Posts Tagged ‘president bashir’

How to Defuse Sudan Conflict

Posted: April 29, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël in Commentary
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Interviewee: Jendayi Frazer, Adjunct Senior Fellow for Africa Studies

Interviewer: Christopher Alessi, Associate Staff Writer
April 26, 2012

Tensions along the oil-rich border that divides Sudan and recently independent South Sudan have escalated in recent weeks, raising the prospect of a full-scale war between the longtime foes. China, which maintains considerable oil interests in both countries, has called for restraint (Reuters) and vowed to work with the United States to bring both sides back to the negotiating table. Jendayi Frazer, the former U.S. assistant secretary of state for African affairs, says while the role of mediation should remain with the African Union, the United States and China are vital players in this conflict that can bring pressure to bear on both parties. However, Frazer says it is “a strategic mistake and it has never worked” for the international community to treat both sides equally, since the northern Sudan is clearly the aggressor in this latest conflict as well as many of those in the past. “The international community should be united against northern aggression,” she says.

Can you give an overview of the history of the sectarian conflict between the people who live in what is now the South Sudan and those in the northern state of Sudan, and how that led ultimately to the South’s secession from Sudan in July 2011?

The conflict goes back to more than fifty years, but the last twenty years has been the war between the north and the south–the Sudan People’s Liberation Army and the Khartoum government of President Bashir. That conflict over the last twenty years has led to the deaths of more than two million people, and wasn’t ended really until the comprehensive peace agreement of 2005, which allowed for the South to go to secession.

The roots of the conflict over the past fifty years and the intensification over the last twenty years was very much about how the north marginalizes the other regions, whether it is the south, whether it is east, or Darfur in the west. There’s a small group in the center, who are a part of the government, who have marginalized the other regions and basically used them for resource extraction–that led to several rebellions.

Is there an ethnic component to that?

It’s ethnic, it’s racial, it’s religious. There’s a religious difference between the north, which is largely Muslim, and the South, which is largely Christian. And then between the north and South, there is a view that there is an Arab north and a black African South. If you go to the north, and you find Arabs, you wouldn’t know that that they weren’t Africans. So that sort of racial difference is really quite mixed.

This dispute is really over borders, over oil, over many of the issues that were not finalized before secession.

In terms of the conflict right now that has pushed Sudan and South Sudan to the brink of war, can you sum up the main issues and what is at stake?

The primary issue is about oil, and then about the demarcation of the border between north and South–and the oil fields are located along that border area. As long as that border has not been demarcated, then there are claims on both sides that the oil fields belong to them. This is particularly intense around the town of Abyei, which it’s not clear whether that belongs to the north or whether that belongs to the South. Then there has been recent fighting in the town of Heglig [which the South occupied for ten days until reportedly withdrawing last week], which is a part of South Kordofan [a state in Sudan] and appears to be in the north, but the South claims that it is actually a part of the southern state of Warrap.

Is there an “aggressor,” or are both parties equally culpable in this conflict?

I don’t think both parties are culpable, and that’s where the international community got it wrong last week when they universally condemned South Sudan for going into Heglig. This dispute is really over borders, over oil, over many of the issues that were not finalized before secession. The tension has been rising since the beginning of the year, in which you would have had the north bombing areas in South Kordofan, in Blue Nile–basically bombing the SPLA North [South Sudanese-affiliated rebel forces operating in Sudan]–and continuing to fight with rebels in Darfur.

The north has continued to be an aggressor for months before this particular conflict over Heglig came up. Yet the international community’s condemnation of the north couldn’t be heard at all. And so this heavy unified condemnation of the South for going into Heglig seemed to me to be overkill, and in fact, it created a cover for further northern aggression–which is what we are seeing right now with the bombing into Unity state. These aerial bombardments and killing of civilians have been going on constantly. This is the north killing [its] own people–the Southerners of the northern state–and now going into South Sudan and bombing. So there’s a very clear aggressor here and it is northern Sudan, continuing to do what it’s always done, which is bomb and kill civilians.

The international community–the position of the United States–is going to try to be the arbitrator and treat each one equally; it is a strategic mistake, and it has never worked. In the past, the United States has been very clear that the north has been the aggressor, and the South has been our ally and our partner–and we need to treat them as such. It’s all well and good for the African Union to come in as a neutral arbitrator. In the signing of the comprehensive peace agreement, Kenya was a neutral mediator; the United States was not the mediator and should never be the mediator because we are clearly on one side of the conflict.

What’s China’s role in all of this? As a long-time ally of Khartoum, but also a large purchaser of oil from South Sudan, can it play a mediating role?

No, it shouldn’t be a mediator–no more than the United States should. The mediation should stay within the African Union. But China and the United States are two of the most important players here, from the point of view that they can bring pressure to bear on both parties. They can bring coercive pressure–i.e, sticks, sanctions–and they can also bring incentives to bear. They could bring the goods that would actually deliver parties to the mediator. So China has an essential role to play, as does the United States. And the United States and China working hand in hand is even better.

What’s the role of the larger international community, including the United Nations?

The UN is involved from the point of view of having peacekeepers on the ground. The UN’s role is very important. But it was a mistake for Ban Ki-moon, the United States, and the AU to come out so hard against South Sudan for just an incursion into Heglig. It just created the context in which the Sudanese are now bombing Unity state. The UN role is primarily to protect the civilian population–from the point of view of keeping their peacekeepers there, as well as providing humanitarian assistance to those people that are now displaced and fleeing from these bombing attacks from the north. The international community should be united against northern aggression.

