Posts Tagged ‘al bashir’


KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Sudanese police used batons to break up protesters blocking a main road in central Khartoum in the latest demonstrations against tough austerity measures on Thursday. Student groups, inspired by the Arab Spring uprisings, have led rallies in the Sudanese capital against planned government spending cuts and sought to galvanize anger over price rises into a wider movement to topple military ruler Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who has been in power since a 1989 bloodless coup. The Arab-African nation has faced soaring food prices and a weakening currency since South Sudanseceded a year ago, taking with it about three-quarters of the country’s economically vital oil output.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-sudan-protestbre85k10c-20120621,0,4394332.story

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By Hereward Holland | Reuters 

OUTSIDE BENTIU, South Sudan (Reuters) – Sudanese war planes bombed a market in the capital of South Sudan’s oil-producing Unity State on Monday, residents and officials said, in an attack the southern army called a declaration of war.

Sudan denied carrying out any air raids but its President Omar Hassan al-Bashir ramped up the political tension by ruling out a return to negotiations with the South, saying its government only understood “the language of the gun”.

A Reuters journalist saw aircraft dropping two bombs near a bridge linking two areas of Unity’s capital Bentiu, although it was not possible to verify the planes’ affiliation. He saw market stalls ablaze and the body of one child.

Weeks of border fighting have brought the neighbors closer to a full-blown war than at any time since South Sudan split away from Sudan as an independent country in July.

The two territories went their separate ways last year without settling a list of bitter disputes over the position of their shared border, the ownership of key territories and how much the landlocked South should pay to transport its oil through Sudan.

The disputes have already halted nearly all the oil production that underpins both struggling economies.

“Bashir is declaring war on South Sudan. It’s something obvious,” southern army (SPLA) spokesman Philip Aguer said after the Bentiu bombing.

Aguer and the United Nations Mission in South Sudan said two people were killed in the air strike in Unity state where the Greater Nile Petroleum Company operates blocs. China’s CNPC leads this consortium, along with Malaysia’s Petronas and India’s ONGC Videsh.

“Early reports indicate the bombings started at 8.30 hours and that Rubkona market has been struck,” the U.N. mission said in a statement, without spelling out who carried out the attack.

“These indiscriminate bombings resulting in the loss of civilian lives must stop,” said Hilde F. Johnson, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for South Sudan.

The mission said its officers had seen one bomb land on the market and three near a bridge. “A young boy burned to death as the hut he was in caught fire from the blast in Rubkona market area,” it quoted one of its officers as saying.

Bentiu is about 80 km (50 miles) from the contested and poorly marked border with Sudan.

Sudan denied carrying out any air attacks in the area. “We have no relation to what happened in Unity state, and we absolutely did not bomb anywhere in South Sudan,” the country’s military spokesman, Al-Sawarmi Khalid, said.

“LANGUAGE OF THE GUN”

In the worst fighting since the split, South Sudan earlier this month seized the disputed oil-producing territory of Heglig – then announced it had started withdrawing on Friday, following sharp criticism from U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Bashir, dressed in military uniform, visited the Heglig region on Monday, descending from his plane to shouts of “Allahu akbar” – “God is greatest” – from soldiers and officials gathered on the tarmac.

Speaking to Sudanese army troops, he vowed not to negotiate with South Sudan after it had occupied the region.

“We will not negotiate with the South’s government, because they don’t understand anything but the language of the gun and ammunition,” he said at a barracks near the oilfield along the contested border.

A Reuters journalist on an official tour of the region filmed bombed-out pipelines dripping oil in the largely damaged Heglig oilfield, as well as heavy damage to the central processing facility, power station and other infrastructure.

Abdelazeem Hassan Abdallah, an oil worker in Heglig, accused South Sudan’s forces of attacking the oilfield.

“They know how to do the job completely. They destroyed our main power plant, and they destroyed our processing facilities,” he told Reuters.

“MILILTARY BUILD-UP

General Kamal Abdul Maarouf, a Sudanese army commander who led the battles in Heglig, said his troops had killed 1,200 South Sudanese soldiers in fighting in the area, an account South Sudan denied.

Journalists travelling on an official trip to the region said they saw bodies strewn on the road to the barracks. Some clearly had South Sudanese flags on their uniforms, but it was not always possible to verify their nationalities.

Aguer dismissed Maarouf’s report. “The number of casualties the SPLA has suffered since the 26th or March doesn’t exceed 50,” he said.

South Sudan won its independence in a referendum that was promised in a 2005 peace accord that ended decades of civil war between Khartoum and the south.

South Sudan’s armed forces have 10 helicopters but no fixed-wing aircraft, except for one Beech 1900 light transport aircraft, according to an International Institute for Strategic Studies report.

Sudan has 61 combat capable aircraft, including 23 fighter aircraft.

The Satellite Sentinel Project, founded by Sudan activists, said recent satellite imagery showed Khartoum had “dramatically increased the number of military strike aircraft at two airbases and that many are in range to fly deep into South Sudan.”

The monitoring group said satellite imagery was consistent with reports that Sudanese forces bombed “an apparent civilian area” near a bridge in Bentiu. It also said it appeared the SPLA had looted a Sudanese military base in Heglig, which could be a violation of international law.

(Additional reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz and Alexander Dziadosz in Khartoum, El-Tayeb Siddig in Heglig, Yara Bayoumy in Juba; Writing by Ulf Laessing, Alexander Dziadosz and Yara Bayoumy; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

http://news.yahoo.com/sudan-bombing-declaration-war-south-172307839.html

Sudan president threatens South Sudan government

By MOHAMED SAEED | Associated Press –

KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) — Sudan’s president has threatened to topple the government of South Sudan during a visit to an oil-rich border town that has sparked a recent surge in violence between the two countries.

Omar al-Bashir’s comments Monday were the latest in a war of words against Sudan’s southern neighbors.

The two countries disagree over where the border between them lies and ownership of oil resources in the region.

This latest outbreak of violence threatens to escalate into a full-scale war.

Al-Bashir vowed during his visit to Heglig to press ahead with his military campaign until, according to him, all southern troops or affiliated forces are chased out of the north.

His forces bombed a major town inside South Sudan Monday.

RUBKONA, South Sudan (AP) — Sudanese warplanes bombed a market and an oil field in South Sudan, killing at least two people hours after Sudanese ground forces reportedly crossed into South Sudan with tanks and artillery, elevating the risk of all-out war between the two old enemies.

The international community urged Sudan and South Sudan to talk out their disputes, which include arguments over where the border lies and over ownership of oil resources.

The bombs fell from two MiG 29 jets onto Rubkona’s market with a whistling sound, turning stalls where food and other household items are sold into fiery heaps of twisted metal. The burned body of the boy lay flat on his back near the center of the blast site, his hand clutching at the sky.

South Sudan military spokesman Col. Philip Aguer said two were killed in that attack and nine wounded.

Aguer said Antonov bombers accompanied by MiG 29 jets also bombed Abiemnom in Unity State and the Unity State oil field. He said Abiemnom is a two-hour drive from Rubkona. Amid poor communications, the extent of damage at the oil field was not immediately known, nor whether there were casualties. Fighting between ground troops, which started Sunday, was still ongoing in Panakuac, Laloba and Teshwin, Aguer said.

In Rubkona, trucks packed with South Sudanese troops sped off in the direction where the bombs landed as the soldiers fired at the Sudanese jets.

“The bombing amounts to a declaration of war,” said Maj. Gen. Mac Paul, the Deputy Director of Military Intelligence for South Sudan.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Monday the U.S. strongly condemns Sudan’s military incursion into South Sudan, and called for the immediate halt of aerial and artillery bombardment in South Sudan.

“We recognize the right of South Sudan to self-defense and urge South Sudan to exercise restraint in its reaction to Sudan’s attack in Unity State,” she said.

Sudanese armed forces launched an attack Sunday more than six miles (nine kilometers) inside South Sudan’s border, even though the south announced on Friday it was pulling its troops from the disputed oil town of Heglig to avoid an all-out war. South Sudan had invaded Heglig earlier this month, saying it belonged to the south.

Sudan President Omar al-Bashir visited Heglig on Monday to inspect the damage, according to the official Sudanese news agency. Sudan claims its forces liberated the town from South Sudan. Al-Bashir has vowed to teach his southern neighbors a lesson.

Paul said two MiG 29 jets belonging to Sudan dropped three bombs on Monday, two of which landed near a bridge that connects Bentiu, the capital of Unity State and Rubkona, another town.

It was not the first time Sudan has targeted the bridge between Bentiu and Rubkona. Two Sukhoi fighters dropped bombs within 100 meters (yards) of the same bridge earlier this month.

Sudan and South Sudan, the world’s newest country, have been drawing closer to war in recent months over the sharing of oil revenues and a disputed border.

On Saturday night, a Muslim mob burned a Catholic church in Sudan frequented mostly by South Sudanese. The church in Khartoum’s Al-Jiraif district was built on a disputed plot of land, but the attack appeared to be part of the fallout from ongoing hostilities between Sudan and South Sudan.

Paul said late Sunday that South Sudan is building up its forces because they think Sudan is also doing the same.

The international community, led by the U.S., has called for the two countries to stop all military actions against each other and restart negotiations to solve their disputes.

President Barack Obama on Friday asked the presidents of Sudan and South Sudan to resume negotiations and said that conflict is not inevitable.

African Union-mediated talks between the two countries recently broke down in Ethiopia. The African Union on Sunday called on Sudan and South Sudan to end “senseless fighting.”

The European Union in a statement on Monday also urged Sudan and South Sudan to end their armed confrontation and negotiate. The EU welcomed South Sudan’s decision to withdraw its troops from neighboring Sudan’s oil-rich town of Heglig and warned the government not to mount any more attacks.

It also called on Sudan to refrain from attacking the withdrawing forces and cease aerial bombardment of South Sudan.

South Sudan broke away from Sudan in July last year after an independence vote, the culmination of a 2005 peace treaty that ended decades of war that killed more than 2 million people.

Associated Press writer Mohamed Saeed in Khartoum, Sudan contributed to this report.

http://news.yahoo.com/sudan-president-threatens-south-sudan-government-163319599.html


Hereward Holland and Ulf Laessing ReutersMarch 31, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NEW TALKS

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

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

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

Aguer denied the SPLA had supported the rebel attack.

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

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

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

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

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

Sudan and South Sudan accuse each other of border attacks

ReutersBy Hereward Holland and Aaron Maasho | Reuters
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GUERILLA ATTACK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Subject: Press statement on Bashir’s planned visit to Juba

Dear all – Please find below and attached a press statement from a
coalition of South Sudanese civil society organizations, including the
Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), the South
Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy (SSHURSA), and the South Sudan
Law Society (SSLS), concerning Omer al-Bashir’s planned visit to Juba.

For questions or comments, please contact David K. Deng at +211 955
518 206 or kwoldit@gmail.com.

Best,
David
___________________________________

DON’T HOST THE INTERNATIONAL FUGITIVE

Arrest Bashir in Juba or meet him elsewhere

17 March 2012

South Sudan should not tarnish its reputation as the world’s newest
nation by hosting the international fugitive, Omer al-Bashir, a
coalition of South Sudanese civil society organizations said today.
Bashir is scheduled to visit South Sudan in the coming weeks to try to
resolve a bitter dispute over oil, among other outstanding issues from
the 2005 peace agreement.

