of 32.2 dollars per barrel, nor do we have any intention to accept that price.

It is completely out of international norms and it is a precedence that we will not set.

Since they began their campaign of recovering funds that they unilaterally decided to levy against South Sudan, they have prevented ships from leaving Port Sudan.  They have prevented other ships from docking to collect their purchases.

They have completed constructing a tie-in pipeline designed to permanently divert almost 75% of our daily entitlements.

On Sunday, our offices in Port Sudan confirmed that documents have been processed to allow two detained ships to sail.  The reason for this development is an attempt to coerce us into signing the cover agreement presented by the AUHIP.

To date, the loss of revenue to the Republic of South Sudan amounts to almost 850 million dollars.  These funds are critical to the security and welfare of the citizens of South Sudan and must be recovered.

Your Excellencies,

At the initial phase of this crisis, I immediately informed regional leaders of the developing situation.  We sought advice and exhausted all possibilities to resolve this situation, including our continued involvement with AUHIP negotiations.  Finally, we concluded that due to the fact that we can no longer guarantee that our oil will reach its intended destination, we cannot allow oil production to continue.

At this time, the oil will remain in its natural place- the ground- until the situation is amicably resolved.

Your Excellencies,

We were unable to sign the cover agreement presented by the AUHIP on Friday for several reasons:

The transitional financial provisions were not in line with what we anticipated.

The agreement excluded the concepts of peaceful coexistence and mutual viability for both states.

In general, the proposed agreement was vague on several issues.  Meanwhile, it tied the Republic of South Sudan to urgently provide cash and oil to the Government of Sudan without first addressing the issues that made us reach this point.

In order to move forward, we would like the AU to understand that we stand ready to contribute to the financial physical gap being experienced by the Government of Sudan only within bearable costs limits.  This august house is well aware that we are the youngest nation on earth and that development is limited. Whatever limited resources we have must be dedicated to developing South Sudan.
We must be guaranteed swift and peaceful resolutions to the outstanding CPA issues including Abyei and the borders. The Abyei issue was resolved by the Permanent Court of Arbitration.  That decision needs to be respected and implemented.  In addition, the borders have been agreed upon (80%) and it must be demarcated immediately.

We suggest that all outstanding arrears and claims between the parties should be settled through an independent transparent committee, that would be comprised of three members.  Both Sudan and South Sudan would be able nominate a committee member who is not of either nationality.

The third member would be nominated by the African Union. This committee would audit and ensure that payments are transparently made.

In conclusion, the Government of Sudan must continue to make concessions as evidence of good faith and no hidden agenda.  Only at that time, will we be able to negotiate reasonably and hopefully end this stalemate.

Thank you.


The Associated Press

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — South Sudan and Sudan could face a “major humanitarian crisis” if they fail to solve a running oil dispute, a top U.S. envoy said Sunday as African heads of state converged on Ethiopia’s capital for an African Union summit.

At the opening of an African Union (AU) summit , in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Sunday, Jan.29, 2012, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon told assembled leaders to respect people’s human rights. (AP Photo/Elias Asmare)

South Sudan recently shut down oil production after it accused Sudan of stealing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of oil. Related negotiations have reached an impasse.

Both sides are acting out of desperation, taking “dramatic actions” because they fail to see prospects to reach an agreement, the U.S. special envoy to Sudan, Princeton Lyman, told The Associated Press.

Unless the two sides reach an agreement, he said, both will “suffer and suffer in not too long a period.”

Lyman said the oil crisis had pushed humanitarian issues off to the side.

“It’s clear that the situation is declining very rapidly,” he said. “Without access for the international community we see what could emerge as a major humanitarian crisis for the continent, and a preventable crisis that the African Union has to address.”

The Sudan crisis and war and hunger in Somalia are expected to dominate this year’s A.U. summit, though the gathering’s official theme is trade.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the oil dispute threatens peace and security in the region. He called on African leaders to “play a more important role solving regional issues.”

South Sudan fought a decades-long civil war with northern neighbor Sudan, a war that culminated in a 2005 peace deal that saw the partitioning of Sudan and the birth of South Sudan last July. The new border between the two countries remains tense, with sporadic cross-border attacks taking place.

In a separate incident, China said Sunday that militants loyal to South Sudan captured 29 Chinese workers in a volatile border region of Sudan.

Oil negotiations between the two neighbors have been in a deadlock for two years. They have never agreed on the transit fees South Sudan should pay to Sudan for using its infrastructure of port and pipelines.

Ban said he discussed the issue with South Sudanese President Salva Kiir, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki. He urged Kiir to meet with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to resolve their problems.