The fights on the ground are part of the negotiation that’s taking place. Sometimes when you can’t get a decision at the negotiating table, you go back to some incursions, some fights to shore up your position.

How has South Sudan’s decision to shut down oil production in January affected the economies of both South Sudan and Sudan?

It’s probably hurting South Sudan more than it is hurting the north, but it’s hurting both of them. The South is playing a very high-stakes brinksmanship type of policy vis-a-vis the north to try to force decisions. The South is trying to force the issue [of being able to reap the rewards of its own oil production, which must be transported through Sudan’s infrastructure to be exported] by shutting off the oil, but it’s a high-stakes game, and that has probably led even more to this type of armed conflict, these incursions. The environment is that much more tense because of that decision and because of the economic impact. It’s not just hurting the north and the South, it’s also hurting China. It’s hurting the countries that have oil concessions there and have been pumping oil out of Sudan. So China has a lot at stake in trying to resolve this.

What are some of the plausible outcomes to this conflict? Do you think both parties will get back to the negotiating table?

The fights on the ground are part of the negotiation that’s taking place. Sometimes when you can’t get a decision at the negotiating table, you go back to some incursions, some fighting to shore up your position. Basically, if you can take some advances on the ground, you can shore up your position at the negotiating table. So I think this is all part of negotiating. The problem is it can get out of hand and create its own dynamic, which leads back to full-scale war. But I don’t expect full-scale war. I do believe that the negotiations will continue.

The ultimate goal here–the South needs to take a strategic pause in terms of fighting the north on the ground. They need to focus on a future that’s more eastern looking, i.e., connect themselves to the East African Community. Most of the traders who are in South Sudan right now are coming from east Africa. So their economic future and political future should be looking south and east, rather than looking north.

So they need to, over time, disentangle themselves from the north. In order to do that, they need to not be in a full-scale war or these types of episodic conflicts or fights with the north. It’s not that they acquiesce to the northern decisions, but they need to look beyond the day-to-day and look toward the future. The only way to disentangle themselves from the north is at the negotiating table, and on the ground have that strategic pause, and do the compromises necessary to get out of the relationship. But also as part of that, the United States needs to provide aerial defense for the South. The north is constantly bombing civilians, and the South cannot defend itself. We need to adopt a posture that says to the north, “If you mess with the South, you mess with the United States.” We need to give them a security blanket, and a part of that would be helping them with an air defense system.

http://www.cfr.org/africa/defuse-sudan-conflict/p28072#cid=soc-facebook-at-interview-how_to_defuse_sudan_conflict-042612

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Sudan and South Sudan: Conflict continues

In the shade of a mango tree, the south’s VP proclaims ‘There is no ceasefire.’

BENTIU, South Sudan — Sudan bombed a civilian market here today killing three people, highlighting the continued tensions.

Sudan claims that it is retaliating for South Sudan’s shelling of the town of Talodi in Sudan on Sunday, which caused many casualties.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir said Monday that he is not interested in negotiating with South Sudan. He said the only way to deal with South Sudan is to fight,according to the BBC.

It is clear that South Sudan’s withdrawal from Sudan’s Heglig oilfield over the weekend has not ended the hostilities between the two neighboring countries, said South Sudan’s Vice President Riek Machar.

“Our history is a history of fighting each other. The Republic of South Sudan was created out of self-defence,” said Machar, on relations with its northern neighbor Sudan. “We fight, and we talk.”

Machar sat beneath a large mango tree on the bank of the Naam River where he held court perched on a pair of flimsy baby blue plastic chairs stacked on top of each other for extra strength: He’s a big man.

He’s also a Big Man: He wears a heavy gold Rolex watch and a candy-striped shirt with chunky black and gold cufflinks. The fingers interlinked over his large belly sport gold rings. I recognize the distinctive gap between his front teeth before I recognize the rest of his face.

On the matching plastic table in front of him are three touchscreen smartphones, a couple of maps and a sketch of the area around Heglig oil field where a brief, bloody border war was fought this month. On Friday, South Sudan ordered its troops to withdraw, but few here think the war is over.

“The conflict is there, it hasn’t gone away,” says Machar. He was flanked by his wife Angelina Teny, a serious political player in her own right; the Minister of Defence John Koang Nyuon; and the Governor of Unity State, Taban Deng Gai.

“There is no ceasefire. We can return to Heglig at any time if [President Omar al-] Bashir attacks our forces.” He seemed convinced Bashir would continue to order attacks on the south. Governor Gai complained that Sudan is continuing its aerial bombardment of South Sudanese territory.

A few miles north of Bentiu were four craters left by an Antonov bombing late on Friday night that killed at least one soldier and wounded three more in the Unity oil field.

Machar insisted that it was diplomatic not military pressure that resulted in South Sudan’s capitulation.

“We withdrew from Heglig because of the UN Security Council, the African Union and US positions and the threat of sanctions,” he said. “We cannot afford sanctions against us. We cannot afford to be a pariah when we are not even a year old.”

The world welcomed South Sudan when it won independence on July 9 last year, but a series of tricky issues were left unresolved, including revenue and debt sharing, border demarcation and citizenship. These are the points over which both Sudans are arguing now.

Unlike Sudan under Bashir, for whom international opprobrium has become common currency, South Sudan does not want the blows to its economy and reputation that will come with international sanctions.