Earlier this week, South Sudan’s chief negotiator Pagan Amum told a
press briefing in Juba that the government has “problems to settle”
with Bashir, and that since they are not a member of the International
Criminal Court (ICC), they are under no obligation to arrest him.

“Although the government of South Sudan may not be legally obligated
to arrest Bashir, to host him in this manner sends the wrong signal to
both the international community and the survivors of his atrocities,”
said Dong Samuel Luak, secretary-general of the South Sudan Law
Society (SSLS).

Since independence on 9 July 2011, South Sudan has struggled to
establish itself as a nation committed to rule of law and
accountability in the face of endemic inter-communal violence, a
security sector that commits human rights abuses with impunity, and
massive challenges of post-conflict reconstruction. In his
independence day speech, president Salva Kiir declared his
government’s intent to ratify the core international human rights
treaties that proscribe the minimum standards by which states must
treat their citizens. Nine months after independence, the government
has not ratified any human rights treaties; nor has it laid out a
timeline for when it might do so.

South Sudanese civil society actors have voiced concerns about what
Bashir’s visit may signal given the government’s complacency about
committing itself to international human rights standards. “When
Bashir is greeted at Juba international airport with all the pomp and
circumstance of a visit by a head of state, he will have won an
important victory before he even steps off the plane,” said Edmund
Yakani, program coordinator of the Community Empowerment for Progress
Organization (CEPO). “South Sudan will join a short list of nations
that have tacitly supported Bashir’s crimes by failing to treat him as
the indicted war criminal that he is.”

Adding to the symbolic importance of the event, the announcement of
Bashir’s visit coincided with an important milestone for international
justice. On 14 March, the ICC found Thomas Lubanga, a Congolese
warlord, guilty of serious war crimes. The first ever verdict from the
ICC was hailed as “an important step forward” by UN secretary-general,
Ban Ki-moon. Proponents of international justice maintain that the
Lubanga verdict and similar verdicts from other international
tribunals demonstrate that the international justice system can be
effective at holding perpetrators of the most heinous international
crimes accountable.

“Sooner or later Bashir will have to account for the war crimes,
crimes against humanity, and genocide for which he is indicted by the
ICC,” said Boutros Biel, executive director of the South Sudan Human
Rights Society for Advocacy (SSHURSA). “The government should
demonstrate that it takes international crimes seriously by refusing
to meet Bashir in Juba and immediately moving to ratify the Rome
Statute and the core human rights treaties.”


David K. Deng
Research Director
South Sudan Law Society


Radio Dabanga (The Netherlands/Darfur) / Tuesday, 06 March 2012

Khartoum (Sudan) – The political opposition alliance has rejected the declaration made by President Bashir on Saturday, to mobilise for war and deploy Popular Defence Forces across the country, to fight all those against the Sudanese state.
AFRICA NEWS UPDATE (ANU)

The three parties call for all the people of Sudan to stand against Al Bashir’s declaration and not respond to it.

Political secretary for the Popular Congress Party, Kamal Omar said to Radio Dabanga that the Sudanese people will not accept a general mobilisation for war.

He said he expected Al Bashir to step down in the face of failure of the state’s administration and issue a transitional government, rather than announce a deployement of Popular Defence Forces.

Omar called on Sudanese people to topple the ruling NCP and Al Bashir, who has ‘ruined’ the country.

The Umma Party led by Sadiq Al Mahdi has rejected the president’s mobilisation for war.

Speaking to Radio Dabanga, Umma Party leader Mariam Al Mahdi described Al Bashir’s address regarding widespread country mobilisation as ‘unfortunate’, but considered that the stance is not new.

She said the NCP insists on the path of declaring war against its own citizens, such as in Blue Nile and South Kordofan, much in the same vein that led to the secession of South Sudan.

Al Mahdi said the country is currently experiencing famine and economic crisis, which neeed to be resolved urgently, rather than turning to more war.

She asked, ‘what is the benefit of war, and for whom?’

The Umma Party leader stated that the solution to the Sudan crisis lies in responding to the national agenda.

The Sudanese Communist Party called President Bashir’s address on Saturday ‘a continuation of the polices of war, which led to the conflict in South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur’.

Spokesman of the Communist party Yusef Hussein told Radio Dabanga that the Sudan crisis will not be resolved through war, but through responding to the arguments of the opposition, to have a national dialogue and broad government to deal with the country’s crises, caused ‘solely’ by the NCP.

Hussein called on the Sudanese people to continue to struggle to revoke ‘the policy of war’ of the NCP, which has destroyed the country.

http://www.afrika.no/Detailed/21241.html

Sudan: Washington Deludes Rebels They Can Topple the Regime – Nafie

5 MARCH 2012

Khartoum — Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) addressed severe criticism against the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement- North (SPLM-N) and the United States (US) administration stressing the latter deluded the former that it could achieve regime change in the country.

According to Nafie Ali Nafie, presidential assistant and NCP’s deputy chairman, Washington persuaded the rebel SPLM-N that it can make Kadugli “Sudan’s Benghazi” and transform the South Kordofan’s town to make it the capital for rebels who will overthrow the regime.

He further said that Washington pledged to provide the SPLM-N rebels with the necessary support if they capture Kadugli.

Speaking in the suburb of Lamab, located south of the capital Khartoum, on Sunday evening Nafie also alleged that US administration pushed the rebel group Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) to join a rebel alliance led by the SPLM-N.

Washington told JEM rebels “You can not do something, even if you come together with the opposition parties,” and encouraged it to work with the other armed groups, Nafie further stressed.

The pact of Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) led by Malik Agar was inked on 11 November 2011, by the SPLM-N, JEM and two factions of the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-AW and SPLM-MM). In August 2011 JEM had refused to sign the text because the founding text refers to a secular state.

The deputy NCP leader who recently gave up his tasks in the party to dedicate his time for mobilisation, told the crowd that the opposition parties are considered as weak by Washington but however it asked them to play the agitators in order to support the military action of rebel groups against the regime.

Sudanese officials recently increased their criticism against Washington which put some conditions to participate in an international conference to discuss Sudan’s debt in line with the implementation of the 2005 peace deal with the South Sudan’s rebels.

US administration speaks about the humanitarian situation in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan, while Khartoum refuses to allow the international aid to the rebel held areas. Sudanese officials also say the US has to seek ways to end the conflict not only insisting on its humanitarian consequences.

They also denounced Washington’s support of the newly independent South Sudan which, according to Khartoum, is the main backer of the Sudanese rebel groups.

Sudanese officials say privately they got reports saying that Washington and Juba are trying to convince international and regional partners that regime change is the only valid solution for Sudan’s crises.

The Sudanese official pledged to clear the South Kordofan of rebel groups very soon and rejected calls of the opposition parties for an interim period where a national government will be formed and a constituent assembly will be established to adopt a permanent constitution.

Nafie also divided the opposition forces to three categories: the hardliners who want to remove the regime at any price and designed the Popular Congress Party (PCP) of Hassan al-Turabi at the head of this group.

The second group, according to Nafie, is what he termed “national parties” like the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), the National Umma Party (NUP) of Sadiq al-Mahdi who refuse the use of violence against the regime. The third group are the political opposition forces who have refused any compromise or dialogue with the NCP since 1989.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201203060917.html


South Sudanese Christians plan “prophesied” pilgrimage to Israel
Sudan Tribune
February 24, 2012 (JUBA) – Christians in South Sudan are planning a pilgrimage to Israel in fulfillment of what they say was God’s promise in the Bible to the people of the region, senior Church leaders have announced. Spiritual leaders from various 

UN foreign staff return to Sudan war zone
AFP
KHARTOUM — United Nations international staff have returned to Sudan’s SouthKordofan for the first time in months, the UN said on Saturday, as global concern mounts over food shortages in the war-torn state. “Today, FAO and OCHA flew back there by 

Footage shows bodies of women and children in South Sudan village
Herald Sun
A MAN who came to Australia as a refugee has revealed shocking footage of a massacre in South Sudan. Chibak Kur Mum, who lives in Maidstone, visited his home village in South Sudan last month to see his family. After hearing gunfire from his relatives’ 
South Sudan opposition party calls for auditing of oil companies
Sudan Tribune
February 23, 2012 (JUBA) – The African National Congress (ANC) Party an opposition party in South Sudan as asked the Juba government to review and audit the records of all oil companies operating in exploration and production. Seven month old South 
Sudan: UNinternational staff return to troubled South Kordofan State
Afrique en Ligue
The State has been the scene of violent clashes between the rebel Sudan People Liberation Army (SPLA-North) and government troops, creating a food shortage situation, and driving unspecified number of civilians to seek refuge in neighboring South Sudan 
Sudan government is killing its people
Columbus Dispatch
But that is within the margin of error of estimates of the numbers of people killed by President Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan. I slipped into Sudan and the Nuba Mountains without a visa, via a rutted dirt track from South Sudan

Mandela, 93, hospitalized with stomach ailment
MiamiHerald.com
“South Africa is very privileged to have had such a leader,” said Bohm, comparing Mandela to India’s Mahatma Gandhi. Hassan Burma was visiting Soweto from South Sudan, Africa’s newest nation. South Sudan broke away from Sudan last year, and its leaders 

Analysis: South Sudan future dicey after oil money loss
WTVR
JUBA (Reuters) – In an air-conditioned Toyota showroom packed with half a dozen off-road vehicles in South Sudan’s capital, dealer Desmond McCue is wondering whether the shutdown of the country’s oil production industry means the bonanza is over.

UN int’l staff return to restive Sudan region
Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier
AP | Posted: Saturday, February 25, 2012 8:09 am | (0) Comments The United Nations in Sudan says its international staff is returning to a disputed region on the border with south Sudan, after a nearly half-year absence from the restive area…

Two foreign police shot in Sudan’s Darfur: UNAMID

Africasia – ‎
Two police officers from the African Union-United Nations peacekeeping mission to Sudan’s Darfur region (UNAMID) have been shot and wounded by unidentified gunmen, the mission said on Saturday. They both received leg wounds and were being treated at a 
U.S. News & World Report – ‎
KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) — Gunmen ambushed a bus carrying international peacekeepers in the Darfur region of Sudan, wounding two peacekeepers, the joint United Nations-African Union mission said Saturday. The mission, known as UNAMID, said the peacekeepers 
The Nation, Pakistan – ‎
KHARTOUM – Fresh fighting in Sudan’s Darfur region has killed 12 government soldiers, according to a rebel statement received on Friday, but an official said 10 civilians were the victims. The Sudan Liberation Army faction of Minni Minawi said it 
The Daily Star – ‎
KHARTOUM: Rebels in Sudan’s Darfur region have clashed with government forces, both sides said, with the rebels claiming to kill a dozen government soldiers and Khartoum accusing its opponents of targeting civilians. Mostly African insurgents in Darfur 
AllAfrica.com –
El Fasher — Two peacekeepers of the African Union – United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) sustained gunshot wounds near the town of El Dein yesterday after being targeted by an unknown group. Two peacekeepers of the African Union – United Nations 
Naharnet – ‎
by Naharnet Newsdesk 25 February 2012, 18:01 Two police officers from the African Union-United Nations peacekeeping mission to Sudan’s Darfur region (UNAMID) have been shot and wounded by unidentified gunmen, the mission said on Saturday.
AllAfrica.com – ‎‎
The announcement by the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) force commander, Lt. Gen Patrick Nyamvumba, that the UN peacekeepers will open fire to defend themselves – if provoked – is extremely welcome.
Radio Dabanga – ‎
On Thursday, government forces attacked Abu Delik village, south east of El Fasher in North Darfur, killing one person and injuring six others. A source told Radio Dabanga that government troops were traveling in a convoy of 20 vehicles towards Alawna, 

February 15, 2012 (JUBA) – Chinese oil companies operating in South Sudan face the possibility of expulsion if it is proven that they are complicit in stealing the country’s oil, a senior official said here today.