“I am urging two leaders to demonstrate political will,” he said.

Lyman said fighting in South Kordofan and Blue Nile has ended most communications between the two and increased distrust.

Lyman and Ban expressed concerns about a humanitarian crisis along Sudan’s volatile border with the south, and said the Khartoum government was not cooperating with U.N. missions.

“I am deeply concerned about South Kordofan and Blue Nile State,” Ban said. “Very worrisome because of the accessibility. There is no access for humanitarian workers.”

The U.N. has also expressed humanitarian concerns in South Sudan, where more than 120,000 people need aid because of a wave of ethnic clashes in a remote and volatile region.

The two nations have been meeting in Ethiopia for oil talks. Haile Menkerios, a special U.N. representative to Sudan, said Sunday there has been no recent progress.

Also on Sunday, South Sudan’s minister of petroleum and mining said the nation will not restart oil production unless Sudan accepts a list of demands.

Stephen Dhieu Dau said South Sudan was “committed to negotiations” but that Khartoum would have to accept their offer of paying $1 per barrel for using Sudan’s pipelines for export and $2.4 billion dollar financial assistance package before South Sudan turns on production again.

He also said Sudan must withdraw troops from the disputed border region of Abyei and stop funding rebel groups in South Sudan. He said South Sudan wants an international treaty guaranteed by “international superpowers.”


Michael Onyiego contributed to this report from Juba, South Sudan.


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

  • Azhari Abdalla, director general of the Sudanese oil ministry's Oil Exploration and Production Authority, points to a map as he briefs journalists in Khartoum, December 19, 2011.
Photo: AFP
South Sudan Accuses Sudan of Stealing Oil

Peter Heinlein | Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Azhari Abdalla, director general of the Sudanese oil ministry’s Oil Exploration and Production Authority, points to a map as he briefs journalists in Khartoum, December 19, 2011.

South Sudan on Tuesday accused its northern neighbor Sudan of stealing more than 2.1 million barrels of oil, and warned buyers and shippers that they might face prosecution. The accusation has cast a pall over a new round of talks on sharing oil revenues.

South Sudan’s chief negotiator at the African Union-mediated talks accused the Khartoum government of confiscating and selling southern oil, saying it is creating an economic and political crisis.

The oil is shipped from landlocked Southern Sudan by pipeline to Port Sudan, where it is loaded onto ships for export. The two countries produce about 500,000 barrels of oil a day.

Disputed oil transit fees

The Khartoum government this week said it would take part of the south’s oil as compensation for transit fees, pending settlement of their dispute over how much the payments should be.

Southern negotiator Pagan Amoum on Tuesday showed reporters documents indicating that the north has seized three oil shipments in recent days worth more than $200 million. He said the action threatens to end the north-south talks.

“The government of Sudan, as we speak, has completed loading the stolen oil onto its vessels that now have cargo of stolen oil of South Sudan. This represents some $140 million of property of the people of South Sudan being taken away. And if you add the 750,000 [barrels] that may be starting to be loading today or tomorrow morning, it will amount to $215 million. This is an act of state piracy,” said Amoum.

Oil-revenue sharing disagreement

As the talks were set to begin on Tuesday, the two sides remained far apart over the amount of oil revenue to be shared. The south has offered to pay a transit fee of less than $1 a barrel; Khartoum is asking for more than $32 a barrel.

Amoum said the north has blocked southern oil from leaving Port Sudan since December 25. He told reporters that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is risking a return to war by refusing to negotiate in good faith.

“President Bashir has become a danger to regional peace, and he’s taking all what he wants whenever he wants at whims. This is not the way a responsible state within the international community operates, especially one that is trying to normalize relations with so many of the countries of the world. The government of Sudan has made clumsy pretexts in a thinly veiled attempt to justify its thievery,” said Amoum.

South Sudan’s warning

South Sudan Justice Minister John Luke warned that anyone buying stolen oil would be held responsible. He said investigations have already identified the companies that are purchasing the confiscated oil.

“We also would like to put the companies that are buying this illegally gotten oil of Southern Sudan from the government of Khartoum to a be on legal notice that this is the property of the Republic of Southern Sudan. And by dealing it and purchasing it, they are purchasing property to which the government of Sudan does not have any legal title and for that matter they will be subject to litigation,” said Luke.

Oil is considered the backbone of the economies of Sudan and South Sudan. The south took more than 70 percent of the region’s oil resources when it broke away from the north last July. But the oil can be exported only through the north.

China is the biggest investor in South Sudan’s growing oil sector, and the largest consumer of Sudanese crude.