In January, as negotiations between Juba and Khartoum reached what — at the time — seemed their nadir, South Sudan cut off oil production, strangling both economies. Its seizure of Heglig on April 9 made matters even more serious as that oilfield alone provided more than half of Khartoum’s remaining oil revenues. That is why Bashir could not afford for its occupation by the South to go unchallenged.

Machar wasn’t worried that the oil shutdown would make fighting a war with the north economically impossible.

“We can sustain running our country without the extravaganza of oil revenues for quite some time,” he said. “We fought for over 40 years with very little resources and we managed to create a state.”

According to Machar the last southern troops pulled out of Heglig at nine on Friday night and moved back to Teshwin, a border settlement which, like so many others along the disputed boundary, doubles as a garrison. By then the Heglig oil field was in flames and buildings and possessions looted.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/africa/south-sudan-temporary-peace

Sudan President Bashir visits contested oil town of Heglig

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has arrived in the contested southern oil field town of Heglig, promising there will be no more talks with South Sudan as tensions between the East African neighbors point to an increasing risk of all-out war.

Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir has arrived in the contested southern oil field town of Heglig, promising there will be no more talks with South Sudan over border demarcation and disputed oil revenues.

South Sudan’s army announced on Friday that it was pulling its troops out of Heglig to avoid all-out war with its East African neighbor, having occupied the field since April 9.

Sudan said its forces had driven the South out of the area.

“No negotiation with those people,” Bashir said of the South Sudanese regime upon his arrival in Heglig, according to the Agence France Presse, adding: “Our talks with them were guns and bullets.”

On Monday witnesses accused Sudan of carrying out airstrikes near the South Sudanese border town of Bentiu, killing three people, Reuters reports.

The alleged attack comes a day after South Sudan claimed the North had bombed and launched ground strikes against three sets of targets inside its border, killing four soldiers.

Khartoum has denied carrying out aerial attacks on its southern neighbor, but there are mounting concerns that all-out war between Sudan and South Sudan – which secured its independence from the North last July – is imminent.

After South Sudanese forces occupied Heglig earlier this month, claiming it was being used as launch pad for Sudanese attacks inside its territories, Bashir vowed to “liberate” the people of South Sudan from their “insect” rulers, saying:

“Our main target from today is to liberate South Sudan’s citizens from the SPLM (Sudan People’s Liberation Movement), and this is our responsibility before our brothers in South Sudan.”

The president accused South Sudan’s government of trying to destroy its northern neighbour, the Agence France Presse reports, adding: “Our main target from today is to eliminate this insect completely.”

On Saturday night a Muslim mob several hundred strongset fire to a Catholic church frequented by South Sudanese in the Al-Jiraif district of Sudan’s capital Khartoum, screaming insults at the mainly Christian and animist southerners as they did so.

In a statement released Sunday, the African Union called on both countries to end “senseless fighting.”

“The commission urges the two parties to immediately and unconditionally resume negotiations … to reach agreements on all outstanding issues,” AU Commission Chairman Jean Ping said, the Associated Press reports.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/120423/sudan-president-bashir-visits-contested-oil-town-heglig

Sudan and South Sudan fighting ends, for now

South Sudan withdraws troops from Heglig after bombardment by Sudan. Will peace last?

BENTIU, South Sudan — A brief but bloody border war in the disputed oil fields of central Sudan appeared to be over on Friday, as South Sudan announced that its troops would withdraw from the Heglig oilfields it occupied two weeks ago.

The fighting over Heglig signaled a dramatic deterioration in relations between South Sudan and its northern neighbor, which have been at loggerheads since southern independence in July last year. War loomed between Sudan and South Sudan over the territory.

The dispute hinges on the sharing of oil revenues, border demarcation, citizenship and questions over how to divide the national debt. The governments in the rival capitals of Juba and Khartoum have accused one another for months of backing proxy forces, but in Heglig the two armies went head-to-head for the first time since a 2005 peace deal ended 22 years of civil war.

When South Sudan’s army seized Heglig on April 9, the town was strewn with the rotting bodies of northern soldiers. South Sudan’s aggression triggered days of aerial bombardments by Khartoum, underscoring the depth of hostility between the two old enemies.

The fighting was matched by belligerent rhetoric, which appeared to ratchet up the likelihood of war. “They started the fighting and we will announce when it will end, and our advance will never stop,” President Omar al-Bashir told a rally.

But Friday, the South Sudan government made an abrupt reversal and announced it would pull back its troops from Heglig.

“The Republic of South Sudan announces that the SPLA [southern army] troops have been ordered to withdraw from Panthou-Heglig,” said Barnaba Marial Benjamin, the country’s information minister, using the southern name for the area.

The withdrawal would begin immediately and should be completed within three days, he said at a press conference in the capital Juba.

For its part, Sudan’s defence minister said the northern army had “liberated” Heglig, and Khartoum celebrated its military victory.

Despite the South’s attempt at face-saving in Bentiu, the closest southern town to the fighting, it looked like a defeat for the South Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA).

On Friday morning reinforcements continued to arrive, with at least five truckloads of southern soldiers seen in the town 55 miles south of Heglig.

Just the day before, commanders had insisted to GlobalPost that they would hold Heglig and even continue moving north towards the town of Kharasana, which also houses a Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) base.