JPEG - 28 kb
President of Sudan Omer Hassan al-Bashir and Chinese President Hu Jintao listen to the national anthems during a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People on June 29, 2011 in Beijing, China (AFP)

The newborn state which became independent last July is locked in a row with its northern neighbour over oil and transporting it through the pipeline that runs through Sudan’s territory.

Khartoum wants Juba to pay $36 per barrel of oil it exports using Sudan’s infrastructure. But South Sudan says the fair fee should be around $1. An African Union (AU) panel tasked with mediating in this dispute among others has tabled a number of proposals that were rejected.

The Sudanese government frustrated with the lack of progress of the oil talks started seizing part of the crude exported saying that this would be to make up for unpaid invoices owed by Juba. The latter retaliated by suspending oil production altogether.

South Sudan also warned that it will sue any party that is proven to have facilitated or bought oil “stolen” by Khartoum.

Today the country’s chief negotiator in the oil talks Pagan Amum went further in this regard and singled out Chinese companies.

“Our relations with China are beginning but they are of course having difficulties now because of the role of some Chinese companies or individuals covering up some of this stealing,” Amum told reporters in Juba according to Reuters.

“We will make them pay the cost or else they are out of the country,” he added, without naming the firms.

State oil firms from China, India and Malaysia own majority shares in the three consortium’s extracting oil in South Sudan. China is the biggest buyer of South Sudanese oil and has built the most oil facilities in both countries.

Amum also said the Sudanese oil ministry had ordered Malaysian-Chinese pipeline operator Petrodar this week to switch on a tie-in pipeline to divert 120,000 bpd of southern oil to Sudan’s refineries.

He handed out a letter dated 13 February, allegedly from Petrodar, informing South Sudan that Sudan had commissioned the tie-in line to transfer crude “unilaterally and by force”.

China has attempted to reconcile differences between the two sides and last year dispatched its special envoy to Africa for that purpose but has met little success.

Despite being the country with the largest stake in the oil, Beijing has remained mostly silent in recent weeks amid escalation of rhetoric between Khartoum and Juba and warnings from the two sides on the possibility of reverting back to war.

(ST)

http://www.sudantribune.com/South-Sudan-threatens-to-expel,41616


South Sudan
 oil shutdown pushes up prices

UPI.com
JUBA, South Sudan, Feb. 17 (UPI) — South Sudan’s 3-week-old shutdown of its oil industry in a dispute over oil revenues with the fledgling state’s former leaders in Khartoum is likely to drag on and push up global oil prices.
South Sudan: UN supports projects to boost people’s livelihood in volatile state
UN News Centre
Challenges facing South Sudanese include poor harvests, price hikes, conflict and displacement. UN Photo/Isaac Billy The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is supporting a series of short- and long-term projects to help the people 
South Sudan seeks new oil pipeline
Daily Monitor
With the government in Juba having decided that it will no longer export crude oil through North Sudan, the need for an alternative route to the sea is now more urgent than it has ever been forSouth Sudan. A high level delegation from South Sudan has 
UN provides condoms to South Sudanese military to fight high rates of HIV/AIDS
UN News Centre
The United Nations is working with a non-governmental organization (NGO) to provide condoms to the South Sudanese military in a bid to tackle the high rates of HIV/AIDS among the country’s soldiers. “The military has a big number of young people who 

UN News Centre
Fire guts South Sudan ruling party offices
Africa Review
What remained of South Sudan ruling party head offices after a fire Friday afternoon. MACHEL AMOS | AFRICA REVIEW | By MACHEL AMOS in JubaPosted Friday, February 17 2012 at 20:34 Fire gutted South Sudan ruling party head offices Friday afternoon.

ReutersBy Aaron Maasho | Reuters – 

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Sudan and South Sudan on Friday signed a security agreement which aims to defuse tensions over oil payments which officials had warned could spark a war between the two countries.

Landlocked South Sudan took three-quarters of Sudan’s oil production — the lifeline of both economies — but needs to sell its crude through northern export facilities.

Both countries have failed to agree on a transit pipeline fee. Juba shut down last month its entire oil output after Khartoum started seizing southern oil as compensation for what it calls unpaid fees.

Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir warned last week that the tensions with South Sudan, which became independent in July, could lead to war between the two countries.

Former South African President Thabo Mbeki, who has been trying to mediate an end to the tensions, said the deal was a “non-aggression pact” aimed at avoiding any armed conflict.

“This deal addresses those issues,” Mbeki told reporters when asked whether the agreement would defuse the threat of war.

The security agreement, brokered by the African Union in Addis Ababa, said the two sides agree to “respect each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, non-interference in internal affairs, rejection of the use of force, equality and mutual benefit; and peaceful coexistence.”

Apart from oil, Sudan and South Sudan need to find a solution to the disputed border region of Abyei and to mark the joint border. Both countries often accuse each other of supporting rebels on the other’s territory.

(Reporting by Aaron Maasho; Writing by Ulf Laessing)

http://news.yahoo.com/sudan-sudan-sign-security-pact-defuse-tensions-223313494.html

Sudan, South Sudan Sign Treaty of Non-Aggression

VOA News

Sudan and South Sudan have signed a border security agreement that aims to defuse growing tensions over oil revenue payments.

The chief negotiator, former South African President Thabo Mbeki, said Sudan and South Sudan signed the non-aggression pact Friday during a meeting in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

Details of the pact were not immediately available.

When South Sudan seceded in July of last year, it took most of the region’s oil fields, but the oil from the landlocked country must transit Sudan to reach ports.

Juba last month halted its production after Khartoum started seizing southern oil as compensation for what it calls unpaid transit fees.

Earlier Friday, natural resource monitoring group Global Witness expressed concern about escalating tensions between the two sides.

Sudan wants South Sudan to pay transit fees of more than $30 per barrel. The industry standard is closer to $1 per barrel.

Tensions have also remained high over disagreements about how to demarcate the border, and accusations that each side is arming the other’s rebel groups.

The dispute has hurt both economies. More than 90 percent of South Sudan’s revenues are derived from oil exports. Sudan is said to have lost more than $7 billion when the South gained independence.

On Thursday, South Sudan announced an agreement with Ethiopia allowing it to build an oil pipeline through Ethiopia to the port of Djibouti

http://www.voanews.com/english/news/africa/Sudan-South-Sudan-Sign-Treaty-of-Non-Aggression-139132599.html


Skilled workers are seen sitting behind power tools as they wait for customers at a market in Khartoum, January 7, 2012. REUTERS-Mohamed Nureldin
A skilled worker is seen sitting behind tools as he waits for customers at a market in Khartoum, January 7, 2012. REUTERS-Mohamed Nureldin

1 of 2. Skilled workers are seen sitting behind power tools as they wait for customers at a market in Khartoum, January 7, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin

By Ulf Laessing and Alexander Dziadosz

KHARTOUM | Wed Feb 8, 2012 2:08pm GMT

KHARTOUM (Reuters) – A few weeks ago, a leading opposition activist sat down in a downtown Khartoum office to talk to a journalist. The young man immediately removed the battery from his cellphone.

“It’s so they can’t trace you,” he said, placing the battery and the phone on the table. “Any one of the security agencies spread throughout the country can arrest you.”

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Despite that danger, the activist, from an underground group called “Change Now,” said he was convinced Sudan is on the brink of its own Arab Spring uprising.

Hard times and growing frustration with the two-decades-old government of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir have sparked small protests in Khartoum and other university cities in the Arab-African state.

The demonstrations are still tiny compared with those that shook Egypt and Libya. Sometimes about 30 people show up, hold banners denouncing the government for a couple of minutes, and then melt away before security agents arrive. But the demonstrations have become more frequent in the past few months and the question is, could they lead to something bigger?

The main economic challenge is plain. When South Sudan seceded from the north last year, Khartoum lost about three-quarters of its oil, the main source of state revenues and hard currency. The Sudanese pound has slumped by as much as 70 percent below the official rate. Annual inflation is at 18 percent as the cost of food imports has shot up. Wars against insurgencies in different parts of the still-vast country have also soaked up government funds.

In 1985, protests against food inflation toppled President Jaafar Nimeiri in some 10 days. But the government in Khartoum today says the economy is not nearly as bad as it was in the 1980s, when people had to queue for days to get rationed petrol or food. Sudan, it says, will not follow Egypt or Tunisia.

Rabie Abdelati, a senior official in the information ministry and Bashir’s National Congress Party (NCP), said that the economy was much better than in 1989 when Bashir came to power.

“The situation at that time was very terrible,” he said. “The government has the ability to overcome all obstacles.”

A relaxed-looking Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes, spoke on state television for almost two hours last week to assure the population that the economic situation was under control.

“We have a 3-year economic program (but) this year will be the most difficult,” the president said.

“IT WAS LIKE ANGER ERUPTED”

On the surface, life in the capital looks normal. Construction cranes loom on the banks of the Nile, working on new buildings and roads. The city bustles with foreign workers, maids and hotel staff.

But there are sporadic signs that public anger is rising.

In the last week of December, authorities temporarily closed the University of Khartoum after villagers displaced by a huge hydro-electric dam staged a protest, inspiring a week of some of the biggest student demonstrations in years. Weeks later, the spray-painted graffiti calling for “revolution” still covered a few walls near the university.

“Most people didn’t care about the first demonstration as we were all in exams mode,” said a female computer technology student who took part.

But when police came to the dormitories one night to detain some students, “it turned into a protest not just against the dam but against poverty, inflation and the bad situation for students,” said the woman, playing with her blue head scarf.

“It was like anger erupted,” she added. “Now they want to punish us by closing the university, but it will make things worse. We don’t get jobs after graduation. Life is so expensive, people are very angry.”

Abdelati, the information ministry official, said the protests were small and the university would reopen shortly.

OIL AND CONFLICTS

Sitting in front of a small metal workshop in downtown Khartoum, Sudanese construction worker Fateh Totu takes his time to recall when he last worked for longer than a week. At the moment he gets jobs for a couple of days, with sometimes a week in between.

“Three, four years ago life was much better. The country was in good shape. Construction work was good,” Totu said, drawing nods from fellow workers sitting on small plastic chairs along a dusty road.

South Sudan’s independence deprived Sudan – a country of 32 million people – of around 350,000 barrels per day (bpd) of the roughly 500,000 it pumped. Since then, oil exports, which made up 90 percent of Sudan’s total exports, have fallen to zero.

The remaining output in the north of around 115,000 bpd serves only domestic consumption.

Industry insiders doubt significant new reserves will be found. But Azhari Abdallah, a senior oil official, said production would rise this year to 180,000 bpd, helped by more efficient technology and recovery rates.

Other officials are less optimistic. Central bank governor Mohamed Kheir al-Zubeir has asked fellow Arab countries to deposit $4 billion (2 billion pounds) with the central bank and commercial lenders to stabilise the economy. Finance Minister Ali Mahmoud said in September Sudan might need $1.5 billion in foreign aid annually.