South Sudan accuses Sudan of stealing 120,000 barrels of oil a day

By Associated Press, Published: January 17

JUBA, South Sudan — South Sudan’s oil minister on Tuesday accused northern neighbor Sudan of stealing massive amounts of the south’s oil, an accusation that comes the same day the two sides are to begin another round of negotiations over their formerly unified oil industry.
South Sudan’s Minister of Petroleum and Mining Stephen Dhieu Dau told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Sudan is each day diverting about 120,000 barrels of oil pumped from the south through a recently constructed “tie-in” pipeline.
“This amounts to nearly 75 percent of the oil of South Sudan” being pumped through the line, Dau said.South Sudan broke away from Sudan in July to become the world’s newest country, and took about three-fourths of what had been Sudan’s 500,000-barrel-a-day oil industry with it.Oil runs both countries’ economies, and the south’s oil must run through Sudan’s pipelines to get to port. But the two sides are nowhere near a deal on how to share revenues.

Dau’s accusation comes just days after the government of Sudan announced that it was taking southern oil in lieu of pipeline transit fees it says the south is not paying. Oil officials in Khartoum said they began taking southern oil in December, but would not specify how much oil was being taken.

Dau said the seizures at Port Sudan coupled with the oil taken from the new pipeline amounted to nearly all of South Sudan’s shares of oil pumped from its territory.

“This is a crime and it is a threat to peace and security,” said Dau.

The two countries were to begin negotiations on Tuesday in Ethiopia primarily over the transit fees that South Sudan will pay to use the northern pipelines. South Sudan has offered to pay an average of $0.70 per barrel for the use of the two pipelines, but Khartoum has asked for $36 per barrel.

Khartoum’s chief negotiator Sabir Mohammed Al-Hassan said Sunday the figure includes other fees that South Sudan will be required to pay, such as transportation fees, a transit fee, and a marine terminal fee.

But South Sudanese officials say the levies amount to theft. Dau warned that the south would take legal action against any foreign oil companies caught buying “the stolen oil.”

Pagan Amum, the secretary general of South Sudan’s ruling party, said on the sidelines of scheduled oil talks in Ethiopia that the theft of billions of dollars worth of oil by Sudan would probably cause the talks to collapse.

“Sudan should take note that the south’s patience is close to reaching its expiration period,” Amum said.

Amum said that Sudan is stealing oil “that would be the equivalent of purchasing two new pipelines a year, every year.” Amum said an oil company on Monday alerted the south’s government of another 750,000 stolen barrels worth $140 million.

Amum said the north has repeatedly threatened oil companies to load southern oil into its vessels. Copies of letters that backed these claims were distributed to journalists at a news conference.

Despite the difficulties, South Sudan is trying to expand its oil industry. Last week it signed its first post-independence oil deals with the state petroleum companies of China, India and Malaysia for oil-producing concessions in Unity and Upper Nile states. The agreements replaced exploration and production agreements made previously with the government of Sudan.


Associated Press reporter Luc van Kemenade in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia contributed to this report.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Sudan – South Sudan Negotiations Resume

Written by: 

January 17, 2012

Economic issues, primarily the division of oil revenues, are expected to dominate today in Addis Ababa the negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan on the issues left unresolved since independence in Juba, said the minister and presidential adviser Mohamed Abdul-Gadir.

According to the Sudanese representative, quoted by the official press “SUNA” during talks mediated by the African Union, South Sudan will be asked to pay six billion dollars in arrears to the use of pipelines oriented toward the Red Sea.

The division of Sudan in July last year has necessitated a new compromise on oil revenues after the expiry of the peace accords of 2005 which provided for a division on an equal basis.

The oil is mostly concentrated in the southern oil fields, but it can only be sold and delivered to international markets via the pipelines linking the oil to the north.

Khartoum is seeking payment of a transit fee of USD35 per barrel, while Juba is offering 74 cents with the addition of an initial allocation of two and a half billion dollars.

The tensions between the ‘Sudans’ grew over the past weekend, with Khartoum announcing that it had taken and sold 650,000 barrels from the south. In addition to oil, in the Ethiopian capital until next Monday, there will be a discussion over foreign debt and trade agreements.

A key issue on a humanitarian level risks being ignored, in a period characterized by a series of other armed clashes. The enduring conflict along the borders of two countries: the legal status of some 700,000 South Sudanese migrants, who, in the absence of an agreement, in April could be expelled from Khartoum and other northern regions where they have worked and lived or years.

About the author:MISNA, or the Missionary International Service News Agency, provides daily news ‘from, about and for’ the ‘world’s Souths’, not just in the geographical sense, since December 1997.