But two days of aerial bombardments and ground attacks appeared to have taken a heavy toll on the South’s forces. At the military hospital inside the 4th Infantry Division barracks, there were 150 casualties and only 72 beds.

In any case, most of the soldiers — suffering flesh wounds, fractures and burns as a result of the bombings — sat outside beneath trees rather than in the sweltering wards.

Medical director Captain Zacharia Deng said the hospital’s four doctors and two anaesthetists were struggling to cope with the influx.

“We do not have enough space,” he said. More wounded were expected to arrive on Friday evening.

Among the injured was Private Anthony Agok, with a bandaged hand, who said he was hit in his foxhole by a blast from a bomb dropped from a Sudanese Antonov aircraft on Thursday. Other soldiers sported bandaged limbs and heads. A few were smeared in white cream to ease the pain of extensive burns to their arms and faces.

Private Agok said he was keen to continue fighting. “As long as I live, the North will not occupy our territory,” he said, repeating the southern claim that Heglig lies on the south side of the disputed border.

But others were less gung-ho.

Private John Okeny, whose elbow was struck by shrapnel during a bombardment, also on Thursday, said he had had enough. “They bombed us continuously from noon till six,” he said.

The retreat from Heglig illustrated with deadly effect the superior military power that Sudan enjoys over its southern neighbor: SPLA troops could not withstand the sustained air attacks launched by Khartoum.

But with South Sudan insisting that it was not giving up its claim to Heglig, the halt in fighting may only be temporary.

In January, South Sudan shut off oil production, a move that is strangling the economies of both North and South, both of whose economies are heavily reliant on oil revenues.

South Sudan’s assault on Heglig — which was described as “illegal” by the UN and the African Union — was an attack on Sudan’s ailing economy, as most of its oil revenues come from that one field.

But the attempt to deal a mortal blow to Khartoum’s economy has come at a high price for South Sudan. Juba was widely condemned for its aggression, and has been forced to withdraw under military pressure, leaving it in a weaker position diplomatically and militarily.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/120420/south-sudan-withdraws-fighting-ends


AU: South Sudan’s Capture of Heglig Oil Field ‘Illegal’

Peter Heinlein | Addis Ababa

The African Union said Thursday that South Sudan acted illegally when it sent troops across the border into Sudan to capture a strategic oil field and demanded the force’s immediate withdrawal. Diplomats are urging the presidents of both countries to show leadership as war seems imminent.

The AU Peace and Security Council condemned Sudan as well as South Sudan for hostile actions that appear to signal a resumption of the war that ended seven years ago.  Peace and Security Commissioner Ramtane Lamamra warned that the south’s military incursion into the northern oil field at Heglig and the north’s aerial bombing campaign had raised tensions to a new level.

“It cannot be reduced to yet just another incident like the ones we have seen before.  Therefore, it is the feeling in the Peace and Security Council that it is the time now for the two leaders — Presidents Omar al-Bashir and Salva Kiir — to display the required leadership, so that the two countries would avoid a disastrous war which the two people do not need to fall in again,” Lamamra said.

But the south’s capture of Heglig appears to have dashed all hopes for a Bashir-Kiir summit.  The Khartoum government said it was pulling out of AU-mediated talks.  And a hoped-for meeting on the sidelines of a security summit in Ethiopia on Saturday and Sunday evaporated when it was announced that President Bashir would not attend.

AU diplomats say South Sudan’s move to capture and close the Heglig oil fields has cut Sudan’s oil production in half.  That has raised calls in Khartoum for swift military action to reclaim the fields.

As border clashes escalated on Thursday, South Sudan President Kiir told parliament he would not order a withdrawal from Heglig.  He said the south has a rightful claim to the area.

The AU Peace and Security Council rejected that claim, in a statement read by Commissioner Lamamra.

“The council is dismayed by the illegal and unacceptable occupation by the South Sudanese armed forces of Heglig, which lies north of the agreed border line of the first of January 1956 border line.  The Council demanded the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the army of the Republic of South Sudan from the area,” Lamamra said.

African Union officials expressed concern about deteriorating conditions on several fronts.  The Khartoum government is said to be delaying efforts to provide humanitarian aid to South Kordofan and Blue Nile states along the border.  More than 400,000 people there fled their homes last year after violence broke out, and reports suggest that troops are massing for more fighting.

AU diplomats also noted reports of irregular militias forming to support regular Sudanese army forces in Blue Nile and Kordofan states.  Those officials say that previously, military activity in the region had been exclusively by regular military units.

The appearance of militia units is raising fears of a return to the village burnings and other brutal tactics attributed to the Janjaweed militias that ravaged Darfur during the early days of that region’s civil war nearly a decade ago.

http://www.voanews.com/english/news/africa/AU-South-Sudans-Capture-of-Heglig-Oil-Field-Illegal-147256225.html


Sudan
, S. Sudan leaders accuse each other of wanting war

Jakarta Globe
by Abdelmoneim Abu Edris Ali | April 13, 2012 The leaders of Sudan and South Sudan accused each other on Thursday of wanting war, with each denying the other’s charge, as Sudanese war planes bombed a bridge in the South after days of fighting in a 
UN: Sudan, South Sudan must stop border conflict
cbs4qc.com
The council demands the withdrawal of South Sudan’s military forces from the oil-rich town of Heglig that is claimed by Sudan and an end to Sudan’s aerial bombing of South SudanSouth Sudan’s president said Thursday the nation will not withdraw its 