“The state spends a vast proportion of available resources on the security services. With three conflicts ongoing, the military’s claim on the national treasury is only growing,” said Aly Verjee, an analyst at the Rift Valley Institute. “While some austerity measures have been implemented, there is a general unwillingness in the government to take any step that might lead to popular discontent.”

Landlocked South Sudan must pump its oil through Sudan to the Red Sea. Northern officials hope the transit fees they charges will help. But a deal has been elusive – oil analysts say Khartoum has demanded a transit fee more than 10 times the international standard – and the breakaway state has so far refused to pay.

Khartoum has seized oil awaiting shipment to compensate for what it argues are unpaid fees. Industry sources say the north has sold at least one shipment of southern oil. In protest, South Sudan has shut down production.

OUTLOOK: “STABLE”

How to find new revenues? Khartoum expects to have exported $3 billion of gold in 2011 plus another $1 billion of other minerals. Mining workers say the real figures are less than a third of that.

“Only 7 of the 70 projected tonnes of gold output for 2011 come from regular mines,” said a foreign mining executive who declined to be named. “The rest is produced by gold seekers whose output is very hard to verify, and often ends up being smuggled abroad.”

The government predicts 2 percent growth in 2012 but the International Monetary Fund (IMF) thinks the economy will contract. A senior Sudanese analyst with ties to the government says food inflation is much higher than the official figure. Prices for meat, sugar, vegetable oil and other staples are doubling every year, according to the analyst, who asked not to be named.

Customs officials at Khartoum airport now search almost every piece of luggage brought into the country, hoping to find a laptop or other electric device on which they can charge duties.

Khartoum had long known the South would secede, but did little to diversify its economy away from oil, bankers say. Just days after South Sudan became independent last July, Sudan’s parliament, which is controlled by Bashir’s National Congress Party (NCP), passed a budget predicting stable oil revenues.

“They just thought it would continue like that,” said a senior banker in Khartoum who declined to be named. “That’s why I doubt they now have a plan to turn the economy around.”

Harry Verhoeven, a researcher at the University of Oxford who has studied Sudan extensively, said Khartoum had used its oil revenues for large, expensive projects such as the Merowe dam that sparked December’s protest.

ISOLATED

Since the united States imposed a trade embargo on Sudan in 1997, most Western firms have shunned the country. The ongoing domestic insurgencies and the International Criminal Court’s indictment of Bashir mean that’s unlikely to end any time soon.

That leaves Khartoum reliant on China, its biggest trading partner, and Gulf Arab states. But no substantial aid or loans have been announced yet apart from small development programs.

At an Arab investment conference in December, prominent Saudi businessman Sheikh Saleh Kamal slammed Sudan’s taxation, investment, land and work laws.

“I said it already in the ’90s but I repeat it again since nothing has changed,” said Kamal, head of Islamic lender Al-Baraka Banking Group and the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “The investment climate in Sudan does not help to attract any investments.”

MIXED MESSAGES

Despite the growing problems, organising protests isn’t easy. Power cuts, unreliable cell phone networks and low internet usage make it hard to mobilise people through Facebook or Twitter as happened in Egypt.

Activists are trying to link up with groups such as the people displaced by the Merowe dam, or poor farmers.

Many are frustrated with the inconsistent and ineffectual opposition parties, most of which are run by former rulers in their 70s. Activists say the main opposition party, the Umma Party, is unwilling to call for mass protests. The party’s veteran chairman Sadeq al-Mahdi recently said he wanted the president to go. But his son just became a presidential assistant in Bashir’s office. The leaders of another big opposition party have decided to join the government.

For the female computer technology student, the only way is out.

“I’m just tired of Sudanese politics. I think there will be a revolution, but nothing will change. We will have the same people,” she said.

“I just want to leave Sudan. I don’t see any job prospects here. I think 90 percent of students want to leave Sudan.”

(Writing by Ulf Laessing; additional reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; Editing by Simon Robinson and Sara Ledwith)

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/02/08/uk-sudan-idUKTRE81714G20120208


Thu Feb 2, 2012 12:23pm EST

* Transit row worsening as countries try to disentangle oil industries

* South Sudan took three-quarters of oil when became independent

* Needs to pay for using pipelines and Port Sudan

JUBA, Feb 2 (Reuters) – President Salva Kiir said on Thursday South Sudan wants to end a row with Sudan over oil transit payments but has rejected a proposal requiring Juba to pay billions of dollars and keep exporting crude through the neighbouring country.

The two neighbours are locked in a worsening row over disentangling their oil industries after the South split from Sudan and became independent in July, following decades of civil war that ended with a peace deal in 2005.

The landlocked new nation took three-quarters of the oil production – the lifeblood of both economies – but needs to pay for using northern pipelines and the Red Sea port of Port Sudan.

Tension rose when Sudan said last month it started seizing southern oil as compensation for what it called unpaid pipeline transit fees. South Sudan responded last week by shutting down its entire output of 350,000 barrels a day.

On Friday, Kiir met Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on the sidelines of an African Union (AU) summit to discuss oil but failed to reach a deal.

Kiir said he had rejected at the meeting a draft agreement by the AU because it would have required Juba to keep selling oil from some fields through Sudan’s export facilities.

“It is difficult for me to accept a deal that leaves our people vulnerable, dependent and paying billions they do not owe,” Kiir said, according to the text of his speech published by the government.

NEGOTIATIONS

The agreement would also have required South Sudan to supply 35,000 barrels a day to Sudan’s refineries, he said.

The value of the oil would be deducted from payments of $5.4 billion South Sudan also would have to make under the proposal to help Sudan cope with the loss of southern oil.

Kiir said the agreement had also not covered other conflicts such as marking the joint border and finding a solution for the disputed region of Abyei.

“I want to be clear that the Republic of South Sudan is committed to continue negotiations but we would also be wise to pursue efforts to enhance our economic self-sufficiency, prosperity and national security should we not find common ground with Khartoum for now,” he said.

South Sudan said last month it would build an alternative pipeline to Kenya within eleven months to end dependency on Sudan’s facilities.

But analysts are sceptical the project will take off because it would have to cross rough terrain and may not be viable.

Sudan accused South Sudan on Wednesday of being “hostile” towards Khartoum in the oil talks. (Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Sophie Hares)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/02/sudan-south-oil-idUSL5E8D26M620120202

South Sudan’s Leader Rejects AU Proposal for Oil Deal With Sudan

By Jared Ferrie – Feb 2, 2012 9:24 AM ET

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir said he rejected an African Union proposal to end an oil dispute with Sudan because it required the south to pay the north billions of dollars and use its pipelines to export crude.

Kiir, who held African Union-mediated talks with Sudanese President Umar al-Bashir on Jan. 27 in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, said the proposal required South Sudan to ship crude from certain oil fields through Sudan’s pipelines to the Red Sea.

“It is difficult for me to accept a deal that leaves our people vulnerable, dependent and paying billions they do not owe,” Kiir told reporters today in Juba, the capital. “This is an attempt to ensure that we do not build our own pipelines.”

South Sudan took control of about three-quarters of Sudan’s output of 490,000 barrels of oil a day when it gained independence in July. The crude is pumped mainly by China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPZ), Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Bhd. and India’s ONGC Videsh Ltd.

South Sudan completed a shutdown of oil production on Jan. 26 after accusing government in Khartoum of diverting oil to its refinery, forcing companies to load crude onto ships it controlled, and blockading other shipments. Sudan said it confiscated oil to cover unpaid bills.

South Sudan signed a memorandum of understanding with Kenya on Jan. 24 to build a pipeline to the Kenyan port of Lamu.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jared Ferrie in Juba, South Sudan atjferrie1@bloomberg.net

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-02/south-sudan-s-leader-rejects-au-proposal-for-oil-deal-with-sudan.html

South Sudanese refugees must leave Israel
Jewish Telegraphic Agency
JERUSALEM (JTA) — South Sudan nationals living in Israel will have two months to return to their home country or face deportation, Israel’s Interior Ministry said. Since South Sudan became an independent nation in July, refugees from the area no 

Ethnic Militarization: The Privatization of War in South Sudan
New Sudan Vision
Although what constitutes a war is still quite controversial—not as defined by its magnitude, but as typified or gauged by the number of casualties—widespread tribal conflicts, such as those for whichSouth Sudan is now infamously known for, can, 

Help Arrives For The Survivors Of Violence In South Sudan
YouTube
A spate of violence in South Sudan’s Jonglei State has driven thousands of people from their homes and into the bush, where they survived on what they could find. WFP has reachd 80000 people in the region with emergency food rations and is working with 

South Sudan’s Leader Rejects AU Proposal for Oil Deal With Sudan
Bloomberg
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir said he rejected an African Union proposal to end an oil dispute with Sudan because it required the south to pay the north billions of dollars and use its pipelines to export crude.


South Sudan
 wants more talks to end oil transit row

Reuters
Transit row worsening as countries try to disentangle oil industries * South Sudan took three-quarters of oil when became independent * Needs to pay for using pipelines and Port Sudan JUBA, Feb 2 (Reuters) – President Salva Kiir said on Thursday South 

UN official Valerie Amos warns of looming crisis in South Sudan
Los Angeles Times
REPORTING FROM JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN — The world’s newest nation, South Sudan, faces a devastating humanitarian crisis that could grow worse as people flee a border conflict with Sudan, the United Nations’ emergency relief coordinator warned Thursday.

JobsVehicle Fleet Manager – South Sudan (fixed term, 5-6 months)
Reuters AlertNet
Since starting in 1998, MAG’s programme in South Sudan has grown rapidly into one of our largest programmes globally. MAG South Sudan is undertaking a wide range of mine action initiatives and currently has humanitarian mine action projects operating 

COLUMN: Sudan and Congo savaged as world shrugs
Delmarva Now
Policymakers pin their hopes on the separation of South Sudan from the main part of the country in 2011 and recent elections in Congo as signs of progress. But this is pure hopefulness, not policy. The two Sudans are in active dispute over several 
China to ask South Sudan for help on kidnapped workers: report
Reuters
BEIJING (Reuters) – China will press South Sudan for help in securing the release of 29 Chinese workers held captive for five days and may appeal to the African Union and other parties to mediate in negotiations, state media reported on Thursday.

South Sudanese distressed by looming deportations
Jerusalem Post
By BEN HARTMAN 02/02/2012 05:18 By Ben Hartman Members of the South Sudanesecommunity in Israel on Wednesday expressed anger and confusion at the government decision announced a day earlier, which will require the entire community to leave Israel by 

South Sudan army deserter arrested in Rumbek on charge of killing businessman
Sudan Tribune
February 1, 2012 (BOR) – Authorities in Lakes State have captured a South Sudanese army deserter suspected of killing a Ugandan businessman in the state’s capital, Rumbek, on Wednesday. The soldier, Pabek Mackuac, was a member of division five in the 

KHARTOUM | Wed Feb 1, 2012 1:37pm EST

Feb 1 (Reuters) – Sudan, stepping up its rhetoric, accused South Sudan of “hostility” in their row over oil transit fees and said it would hold Juba responsible for any attack on northern oil facilities, a state-linked news website said on Wednesday.

The two neighbours are locked in a worsening row over disentangling their oil industries after the South split from Sudan and became independent in July, following decades of civil war that ended with a peace deal in 2005.

The landlocked new nation took three-quarters of the oil production – the lifeline of both economies – but needs to pay for using northern export facilities and the Red Sea port of Port Sudan.