Syria; Sudan/South Sudan; North Korea; Mali; and more
UN Dispatch
Sudan/S. Sudan: The UN Security Council met in public Thursday to read out a statement demanding “a complete, immediate and unconditional end to all fighting” between Sudan and South Sudan. The council statement, read out by presiding US Ambassador 

At UN, South Sudan Says Won’t Leave Heglig Until Monitors, SC All Syria
Inner City Press
By Matthew Russell Lee UNITED NATIONS, April 12 — South Sudan will only leave Heglig in Sudan “once a mechanism is in place and a neutral force is deployed in the area,” South SudaneseDeputy Permanent Representative Agnes Oswaha told Inner City Press 

South Sudan: Kiir Refuses to Pull Out Troops From Heglig
AllAfrica.com
From South Sudan is Atem Yah Atem, from … ( Resource: Are The Two Sudans Heading for War? Juba — South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayadrit brushed aside calls to withdraw his army from the oil-rich region of Heglig after being asked to do so in 

South Sudan President addresses National Legislature on Sudan ‘attacks’
New Sudan Vision
Photo by New Sudan Vision. (Juba, NSV, South Sudan) – Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of South Sudan, in an address to the National Legislature yesterday, promised to defend the sovereignty of the young nation should there be an all-out-war.

AU: South Sudan’s Capture of Heglig Oil Field ‘Illegal’
Voice of America
April 12, 2012 AU: South Sudan’s Capture of Heglig Oil Field ‘Illegal’ Peter Heinlein | Addis Ababa The African Union said Thursday that South Sudan acted illegally when it sent troops across the border into Sudan to capture a strategic oil field and 

South Sudan says won’t withdraw troops
Beaver County Times
South Sudan’s president said Thursday that the nation will not withdraw its troops that this week entered a disputed border region with Sudan. South Sudan President Salva Kiir spoke to parliament in the midst of escalating clashes along the border with 

March 24, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Agence France Presse
Bashir after a meeting with Amum.
Bashir after a meeting with Amum.

KHARTOUM: South Sudan Thursday formally invited its “brother,” Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, to a summit in April aimed at resolving outstanding issues which have pushed them to the brink of war.

“We delivered the message to President Bashir and he welcomed it. He expressed his readiness to visit Juba,” the South’s top negotiator, Pagan Amum, said in a statement to reporters at the Cabinet offices in Sudan’s capital.

Amum, who arrived with a delegation of ministers, said the South’s leader Salva Kiir had invited his “brother president” to the April 3 summit “with the aim of solving the pending issues between the two states.”

It would be Bashir’s first visit to the South since it separated in July last year following an overwhelming vote at the end of Africa’s longest war.

After months of failed negotiations, a dispute over oil fees, and mutual accusations of backing rebels on each other’s territory, Amum last week said relations had turned positive after the latest African Union-led talks in Ethiopia.

At those meetings the two sides reached agreements on safeguarding the status of each other’s citizens and demarcating the oil-rich border.

When South Sudan gained its independence it took about three-quarters of Sudanese oil production but it has no facilities of its own to export the crude.

At the heart of their dispute has been disagreement over how much Juba should pay to use the northern pipeline and port.

The new nation shut crude production in late January after accusing Sudan of “stealing” its oil.

But Amum said last week that Sudan has agreed to pay back oil it had taken, while South Sudan would hand over months of unpaid transit fees, although further negotiations were still needed.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had warned the crisis between Sudan and South Sudan was a major threat to regional peace and security.

Tensions peaked in late February and early March when Khartoum threatened retaliation after accusing the South of backing a rebel attack in the disputed border area of Jau.

Airstrikes followed on an oil field in the South’s Unity State, an attack Juba blamed on Khartoum’s forces.

“They really came to the brink of war … but they realized that the international community would not support them,” an analyst who asked not to be named told AFP.

Some friction, however, remains.

On the eve of the South Sudanese visit, Mohammad Atta, the head of Sudan’s intelligence service, alleged rebels supported by South Sudan attacked the oil center of Heglig in South Kordofan state. He was quoted by the Sudan Media Center, which is close to the security apparatus.

“I think it’s propaganda,” responded Arnu Ngutulu Lodi, of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North. “Nobody told me we have an operation going on.”

The U.N.’s Ban welcomed the planned summit and said the agreements on borders and citizenship were “an important step forward and an encouraging manifestation of both parties’ spirit of cooperation and partnership.”

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2012/Mar-23/167639-south-sudan-invites-bashir-to-bilateral-meet-over-oil-dispute.ashx#ixzz1punG0QXd
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

Khartoum and Juba strike new tone on post-independence negotiations


March 23, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The top negotiators from north and south Sudan on Friday spoke of a new spirit in the discussions on post-independence issues that have dragged on for years.

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Pagan Amum (left), chief negotiator from South Sudan, lead mediator for the African Union, Piere Buyoya (centre) and Sudan’s head negotiator Idriss Abdel-Gader, attend the end of African Union-led talks between Sudan and South Sudan in Addis Ababa on March 13, 2012 (AFP)

The Secretary General of the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) Pagan Amum at a radio forum in Khartoum said that the upcoming summit between president Omer Hassan al-Bashir and his southern counterpart Salva Kiir was a joint initiative made by the negotiating teams.

Amum, who is the chief negotiator for South Sudan, said this move aimed to at changing the direction of talks and move the two countries into a new phase that steers the two sides away from mistrust and creates confidence that would allow for changing mentality from “confrontation and clash” to partnership.

The SPLM SG said last week’s framework agreements signed on nationality and borders was a “turning point” that was a result of adjusting stances instead of staying entrenched in prefixed positions. He went on to say that the two delegations started working as one team by recognizing that the disputed items are joint ones.

Sudan’s lead negotiator Idriss Abdel-Gader that the two sides began the process of mending ties in their meeting yesterday and agreed that the media should refrain from reporting sensational stories on the negotiations.

Abdel-Gader also revealed that there will be joint committees to discuss trade after first ensuring the improvement of security situation on the borders. He added that the interior ministers from the two countries will review the status of citizens on the other side of the borders.

Today Amum met with senior security officials in Sudan including minister of interior Ibrahim Hamed, Defense minister Abdel Rahim Mohamed Hussein and intelligence director Mohamed Atta in Khartoum to lay the groundwork for the discussions by the interior ministries’ joint committee.

Amum was joined by South Sudan cabinet affairs minister Deng Alor and justice minister John Luke.

The communiqué of the meeting said the discussions were frank and candid with a genuine desire to reach comprehensive solutions.

The SPLM SG, who arrived on Thursday handed an invitation from Kiir to Bashir to an April 3rd summit “with the aim of solving the pending issues between the two states”.

It would be Bashir’s first visit to the south since it separated last year following a referendum.

After months of failed negotiations, a dispute over oil fees and mutual accusations of backing rebels on each other’s territory it is hoped that last week’s accords would create a positive atmosphere going forward.

When South Sudan gained its independence it took about three-quarters of Sudanese oil production with it, but it has no facilities to export the crude.

At the heart of their dispute has been disagreement over how much Juba should pay to use the northern pipeline and port.

(ST)

South Sudan invites Bashir to bilateral meet over oil dispute
The Daily Star
KHARTOUM: South Sudan Thursday formally invited its “brother,” Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, to a summit in April aimed at resolving outstanding issues which have pushed them to the brink of war. “We delivered the message to President Bashir and 
Government lifts OFW deployment ban in Libya, Nigeria, South Sudan
Inquirer.net
By Philip C. Tubeza The government has lifted the ban on the deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Nigeria, Libya and South Sudan. Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said Thursday that the governing board of the Philippine Overseas Employment 
South Sudan invites Bashir for talks
Independent Online
By Abdelmoneim Abu Edris Ali Khartoum – South Sudan on Thursday invited its “brother”, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, to an April summit to resolve outstanding issues that have pushed the two countries to the brink of war. “We delivered the message 

A homecoming in South Sudan
Vancouver Sun
Benjamin, 29, had left what is now South Sudan as a child, brought up by various relatives in different countries, cut off from his parents by the long, destructive independence war. Coming home, Benjamin did not expect things to be easy.

Paanluel Wël, Washington DC, USA.

This is the height of naivety from The Obama Administration

So the Obama administration reason that fighting for a regime change in Khartoum by The Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) to bring about a pluralistic, non-Arab, non-Islamic democratic Sudan is an assault on the ruling Arab of the Sudan? And this statement is coming from a US official?

The United States has told an alliance of rebel groups fighting the Sudanese government on multiple fronts that they could risk provoking Arab and Muslim sentiments in the country…the US special envoy to Sudan, said that he advised the rebels to abandon the goal of forcing regime change…”We told the alliance [of rebel groups] that we would not support overthrowing the government by force…the US official said there is a chance that Arabs and Muslims in Sudan could feel they are being targeted by the rebel alliance which is comprised of mainly non-Arab groups…The rebel alliance could “polarise the Arabs [who dominate the Sudanese government] against everyone else, so they can say, ’Arabs are under attack. Islam is under attack,’ ” he said….Instead, he said, the US government has told the alliance and particularly the Darfur rebels that they should “engage” the government in negotiations based on the Doha peace agreement signed in July last year by the governmen(U.S. senior diplomat for Darfur, Dane Smith).

First and foremost, both the rebels and the government in Khartoum are Muslims and the charge of “Islam” is under attack is misplaced. When the government of President Bashir commit untold atrocities against Muslims in Darfur, and is currently doing so in Nuba Mountain and Blue Nile, was/is that an attack on Islam or is Islam only attack when the victim is an Arab and a Muslim? Does Envoy Dane Smith understand what he is saying or is he just pandering to Khartoum’s propaganda machine? How could the USA’s special envoy be the mouthpiece for Khartoum regime?

Secondly, the Obama administration has successfully facilitated the rise of Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and Possibly soon in Syria against regimes whose records, though not praiseworthy, were not as appalling as that of President Al-Bashir and his ruling NCP Party. The claim advance by the Obama Administration for backing the rise of Political Islam is “democracy and justice” for the people in those countries who have been under continuous authoritarian regimes. If indeed Egyptians, Tunisians, Libyans, Yemenis, and Syrians do deserve to be ruled by a government of their choice and the USA is willing to publicly and financially back these forces for change, why can’t the same logic play for the people of Sudan who have been more or less under the same kind of Authoritarian regime? Is it because they are Africans while those being supported by the Obama Administration are Arabs? If that is not racism, then what is it?

The implication of Dane Smith’s argument is that Arabs of Sudan, a minority group that has abused Islam for political goal, can do anything they want and get away with it because bringing them down to account for their atrocities is somehow an attack on Islam and Arab. That is outrageous and the fact that it is coming from the USA envoy, a nation known as the beacon of hope for the oppressed people all over the world, make it more of a tragedy than a manifestation of naivety.