Tension rose when Sudan said last month it started seizing southern oil at Port Sudan as compensation for what it called unpaid pipeline transit fees. Juba, the southern capital, responded last week by shutting down its entire output of 350,000 barrels a day.

The African Union has been trying to broker a deal but a meeting between Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and his southern counterpart Salva Kiir failed last week. More talks are scheduled for next week.

The Sudanese negotiation team said South Sudan had not been ready to reach a fair deal at the latest round of talks in Addis Ababa, the state-linked Sudanese Media Centre (SMC) said, citing a statement issued by the delegation after its return.

“The Government of Sudan … called on the southern government to review its hostile leaning towards Sudan,” the SMC said, adding that Sudan remained ready to continue talks in “good faith.”

Sudan also again accused Juba of supporting rebels in the main northern border state of South Kordofan, the SMC said.

“The Government of Sudan will hold the government of South Sudan responsible for any attempt to target or sabotage oil fields, facilities and oil infrastructure,” SMC said, without elaborating.

There was no immediate reaction from Juba. South Kordofan is home to much of Sudan’s remaining oil industry after the split.

Fighting broke out in June between the Sudanese army and rebels of the SPLM-North, and clashes spread to Blue Nile in September. Both states border South Sudan.

Blue Nile and South Kordofan contain large groups who sided with the south in the civil war, and who say they have continued to face persecution inside Sudan since South Sudan seceded.

The SPLM is now the ruling party in the independent south and denies supporting SPLM-North rebels across the border.

Events in South Kordofan and Blue Nile are difficult to verify because aid groups and foreign journalists are banned from areas where fighting takes place.

SPLM-North is one of a number of rebel movements in underdeveloped border areas who say they are fighting to overthrow Bashir and end what they see as the dominance of the Khartoum political elite.

The fighting has already forced about 417,000 people to flee their homes, more than 80,000 of them to newly independent South Sudan, according to the United Nations. (Reporting by Ulf Laessing and Khalid Abdelaziz; editing by Tim Pearce)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/01/sudan-south-oil-idUSL5E8D15ZZ20120201

South Sudan lists demands in oil row with north

Al Jazeera – ‎Jan 31, 2012‎
The United States has called on Sudan and South Sudan to end their dispute over oil transit fees. Sudan has released four oil tankers that belongs to the south as a gesture of good will. But the government of South Sudan, which halted its oil 

January 29, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – A group of 700 military officers from Sudan’s Armed Forces (SAF) confronted president Omer Hassan al-Bashir and his defense minister Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein with several demands that focused on military and political reforms, Sudan Tribune is told.

JPEG - 26.4 kb
FILE – Sudanese President Omer Hassan al-Bashir (C) and Defense minister Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein (L) salutes at a military function in Khartoum (AFP)

Multiple army sources who all spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue said that the officers included those stationed in the Sudanese capital Khartoum and other parts of the country.

The message was delivered last week to Bashir and Hussein during their briefing sessions with SAF senior army officers who listened to the pair calling on them to prepare for the possibility of a full-scale war with South Sudan.

But the sources said that the SAF officers at the briefing were all but appalled at the prospects of heading to war with Sudan’s southern neighbor given the state of the military at this point.

The officers called on Bashir and Hussein to urgently address the challenges faced by the SAF emphasizing that the army has been unable to decisively overcome the rebels in the border states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan.

The Sudanese army is battling rebels from the Sudan People Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) in the two states since June 2011 in South Kordofan and September 2011 in Blue Nile. Khartoum persistently accuses Juba of providing aid to the rebels but South Sudan routinely denies the charge.

This week the second Vice-President of Sudan, Al-Haj Adam Youssef was quoted by local media as threatening to go after SPLM-N rebels even if they had to go all the way to Juba.

“If necessary, Juba is not far,” he told the paper during celebrations of Sudan’s independence in the central state of Al-Jezira.

SAF needs “tremendously huge efforts” in order to prepare for future dangers particularly at a time when there is talk about foreign intervention, Bashir and Hussein were told.

The officers also urged Bashir and Hussein combat “rampant” corruption within the army and gave an example of 200 battle tanks that were bought in early 2010 but most of it turned out to be defective and a large number had to be sent to neighboring countries for repairs.

They noted that several senior officers objected to the “subpar deal” involving these tanks before they were bought which led to the sacking of Hussein’s chief secretary Maj. General Al-Na’eem Khidir and other senior officers including Maj. General Ahmed Abdoon who headed the Nyala army division and Maj. General Al-Tayeb Mosbah of El-Fasher army division.

The SAF officers also implored on Bashir and Hussein to implement segregation between the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and the army so that the latter does not shoulder the mistakes of the NCP and become vulnerable to volatility of the Sudanese politics.

Furthermore, they said that is imperative that the system of government be reformed because the status quo jeopardizes the country’s national security.

One of the sources underscored that the current political climate in the form of tensions between the Islamists and the NCP has spread into the army but declined to provide details.

He described Bashir and Hussein as “rattled” by the officers’ complaints.

Eric Reeves, a researcher at Smith College who writes extensively on Sudan, believes oil is a major factor in this move.

“This may well be a dismayed response to the clear possibility that Khartoum never wanted to make a deal about oil revenues with Juba. Rather, the goal was to create a casus belli, by which the army would seize the oil regions of the South and restore all oil revenues to a northern economy that continues in a politically dangerous tailspin” he said.

This month a number of memos have surfaced allegedly sent by the Islamist base calling on the NCP to implement political reforms and fight corruption.

One of them was presented in late 2011 by Bashir’s adviser Ghazi Salah al-Deen in his capacity as the leader of the NCP parliamentary bloc.

The Sudanese president responded vaguely to some of the demands contained in Ghazi’s memo while saying that it is “premature” to address the others.

Sudan is facing a growing economic crisis that was aggravated by the secession of the oil-rich south which took with it 75% of the country’s crude reserves.

Since then, Sudan’s oil revenues, which used to make up 90 percent of the country’s exports and were the main source of hard currency inflows, have largely dried up.

The government has already banned many imported items to preserve its foreign currency supply.

The Sudanese pound lost a significant amount of its value against the dollar as a result and the black market has flourished despite government warnings.

Khartoum is trying to walk the fine line between the need to cut government spending and cutting subsidies on basic goods and petroleum products which they fear might trigger social unrest.

Last year the governor of Sudan’s central bank Mohamed Khair al-Zubeir said that fuel subsidies need to be removed because they are a huge burden on the economy.

“Subsidies are a big burden for the state. The biggest subsidy is for fuel,” al-Zubeir said, adding that a barrel of fuel was sold locally at $60 compared to a market price of $100.

“So far we didn’t notice the difference, subsidies were no problem because the country had oil … [but] we cannot pay this anymore,” he added.

The landlocked South Sudan has been in talks with Khartoum on the fair fee that should be assessed for using the north’s refineries and pipelines. It has been reported that Sudan asked for $32 per barrel for the service, something which South Sudan vehemently rejected saying it is excessive compared to international norms.

Sudan retaliated to the slow pace of talks and decided to seize part of South Sudan’s oil as payment in kind for the exporting service. Juba responded by shutting down its oil production.

(ST)

http://www.sudantribune.com/EXCLUSIVE-Sudan-army-officers-warn,41444

Sudan frees South Sudan’s oil tankers; dispute continues
Reuters
JUBA/DUBAI (Reuters) – Sudan released tankers loaded with South Sudanese oil that had been held at Port Sudan in a row over export transit fees, days after Khartoum seized crude from its new neighbor and offered it at a steeply discounted price.

Sudan-South Sudan Dispute Dominates African Summit
Voice of America (blog)
South Sudan has followed through on its threat and shut down all oil production as its dispute with Sudan shows no sign of resolution. The leaders of both countries held talks in Addis Ababa late last week on the sidelines of the annual gathering of 

Report: Sudanese army free 14 kidnapped Chinese workers
CNN International
By the CNN Wire Staff The visit to Beijing by President Omar al-Bashir (L) last year was a sign of the growing ties between Sudan and China. (CNN) — The Sudanese army has freed 14 Chinese nationals who were kidnapped in the volatile South Kordofan 

Ki Moon calls for peaceful resolution to Sudan oil row
Sudan Tribune
By Julius N. Uma January 30, 2012 (JUBA) — Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations Secretary General on Sunday urged leaders in both Sudan and South Sudan to reach an agreement on how to share their oil wealth after series of counter accusations forced the 

Sudan oil crisis ‘threatens peace’
News24
Addis Ababa – South Sudan and Sudan could face a “major humanitarian crisis” if they fail to solve a running oil dispute, a top US envoy said on Sunday as African heads of state converged in Ethiopia’s capital for an African Union summit…

South Sudan clamps oil shutdown, seeks border deal
Business Recorder (blog)
South Sudan has fully shut down oil output in a row with Sudan over export transit fees and will only restart after a broader deal on issues including border security and the disputed region of Abyei, its oil minister said on Sunday…

Brent drops below $111/barrel; EU, Iran eyed
Reuters
 Tan | SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Brent crude fell on Monday as investors cautiously eyed a European Union summit for a resolution to the region’s debt crisis, but prices hovered near $111 per barrel on concerns over supply from Iran and South Sudan

China says contact cut with workers held in Sudan
Reuters Africa
BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s embassy in Sudan has lost contact with 29 Chinese construction workers held by rebels in the strife-troubled border state of South Kordofan, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Monday. The rebel Sudan People’s 

Supply concerns keep Brent above $US110
Sydney Morning Herald
Brent crude edged down on Monday as investors cautiously eyed a European Union summit for a resolution to the region’s debt crisis, but prices stayed above $US111 per barrel on concerns over supply from Iran and South Sudan. EU leaders are expected to 

The South Sudan dream is turning sour
The Guardian (blog)
It is now a year since the people of South Sudan voted overwhelmingly for independence from Khartoum. But the vision of a new era of peace and co-operation between north and south, endorsed at the time by President Omar al-Bashir and the southern 

South Sudan ethnic clashes claim 74 lives
Daily Nation
A May 2011 handout photo showing displaced South Sudanese waiting for relief supplies in Warrap State. Fresh fighting has claimed more than 74 lives as ethnic clashes continue to convulse the new country. PHOTO | AFP By MACHEL AMOS in Juba At least 74 

AU Commission Chair Urges Sudan, South Sudan to Reach Agreement
Sudan Vision
The birth of South Sudan state was an indication of political maturity and wisdom of the leaders of the two states, Mr. Ping said, and called on the governments of Sudan and South Sudan to arrive at solutions for the outstanding issues…


January 27, 2012, 2:00 PM EST

By William Davison and Paul Richardson

Jan. 27 (Bloomberg) — South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, and Sudanese leader Umar al-Bashir failed to reach an agreement to end an oil dispute between the two countries that led South Sudan to start shutting down its crude production.

The negotiations are expected to continue at the Jan. 29-30 summit of the 54-nation African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi told reporters today in the capital.

“In general terms I believe there is quite a lot of progress, but not enough for us to be able to clinch a deal now,” Meles said. The failure of the talks means South Sudan’s shutdown of oil production will continue, he said.

South Sudan has accused Sudan of seizing oil that passes through its territory to an export terminal on the Red Sea and has demanded $32 a barrel in transportation fees. South Sudan offered $1 a barrel. Sudan says it is diverting the crude to cover unpaid bills. Kiir said on Jan. 23 Sudan has “looted” $815 million worth of his country’s oil.

South Sudan took control of about three-quarters of Sudan’s output of 490,000 barrels a day when it gained independence from its northern neighbor in July. The crude is pumped mainly by China National Petroleum Corp., or CNPC, Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Bhd. and India’s ONGC Videsh Ltd.

The talks came after the African Union submitted a proposal, backed by the U.S. and China, to both leaders suggesting ways to end the dispute.

Chinese Imports

China imported about 250,000 barrels a day, or more than 65 percent of total Sudanese oil exports, accounting for 5 percent of the nation’s imports in 2010, according to data from the U.S. Energy Department.

South Sudan said on Jan. 25 that it has stopped output at more than 300 wells and there is “reduced production” at 600 more, cutting production to about 135,000 barrels per day from 275,000 barrels previously.

South Sudan’s “unilateral decision” to halt production “can only be stopped if there is an agreement,” Meles said.

The shutdown of output so far in South Sudan may have halted CNPC-operated production in Unity state, equivalent to about 150,000 barrels per day, Philippe de Pontet, Africa Director at New York-based Eurasia Group, said in a research report yesterday.

South Sudan’s chief negotiator at the talks, Pagan Amum, said the shutdown of the country’s output would be completed by tomorrow. Any agreement with Sudan would depend on the release of detained vessels ferrying “stolen” South Sudanese oil, and compensation for the siphoned crude, he said.

Once an agreement is reached, it will take about a week to bring production back to pre-shutdown levels, Amum said.

South Sudan says its government depends on oil for about 90 percent of its revenue.

–Editors: Karl Maier, Emily Bowers

To contact the reporters on this story: William Davison in Addis Ababa at wdavison3@bloomberg.net; Paul Richardson in Nairobi at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-01-27/sudan-south-sudan-end-talks-on-oil-dispute-without-accord.html

South Sudan oil shutdown continues after talks fail

Yara Bayoumy and Aaron MaashoReuters

1:02 p.m. CST, January 27, 2012

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – The presidents of Sudan and South Sudan failed Friday to resolve an oil dispute that has led to the shutdown of the South’s crude output and threatened both countries’ economies.The row centers on how much landlocked South Sudan, which became independent last year, should pay to send its oil exports through Sudan to a Red Sea port.Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, using a walking stick, and South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir met on the sidelines of a meeting of East African officials in Ethiopia.The two discussed a deal that “would have frozen the situation and reverses the unilateral actions that had been taken by both,” a source close to the talks told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

However, the source said the talks broke down when Kiir pulled out.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who chaired the East African meeting, said the two had agreed to sign a deal even though they had reservations on numerous points, according to the source.

“Then Salva said, ‘I regret to say that my delegation is still discussing the deal and I can’t sign’,” the source said.

South Sudan seceded in July under a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war with Khartoum. It took with it about 75 percent of roughly 500,000 barrels per day of oil production.

Both countries depend heavily on oil and have put forward widely differing figures for a possible transit fee. Sudan has publicly proposed $36 per barrel, while South Sudan has listed figures under $1 per barrel.

The dispute heated up this month when Sudan said it was confiscating some oil exports from South Sudan to make up for what it called unpaid fees. In response, South Sudan said on January 20 it was shutting down its output.

WELLS SHUT DOWN

South Sudan’s oil minister Stephen Dhieu Dau said Friday that his country was continuing to shut down its oil output in protest at Sudan seizing part of its oil shipments.

“Now 50 percent of the wells are off,” he told reporters during a visit to the Palouge oil field in Upper Nile state. However, he did not say whether he was referring to the whole country or Upper Nile fields only.

In a sign of continuing acrimony, Dau also said Khartoum may have been diverting some oil from the fields which lay on the southern side of the border to feed its refinery in Khartoum. There was no immediate response to the accusation from Sudan.

An official at Petrodar, a consortium of mainly Chinese and Malaysian firms that produces much of South Sudan’s oil output, said the company had shut down around 250 of its wells, and expected to finish the shutdown in three days.

“The progress is going very smoothly and safely. The program is expected to finish in three more days,” Hago Bakheed Mahmoud, field operation manager for Petrodar, told reporters.

Petrodar was still pumping between 145,000 and 150,000 barrels per day and could resume its operations within three to four days if it was given instructions to do so, he added.

TALKS COLLAPSE

The negotiations that could lead to a reversal of the shutdown “have reached an impasse,” South Sudan’s chief negotiator Pagan Amum told reporters in Addis Ababa.

“The mood was not good because imagine you’re sitting with someone that’s stealing your property,” he said, adding the South’s output would cease by Saturday and that only cleaning and flushing the facilities would remain after that.

Sudan’s negotiators did not immediately comment.

Ethiopian leader Meles said the two sides hadn’t agreed on a deal yet, but oil would stay on the agenda in Addis Ababa, where the leaders of Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia also met.

“It was agreed that the two parties will continue their negotiations during the summit. We have not come to conclusion as yet,” he told reporters.

Meles said an African Union mediating panel had proposed a “reversal of unilateral measures” taken by both sides, but did not spell out what that meant. “Many of those issues are agreed, but there are some sticking points,” he said.

According to oil industry sources, Sudan has already sold at least one cargo of crude seized from South Sudan at millions of dollars discount, and is offering more.

Sudan’s civil war was fought for most years from 1955 to 2005 over issues of ethnicity, religion, ideology and oil. An estimated 2 million people died in the conflict.

Southerners voted overwhelmingly to secede in a referendum held last year in January.

(Reporting by Aaron Maasho and Yara Bayoumy; Additional reporting by Hereward Holland in Palouge; Writing by Alexander Dziadosz; Editing by David Stamp)

Sudan, South Sudan Oil Talks End Without Agreement

LONDON (Dow Jones)–Negotiations between Sudan President Omar al-Bashir and South Sudan President Salva Kiir to resolve a long-standing dispute of oil transit fees ended without agreement, David Kong, deputy of mission at South Sudan’s embassy in Ethiopia, told Dow Jones Newswires on Friday.

“No agreement was reached, but our president says negotiations will continue,” Kong said, adding that South Sudan would go ahead with its plans to shut down oil production.

The meeting, which took place in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on Friday, marked the latest attempt to negotiate an agreement between the two sides in a long-standing dispute over oil transit fees.

South Sudan split from Sudan in July, taking with it some 75% of the former country’s oil production. However, South Sudan lacks the infrastructure to export the oil and has been left dependent on pipelines that flow through Sudan.

The neighbors have been unable to agree on a suitable fee for the use of these pipelines, and the resulting dispute has become increasingly tense, causing severe disruptions to South Sudan’s oil exports.

-By Sarah Kent, Dow Jones Newswires; 44 20 7842 9376; sarah.kent@dowjones.com

http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20120127-712921.html

Sudan, South Sudan leaders fail to reach oil deal

Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:33pm GMT
South Sudan's President Salva Kiir (L) and Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir attend the Independence Day ceremony in South Sudan's capital Juba July 9, 2011.    REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

By Yara Bayoumy and Aaron Maasho

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – The presidents of Sudan and South Sudan failed on Friday to resolve an oil dispute that has led to the shutdown of the South’s crude output and threatened both countries’ economies.

The row centres on how much landlocked South Sudan, which became independent last year, should pay to send its oil exports through Sudan to a Red Sea port.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, using a walking stick, and South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir met on the sidelines of a meeting of East African officials in Ethiopia.

The two discussed a deal that “would have frozen the situation and reverses the unilateral actions that had been taken by both”, a source close to the talks told Reuters.

However, the source said the talks broke down when Kiir pulled out.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who chaired the East African meeting, said the two had agreed to sign a deal even though they had reservations on numerous points, according to the source.

“Then Salva said, ‘I regret to say that my delegation is still discussing the deal and I can’t sign’,” the source quoted Zenawi as saying.

South Sudan seceded in July under a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war with Khartoum. It took with it about 75 percent of roughly 500,000 barrels per day of oil production.

Both countries depend heavily on oil and have put forward widely differing figures for a possible transit fee. Sudan has publicly proposed $36 per barrel, while South Sudan has listed figures under $1 per barrel.

The dispute heated up this month when Sudan said it was confiscating some oil exports from South Sudan to make up for what it called unpaid fees. In response, South Sudan said on January 20 it was shutting down its output.

WELLS SHUT DOWN

South Sudan’s oil minister Stephen Dhieu Dau said on Friday that his country was continuing to shut down its oil output in protest at Sudan seizing part of its oil shipments.

“Now 50 percent of the wells are off,” he told reporters during a visit to the Palouge oil field in Upper Nile state. However, he did not say whether he was referring to the whole country or Upper Nile fields only.

Zenawi said the two sides hadn’t agreed on a deal yet, but oil would stay on the agenda in Addis Ababa, where the leaders of Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia also met.

“It was agreed that the two parties will continue their negotiations during the summit. We have not come to conclusion as yet,” he told reporters.

Zenawi said an African Union mediating panel had proposed a “reversal of unilateral measures” taken by both sides, but did not spell out what that meant. “Many of those issues are agreed, but there are some sticking points,” he said.

According to oil industry sources, Sudan has already sold at least one cargo of crude seized from South Sudan at millions of dollars discount, and is offering more.

Sudan’s civil war was fought for most years from 1955 to 2005 over issues of ethnicity, religion, ideology and oil. An estimated 2 million people died in the conflict.

Southerners voted overwhelmingly to secede in a referendum held last year in January.

http://af.reuters.com/article/investingNews/idAFJOE80Q0BO20120127?feedType=RSS&feedName=investingNews&sp=true


New York, January 18, 2012–The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns Sudan’s routine use of newspaper closures as a means to censor critical reporting. Over two weeks, the authorities have shut down and confiscated the assets of two daily newspapers.”Khartoum has consistently used newspaper confiscations and closures to silence critical voices,” said Mohamed Abdel Dayem, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator. “The government must immediately halt this practice of repression and return all confiscated assets.”The National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) shut down the private daily Alwanon Friday, Reuters reported. Editor-in-Chief Hussein Khawjali told the news agency that the NISS called and informed him of its decision to close the paper and seize its assets. The decision came a day after the NISS raided the newspaper’s office and confiscated copies of its January 12 print run, according to local news reports. Authorities did not provide a reason for the closure, but Alwan had published several articles in support of Hassan al-Turabi, the head of the opposition Popular Congress Party (PCP) which publishes the daily Rai al-Shaab, which was shut down two weeks earlier.On January 2, the NISS called Rai-al-Shaab Editor-in-Chief Al-Tayib Ibrahim Issa to inform him of its decision to shut down the newspaper and seize its property, international media reported.  NISS told Issa to inform his staff to clear all personal belongings, Al-Jazeera said. That action came a day after security forces raided Rai al-Shaab‘s office and confiscated its January 1 print run, Al-Jazeera said.

Authorities did not provide Rai al-Shaab with a reason for the closure, but the head of NISS told the local press that the newspaper was being shut down for its lack of professionalism and “violations” it had committed. Al-Turabi, once the justice minister and foreign minister, is a leading critic of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir. He has spent several years in prison or under house arrest. Rai al-Shaab, his party’s newspaper, has been a frequent target of censorship, CPJ research shows. It was previously shut downand three of its journalists arrested in May 2010. The paper had resumed publishing for only a few months before the latest closure.

In 2011, authorities carried out at least 19 confiscations of newspaper print runs, CPJ research shows. Despite the frequent actions taken against newspapers, Sudan continues to have a vibrant independent print media.

###
CPJ is a New York-based, independent, nonprofit organization
that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide.