One wonder if Obama was the president when South Sudan was negotiating the CPA, what would have happened given that the South is mainly Christians and Animists. Would South Sudan fighting for liberation been interpreted as an attack on “Islam and Arab”? Actually, Envoy Dane Smith would make a great mouthpiece for the Al-Qaeda group because the charges of an “attack on Islam and Arabic Countries” is a persistent theme in the messages of Al-Qaeda in their wars with the West. Why on earth would Envoy Dane Smith start parroting the Al-Qaeda tactical line of incitement?

There appear to be an earnest attempt by the Obama Administration to appease anything Islamic even when Islam is a shared factor. The Darfuris, Nubans and the Blue Nileans have their own Islamic and African sentiments to be provoked by the regime in Khartoum. Would Envoy Dane Smith elaborate why this other sentiment doesn’t matter to the USA? If the Obama Administration, beholden to Muslim Brotherhood of which the NCP is an offshoot, is not willing to support the Rebels, then the Envoy is at liberty to convey that and only that information. Why go all the way to talk nonsense about an attack on Islam? How can Muslims  (the rebels) attack Islam that they are part of?

By the end of his 8 years–he is likely to win re-election for a second term in office–history will be there to give its verdict on President Obama legacy in Africa. The oppressed people of Sudan in Darfur, Nuba Mountain and in Blue Nile will have to wait another four more years before they can look up-to the USA again as a beacon of hope and democracy for all people…not just arab and muslims.

PaanLuel Wel is the Managing Editor of PaanLuel Wel: South Sudanese bloggers. He can be reached through his email address (paanluel2011@gmail.com), Facebook page, and Twitter account 


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


Young men herd cattle through the mud-caked streets of Pibor, as cattle raiding between some of the south's dozens of tribes plagues South Sudan. (File Photo)

Photo: AP
Young men herd cattle through the mud-caked streets of Pibor, as cattle raiding between some of the south’s dozens of tribes plagues South Sudan. (File Photo)

The South Sudanese Army is being readied to deploy on a small-arms disarmament program in Jonglei state. The government hopes to disarm groups of cattle raiders that have made 2012 a violent year for the new country.

The Southern People’s Liberation Army is being set to deploy in areas of Jonglei state this week, in an attempt to disarm and collect some 20,000 small arms from the Murle and Lou Nuer tribes.

Both groups have been involved in a violent string of retaliatory cattle rattles, which the United Nations says has affected more than 120,000 people.

The disarmament campaign was initiated by South Sudan President Salva Kirr. He plans to use the Army to collect the weapons either voluntarily or by force.

The SPLA spokesperson Phillip Aguer says the goal is peaceful, but the army is ready to use force, if necessary.

“In case there are people who are dodging and trying to hide their weapons, the army will intervene and do the fighting or, if they are running from the army and the police, we will go in,” said Aguer.

South Sudan has received criticism from both the United States and the United Nations. They feel conducting the campaign now will only increase tensions and that the government should strive for reconciliation before disarmament.

But Aguer says the time is now.

“If you wait for the population to achieve it’s goals and objectives, you will have people attacking themselves and dying,” said Aguer. “So it’s better to do the same process concurrently.”

Jonah Leff is a consultant for the Small Arms Survey – an independent organization monitoring international weapons trafficking – and has recently been on the ground in Jonglei state. He feels the campaign will certainly end in violence.

“I’ve heard from leaders of both communities, both the Lou Nuer and the Murle, that they will resist a forcible disarmament, which means that they will fight back,” said Leff. “So I would expect the SPLA to respond with technicals [technological advanced weapons]. They’ll have greater manpower, such as heavy machine guns and possibly even tanks.”

Leff also fears the possibility of disarming the tribes unevenly, which may leave some vulnerable to attack.

“Without proper security provision by the SPLA or security forces, the rival tribe would most likely come in and take advantage of the situation,” said Leff.

In the past, disarmament programs in the area have resulted in violence and have proved to be largely unsuccessful.

“In 2006 and 2008, they collected a fraction of the weapons and quickly thereafter, the communities had rearmed anyways,” said Leff. “So I’m not sure that, if they don’t provide any alternative security, they can collect as many weapons as they want and the communities will go and rearms themselves and the situation will be as it is.”

For now, the rural skirmishes continue to trouble the new country

http://www.voanews.com/english/news/South-Sudanese-Army-set-to-Deploy-on-Disarmament-Program-in-Jonglei-141556393.html

South Sudanese Army to Implement Jonglei Disarmament Program
Voice of America
March 06, 2012 South Sudanese Army to Implement Jonglei Disarmament Program Alex Pena | Nairobi The South Sudanese Army is being readied to deploy on a small-arms disarmament program in Jonglei state. The government hopes to disarm groups of cattle 

Hundreds flee fresh violence on Sudan-South Sudan border
Reuters AlertNet
GENEVA, March 6 (UNHCR) – Hundreds of people have been fleeing to South Sudan’s Upper Nile state and western Ethiopia to escape renewed fighting in disputed border areas between Sudan andSouth Sudan. Last week, UNHCR staff registered 2287 new arrivals 

Washington Deludes Rebels They Can Topple the Regime – Nafie
AllAfrica.com
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 SouthKordofan’s town to make it the capital for rebels who will 