Contact:
Mohamed Abdel Dayem
m.abdel.dayem@cpj.orgDahlia El-Zein:
DElZein@cpj.org
Link: http://cpj.org/2012/01/sudan-confiscates-shuts-down-newspapers-again.php

ReutersReuters 

KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Sudan’s army fought rebels in the oil-producing state of South Kordofan last week, both sides said on Saturday.

The rebels said they had killed nine government troops, but the army denied this.

Fighting has taken place since last June in South Kordofan between the Sudanese army and rebels from the northern wing of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, who want to topple the Khartoum government.

Clashes spread to neighbouring Blue Nile state, which also borders newly independent South Sudan, in September.

The violence has already forced about 417,000 people to flee their homes, more than 80,000 of them to South Sudan, the United Nations estimates.

Both Blue Nile and South Kordofan contain large groups who sided with the south in a decades-long civil war, and who say they continue to face persecution inside Sudan since South Sudan seceded in July.

The SPLM is now the ruling party in the independent south and denies supporting SPLM-North rebels across the border.

The SPLM-North rebels said they had killed nine soldiers, destroyed three tanks and seized military equipment in clashes at Tees near the southern border on Monday. They also seized three army vehicles in another attack in the same area on Tuesday, they said in a statement.

Army spokesman Sawarmi Khalid Saad confirmed military operations had taken place in the town of Tees to reopen a road but denied any soldiers had been killed.

“These areas are under army control,” he said.

Events in South Kordofan and Blue Nile are difficult to verify because aid groups and foreign journalists are banned from areas where fighting takes place.

SPLM-North is one of a number of rebel movements in underdeveloped border areas who say they are fighting to overthrow Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and end what they see as the dominance of the Khartoum political elite.

Sudan and South Sudan, who still have to resolve a range of issues including the sharing of oil revenues, regularly trade accusations of supporting insurgencies on each other’s territory.

Their armed forces clashed at Jau in a region claimed by both sides last month in a rare direct confrontation.

Locals have faced air raids and sporadic ground fighting, according to rights groups and refugees, although Sudan denies it is bombing civilian areas.

(Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Ben Harding and Peter Graff)

http://news.yahoo.com/sudan-southern-rebels-clash-oil-border-state-203756198.html


Jan 14 (Reuters) – South Sudan said Sudan had ordered the loading of 650,000 barrels of southern crude oil on to a tanker belonging to Khartoum, escalating tensions between north and south over how to share oil revenues.

There was no immediate comment by Sudan’s foreign ministry, which on Friday accused South Sudan of having failed to pay duties for oil shipments at the northern oil export terminal in Port Sudan.

South Sudan took over two-thirds of Sudan’s oil production of around 490,000 barrels per day when it became independent in July under a 2005 peace agreement that ended decades of civil war.

The new, landlocked African nation needs to use a northern pipeline and the Red Sea port of Port Sudan to export its crude, but both sides have failed to reach a deal on how much it will pay.

South Sudan’s oil ministry said on Saturday Sudan had forced pipeline operator Petrodar to load the shipment, which is worth $65 million, to a tanker belonging to Khartoum.

“The government of the Republic of South Sudan was informed by Petrodar … that such loading was required, non-negotiable and overseen by the government of Sudan and their national security,” it said.

It named the vessel as “MT Sea Sky.”

Officials at the Sudanese foreign ministry could not immediately be reached for comment after Reuters sent the South Sudanese statement to the ministry via email.

On Friday, the foreign ministry said Sudan was holding two southern shipments because South Sudan had failed to pay the port duties. Two other vessels turned back after approaching Port Sudan when they leaned that port duties had not been paid, it added.

Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said this month Khartoum would impose a fee until a deal is reached with Juba over a transit fee. He did not elaborate.

Petrodar, a consortium which produces oil in South Sudan and operates the pipeline, could not be immediately reached for comment. Major shareholders include state-owned China National Petroleum Corp, Sinopec and Malaysia’s Petronas.

Sudan and South Sudan are due to resume bilateral talks over sharing oil revenues, sponsored by the African Union, in Ethiopia after making no progress in previous talks. (Reporting by Hereward Holland; Writing by Ulf Laessing)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/14/idUSL6E8CE0BG20120114

South Sudan Owes Sudan over USD 900 Million

Khartoum – Oil export revenue arrears payable by South Sudan to Sudan have exceeded USD 900 millions, and that include charges for oil processing, transit fees, cost of transport as well as fees for use of Port, says Sabir Mohamed Al-Hassan, former governor of the Central Bank of Sudan.

Dr. Sabir, who is also head of Sudan’s economic delegation to talks in Addis Ababa, explained that the Government of South Sudan is not willing to enter into any agreement on fees for use of North’s oil facilities and has also rejected the AU proposal and at the same time it wants to use the North’s oil infrastructure to export its oil.

“That is why the Sudanese Government has decided to take its entitlement in kind starting from first December last in return for the services rendered to the South in the form of use of North’s facilities to export its oil and indeed we have taken what is payable to us” he said.

He said the non-payment of charges by the Government of South Sudan to the Sudan has negatively affected the latter’s economy and rate of exchange of its pound.

“We are concerned that this hard-line stance on the part of the South is a reflection of lack of understanding and cooperation caused by the existence of extremist elements and foreign agenda seeking to create problems for Sudan,” he said.

Dr. Sabir expressed the Sudanese Government’s determination to participate in the talks in Addis Ababa scheduled for 17 January, to be held in presence of the AU mediator. “We hope to reach understandings and agreement to address outstanding economic issues which were supposed to have been resolved long back” he said “From our side, we have shown good intention to cooperate with the South and we are keen to achieve understandings and deals that will assist the new state to shoulder its tasks and responsibilities and to enable it to use oil facilities in the North to export its oil abroad despite the fact that it did not sign any agreement, protocol or understanding for cooperation and without paying transit fees since early July 2011”,  he said, adding that “The Government of the South refused to enter into any agreement on charges payable to the North.”

“If an agreement is not reached on the outstanding economic issues both the North and South will be negatively affected and the situation may further escalate and that will also harm the two countries” he warned.

Dr. Sabir expressed hope that efforts by China would succeed to narrow the gap of differences between the two countries. “China is the largest trade partner and maintains distinguished relations with both the Sudan and South Sudan and has appointed special envoy to exert efforts to bring about understanding between Khartoum and Juba” he said.

It is worth mentioning that the Sudan and South Sudan differ on oil sharing whose fields are largely located in the South but the North is also home to key oil facilities.

Oil contributes 98% to South Sudan’s budget which seceded from the North last summer.

Last week Khartoum prevented two South’s oil tankers from leaving the Port and also denied access to the Port for two shipments.

South Sudan announced the conclusion of first oil contract with the outside world since its independence in July when it signed agreements with Chinese, Indian and Malaysian companies.
By Staff Writer, 7 hours 26 minutes ago

http://news.sudanvisiondaily.com/details.html?rsnpid=204889

Petronas Signs Transition Agreement With South Sudan
Bernama
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14 (Bernama) — Petronas and its partners have signed a transition agreement with the government of South Sudan for the continued operations in the upstream blocks in the country. The operations was previously awarded by the 

South Sudan: Murle Kill 55, Official Accuses Unmiss of Inaction
AllAfrica.com
The commissioners accused the United Nations Mission in South Sudan UNMISS of not providing equal protection to civilians of Lou Nuer in both Akobo and Uror County and categorically said that the UN has failed to evacuate the wounded to hospital 

S.Sudan: Khartoum loads south’s oil on Sudan ship
Reuters
JUBA Jan 14 (Reuters) – South Sudan said Sudan had ordered the loading of 650000 barrels of southern crude oil on to a tanker belonging to Khartoum, escalating tensions between north and south over how to share oil revenues. 

DOLE imposes total deployment ban on South Sudan
GMA News
The Department of Labor and Employment imposed over the weekend a total ban on the deployment of overseas Filipino workers to South Sudan. DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz disclosed this late Saturday, after the Philippine Overseas Employment 

South Sudan Owes Sudan over USD 900 Million
Sudan Vision
Khartoum – Oil export revenue arrears payable by South Sudan to Sudan have exceeded USD 900 millions, and that include charges for oil processing, transit fees, cost of transport as well as fees for use of Port, says Sabir Mohamed Al-Hassan

Israel appoints non-resident envoy to South Sudan
Jerusalem Post
By HERB KEINON The Foreign Ministry on Tuesday named Haim Koren as ambassador to South Sudan, signaling the importance Jerusalem attributes to its relationship with the world’s newest state. Koren, a former director of the ministry’s Political Planning 

UN Security Council presses for ethnic reconciliation in South Sudan
Associated Press of Pakistan
UNITED NATIONS, Jan 10 (APP) – UN Security Council members have called on warring ethnic communities in South Sudan’s Jonglei state to engage in reconciliation and end the “cycle of conflict” that has claimed an unknown number of casualties in recent 

Explainer: violence in South Sudan
The Guardian
When South Sudan became independent six months ago, many anticipated trouble between the world’s newest state and its northern neighbour Sudan. But the worst loss of life has come in violence between groups within South Sudan itself, 

DFA: South Sudan on crisis alert level 3
Manila Bulletin
With these words from Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday raised crisis alert level 3 in South Sudan in light of the deteriorating security situation caused by inter-ethnic violence in the 

Headlines of major daily newspapers issued in Khartoum today the 9th of 
Sudan News Agency
Defense Minister: We will not accept to be a state ride to the enemies of South Sudan. Faced charges punishable by death, (151) defendants in the events of the Blue Nile are presented for trials. Al- Bashir announced the preparations for holding a 

UN Security Council presses for ethnic reconciliation in South Sudan
Associated Press of Pakistan
UNITED NATIONS, Jan 10 (APP) – UN Security Council members have called on warring ethnic communities in South Sudan’s Jonglei state to engage in reconciliation and end the “cycle of conflict” that has claimed an unknown number of casualties in recent 

GSDF faces challenges in S. Sudan mission
The Daily Yomiuri
The Ground Self-Defense Force’s nation-building activity as part of a UN peacekeeping operation inSouth Sudan is likely to take a long time and face various challenges. In mid-January, the first batch of a GSDF engineering unit will be sent to South 

South Sudan Marks Peace Day
Oye! Times
This Day is commemorated yearly in remembrance of the CPA that ushered in a new peaceful era in the history of South Sudan after decades of civil war where 2.5million people were killed and over 4 million others displaced. The event was organized by 

UN launches aid effort in South Sudan
Reuters Video
Jan 10 – The United Nations launches a complex humanitarian effort in South Sudan as Africa’s newest nation struggles with tribal clashes. Nick Rowlands reports.

South Sudan, UN Ill-Prepared to Contain Tribal Violence
World Politics Review
By Catherine Cheney | 10 Jan 2012 Outbreaks of violence between the Lou Nuer and Murle tribes inSouth Sudan, which began last month and continued into this week, have left hundreds dead and tens of thousands displaced in one of the most remote corners 

South Sudan’s latest ethnic violence claims 22 lives
Firstpost
Juba, South Sudan: Members of a South Sudanese tribe targeted in massive attacks late last month have killed 22 people and burned down three villages of the opposing tribe in new attacks, a state governor said. Thousands of youth from the Lou Nuer 
South Sudan accuses Sudan of blocking oil exports
Atlanta Journal Constitution
By MICHAEL ONYIEGO AP JUBA, South Sudan — South Sudan said Tuesday that Sudan, its northern neighbor that controls the region’s pipelines, has blocked the movement of 3.4 million barrels of oil belonging to the south since December. 

By Mona Al-Bashir, 5 hours 21 minutes ago

Khartoum – Sudanese government revealed a new diplomatic strategy in dealing with the Republic of South Sudan, affirming its keenness to improve and develop bilateral relations with the new-born state.

Foreign Ministry Undersecretary, Ambassador Rahamatallah Osman said that the new strategy will be based on the historical relations between the two countries considering that South Sudan was part of the Sudan, besides benefiting from the tribal intermingling on the borders between the two countries.

He added that the diplomatic work nature all over the world endevours to create relations with countries and people, stressing that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs believes that there is an already relation between Sudan and South Sudan which could be the foundation of that relation.

Osman affirmed that the Sudanese foreign policy towards South Sudan is based on economical and social advantages which could be achieved through close cooperation between the two countries.

He pointed out that Sudan wants to establish a good neighbourly relations with South Sudan, adding to Sudan Vision that there is no permanent hostilities between any two countries and that the Foreign Ministry will use all the methods to preserve the mutual interests.
On the relations between ROSS and Israel, Osman said that ROSS is an independent state and has the right to establish relations with whomever it desires, pointing out that that relation will not affect the Sudanese relations with the ROSS considering that the mutual interest is governing that relations.

He affirmed that lifting Sudan from the states sponsoring terrorism will not be implemented now despite the US recognition that Sudan is not more sponsoring terrorism and is due to the presence of the American civil society organization hostile to Sudan and other pressing groups in America.

http://news.sudanvisiondaily.com/details.html?rsnpid=204531

South Sudan Government and the Use of Market Logic In Negotiations

Weeks after the Secretary General of the SPLM in South Sudan Pagan Amum offer to buy the North-South disputed area of Abyei from the Sudan, Amum presented another offer to a solution to the pending issues through buying and selling.
According to news reports last week, Amum announced readiness to pay any price for settling the pending issues, saying that Juba is ready to offer billions of dollars to settle these issues.
The statements of Amum came in the context of commencement of a dialogue to discuss means for solving the Sudan-Southern Sudan pending issues of the dispute over Abyei, oil exportation, foreign debts and demarcation of common borders.

The remarkable thing in the statements of Amum is his belief that everything has a price and that there is no need for political talks and arguments.
Unfortunately, this belief itself reflects the ignorance about the party the government of South Sudan is negotiating with and of the nature of the issues of negotiations.
The South Sudan is negotiating with Sudan which will accept the selling and buying principle in politics. Sudan has given the SPLM the right to vote for the self-determination referendum without any price. Sudan was only hoping that the South will stop supporting armed rebels in Sudan after the conduct of referendum.
It is strange for Amum to ignore this simple logic to try to offer money for land and other important security and essential issues.
And even if we accept this logic, the question is; from where will the Southern Sudan get these huge amounts of money? And if the South owns this money, why do Southern citizens live in miserable situations?

http://news.sudanvisiondaily.com/details.html?rsnpid=202346
By SS, 23/11/2011


South Sudan: Governor – Forces Loyal to Late Athor Defect to SPLA
AllAfrica.com
He urges all rebels to take seriously the calling for peace in South Sudan as well as the President’s general amnesty declared to them to put down their arms and join fellow South Sudanese in nation building…

South Sudan aid effort under way, UN says
CNN International
(CNN) — A huge aid effort is under way in a remote area of South Sudan to help an estimated 60000 people who fled their homes to escape roaming fighters, the United Nations said. Some 6000 armed men from the Lou Nuer tribe marched on an area of 

Sudan’s Bashir skips South African’s ANC centenary celebrations
Sudan Tribune
January 6, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese government announced that president Omer al-Bashir will be unable to attend the celebrations in South Africa of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) 100th anniversary. Bashir’s adviser Mustafa Osman 

Obama adds South Sudan to list of countries eligible to receive US weapons
Sudan Tribune
But US officials said this move did not mean that Washington has imminent plans to sell arms toSouth Sudan. “We have from the beginning, and even before we got to statehood, been open to conversations that they wanted to have with us about how they 

South Sudan: Warrap Government Dismisses Over Hundred Civil Servants
AllAfrica.com
He added that some of them had served long, long time ago in the government of Sudan by then. The purpose of laying off these civil servants by the State government is to give chance to the young graduates, who could deliver services to the citizens of 

South Sudan: LRA Kills Two Persons in WBG, Fetches Supplies From Sudan
AllAfrica.com
The governor was speaking about security concerns in his state which he linked to South Darfur as a cause. .Hassan further said that the LRA rebels always access his state as a passage where they can get food items to facilitate their journey to 

Six months on, South Sudan struggles
Al Jazeera
It has been almost exactly a year since 99 per cent of people in southern Sudan voted in favour of breaking away from the north and forming their own country. South Sudan was declared the world’s newest country on July 9 last year 2011, but six months 


Aug 6 (Reuters) – North Sudan has released a 600,000 barrel oil shipment of landlocked South Sudan held over failed customs duties, a southern official said on Saturday as both sides argue over dividing oil revenues.

On Friday, Khartoum said it had stopped the crude cargo at the outlet of Port Sudan because South Sudan failed to pay customs duties, the latest in oil tensions between the two countries.

South Sudan took most of the country’s oil production of 500,000 barrels of oil when it became independent on July 9 as part of a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war with the north. Oil is the lifeline of both economies.

The South needs northern refineries, the only Red Sea port in Port Sudan and pipeline to sell the oil but both sides have failed so far to agree on usage fees in a row that could disrupt supplies from one of Africa’s largest producers.

“Now the shipment has left, the 600,000 barrels,” David Loro Gubek, undersecretary at the southern ministry of energy and mining in Juba, told Reuters.

He confirmed that Khartoum had demanded a fee for future use of northern oil facilities of around $32 a barrel which would amount to a third of the export value of South Sudan, according to Reuters calculations based on current prices.

Until now both split equally the oil.

South Sudan had asked the African Union (AU), which is sponsoring bilateral talks in Ethiopia, to find a compromise after rejecting the $32 proposal, Gubek said.

“So, the African Union has not decided what is the correct amount to pay. Now I think our president talked to (northern president) Omar (Hassan) Al-Bashir so that whatever decision the AU gives, then the Republic of South Sudan will pay.”

Tensions had seemed to have eased at the end of last month when South Sudan said it saw progress in oil sharing talks with the North only a week after accusing it of waging economic war by demanding a very high pipeline transit fee.

Last month, the northern parliament approved an alternative 2011 budget that lawmakers said included an annual income of $2.6 billion for transit fees — the same amount expected for the loss of southern oil production.

Refineries are located only in the North. Experts say southern plans to connect to a pipeline in east African neighbour Kenya are years away.

Analysts say Sudan has had little transparency for years about how oil revenues are booked. The country has endured conflict, inflation, corruption and U.S. trade sanctions.

Apart from sharing oil revenues, both sides need to end violence in some parts of their shared border and need to divide up other assets and debt.

Some 2 million people died in Sudan in a decades-long conflict over religion, ethnicity, ideology and oil, although the secession last month was very peaceful.

Sudanese oil flows mainly to Asia, with China buying more than half of total volumes. South Sudan’s production is dominated by Chinese and Indian companies, which have been marketing their crude themselves so far. Last month, South Sudan also signed a deal with trading house Glencore to help it market crud, but a dispute between various officials has threatened to derail the agreement. (Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Susan Fenton)

Sudan releases South’s oil shipment

August 6, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The authorities in Port Sudan have allowed an oil shipment to leave for its destination after several days of delay over the non-payment of custom duties.

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South Sudan’s Minister of Energy and Mining Garang Deng (AFP)

The oil cargo belonged to the newly independent state of South Sudan which has no way to export its oil except through the pipelines that run through its northern neighbor.

“We have made consultations with Khartoum and at the end of the day yesterday [Friday] the shipment that was detained sailed to its destination,” South Sudan Energy and Mining Minister Garang Deng told Agence France Presse (AFP) in an interview.

He did not say how much South Sudan had to pay so that Khartoum unblocks the shipment. Juba said this week that it could incur penalties in the event that they miss the delivery date specified in the contract with the buyer.

The two countries are grappling over much South Sudan should pay for using the oil infrastructure in Sudan.

Khartoum has proposed at least $22.8 per barrel which was labeled as “daylight robbery” by Juba. The latter said afterwards that Sudan dropped this figure.

Both sides are negotiating this item under the auspices of an African Union (AU) panel headed by former South African president Thabo Mbeki. Little progress has been made so far in breaking the deadlock on pricing the transit fees.

“Currently the oil negotiations are stalled. This is because NCP [Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party] are demanding what they call financial transitional arrangements, in which they are asking a sort of contribution of wealth sharing” Deng said.

“We are ready to assist Khartoum in recovering its economic loss… [But the government] is asking us to pay 32 dollars per barrel from the oilfield up to Port Sudan. We are saying that this is too high,” he added.

Last month, Sudan’s parliament approved an alternative 2011 budget that lawmakers said included an annual income of $2.6 billion for transit fees — the same amount expected for the loss of South Sudan’s oil production.

South Sudan officials have threatened to seek other venues to export their oil and rejected any revenue sharing similar to the one that was in place prior to July 9th.

(ST)

S. Sudan says oil cargo released but talks stalled

By Waakhe Simon (AFP)  

JUBA — South Sudan’s oil minister said on Saturday that an oil cargo detained by northern officials in Port Sudan in a row over duty payments had now sailed, but that negotiations over transit fees were stalled.

“We have made consultations with Khartoum and at the end of the day yesterday (Friday) the shipment that was detained sailed to its destination,” Energy and Mining Minister Garang Diing told AFP in an interview.

The foreign ministry in Khartoum confirmed on Friday that the authorities in Port Sudan, the landlocked south’s only export terminal, had blocked a 600,000-barrel southern oil cargo after Juba refused to pay customs duties.

The move threatened to seriously escalate a growing row between the two sides since southern independence last month, with Juba accusing Khartoum of trying to sabotage its economy.

Diing did not indicate whether, or how much, the south had paid to have the cargo released, but said his ministry was marketing South Sudan’s oil itself, which was going “very well” except for problems sometimes caused by the issue of transit fees.

A foreign ministry spokesman in Khartoum said on Friday that no agreement had yet been reached between north and south on transit fees, one of the most sensitive of divided Sudan’s unresolved issues, and that Khartoum was asking for $32 per barrel.

The energy minister said the north’s demands had blocked the talks.

“Currently the oil negotiations are stalled. This is because NCP (the ruling National Congress Party) are demanding what they call financial transitional arrangements, in which they are asking a sort of contribution of wealth sharing.

“We are ready to assist Khartoum in recovering its economic loss… (But the government) is asking us to pay 32 dollars per barrel from the oilfield up to Port Sudan. We are saying that this is too high,” Diing said.

He added that, despite the African Union’s efforts to narrow the gap between the two parties, it was unlikely the talks would be finalised by the end of September, as the south’s chief negotiator Pagan Amum had said late last month.

North and South Sudan both depend heavily on their oil receipts, with Khartoum’s cash-strapped government desperate to offset the loss of southern oil revenues, estimated at around 36 percent of its total income.

Just weeks before the south seceded, President Omar al-Bashir threatened to deny Juba access to the north’s oil infrastructure — its pipelines, refinery and export terminal — if no deal was reached prior to partition.