Sudan: Opposition parties call for president Bashir to stop waging war and 
Afrika
Nairobi (Kenya) – Plans by South Sudan to build an alternative pipeline through Kenya are expecte… Read more > Khartoum (Sudan) — The International Conference of the Great Lakes region (ICGLR) designated two … Read more > London (UK) — Rebels 

Alltopics.com Presents 5 News Sources on Countries
San Francisco Chronicle (press release)
Alltopics.com has created a new section on Countries in its amazing database, including Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan, which are available for instant access on our website. Today, after months of hard work, alltopics.com is the 
Sudan: Back On Track – Journey ‘Home’ to South Sudan
AllAfrica.com
By Nahla Abu-Eissa, 5 March 2012 Khartoum, Sudan — After months of living in limbo, some 1400 southern Sudanese recently started the long journey to South Sudan on board the year’s first southbound train from the Sudan capital of Khartoum.

South Sudanese in Khartoum’s camps of no return
The Africa Report
By Prince Ofori-Atta and Goeff Magga More than 7000 South Sudanese refugees, mostly women and children seeking to return to their recently independent country are living in severe conditions in camps in and around Khartoum and need “urgent assistance”.

Museveni wants S Sudan crude pipeline to Kenya’s Port Lamu to go through Uganda
Platts
Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has said that it would be better if South Sudan’s proposed oil pipeline to transport the country’s crude to Port Lamu in Kenya passes through Uganda, Uganda’s local media reported Tuesday.
South Sudan army vows to remove illicit firearms from civil population
Sudan Tribune
By Ngor Arol Garang March 5, 2012 (JUBA) – The South Sudan army, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) has announced its readiness to conduct the ”peaceful” collection of illegal arms from the civil population across the country but primarily in 
Petronas denies South Sudan oil theft claim
Business Times – Malaysia
Malaysian state-owned oil giant Petronas today denied any knowledge of alleged oil theft by the consortium it belongs to which is in the middle of a bitter dispute between Sudan and South Sudan. Petronas is a major shareholder in Petrodar along with 
Student presents research at UN
K-State Collegian
The research, which explored literacy rates in South Sudan, will be applied as a part of program on improving the system of education in the African country. Pearson came to K-State from New York City, where she was teaching at a school in Harlem.

South Sudan: Gun battles threaten new country
GlobalPost
4 warned of serious problems in South Sudan. Here she stands with Sudanese Social Welfare Minister Amira al-Fadel Mohamed in Khartoum on January 4, 2012. Foreigners are not allowed to distribute aid to Sudan’s war-ravaged states South Kordofan and Blue 

Sudan’s ex-minister calls for oil crisis convention, speaks of alternative 
Sudan Tribune
By Ngor Arol Garang February 4, 2012 (JUBA) – The former minister of petroleum in the then government of national unity in Khartoum on Saturday called for a convention over oil crisis among members of South Sudan’s ruling party.

Cranes land South Sudan friendly
SuperSport.com
Uganda Cranes will face South Sudan on February 16 after the world’s newest nation confirmed the international friendly. Bobby Williamson’s side play Congo Brazzaville in the first round of the 2013 Nations Cup qualifiers on Fifa dates February 28-29…

Uganda, S. Sudan launch joint border de-mining programme
Daily Monitor
By Cissy Makumbi (email the author) The governments of Uganda and South Sudan have launched a joint de-mining programme along their porous border to rid it of land mines planted during civil wars. In Uganda, the Danish De-mining Group is conducting the 

Over 4 million S. Sudanese remain food insecure, says report
Sudan Tribune
By Julius N. Uma February 4, 2012 (JUBA) – At least 4.7 million people in South Sudan are likely to be food insecure this year, a joint crop and food security assessment report released by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and 

Unity State governor warned tribal leadership in South Sudan
Sudan Tribune
By Bonifacio Taban Kuich February 4, 2012 (BENTIU) – The governor of Unity State Taban Deng Gai urged the citizens and leaders in South Sudan to not allow tribalism to stop the development of the new nation after a series of ethnic conflicts in recent

The Sudans: government by war
Sudan Tribune
By Magdi El Gizouli February 4, 2012 — In an interview on Friday aired simultaneously by Sudan’s three major television stations President Bashir stated that Sudan was now closer to war than to peace with South Sudan. The declaration follows on the 

Atlanta’s Emory University to host panel discussion on effects of Sudanese 
The Republic
AP ATLANTA — Leading experts on Sudanese politics will gather at Emory University in Atlanta for a forum on the conflict between Sudan and South Sudan. The Feb. 15 event will include Timothy Carney, the former US ambassador to Sudan; Alan Goulty, 

Qutbi: South Sudan’s Behavior Shows Determination to Pursue War
Sudan Vision
Qutbi Al-Mahdi, leader with the ruling National Congress Party (NCP), affirmed that the behavior of the government of South Sudan demonstrates that it is determined to continue walking the road of war with Sudan after it has halted pumping oil and 

South Sudan oil row: Sudan to release oil shipments and sign a deal with South Sudan

A map showing South Sudan and Sudan's oil fields

Sudan says it will release detained crude oil shipments belonging to South Sudan to help end a bitter dispute.

Sudan says it will release detained crude oil shipments belonging to South Sudan to help end a bitter dispute.

The laden vessels would be allowed to leave Port Sudan as soon as possibile, a Khartoum negotiator said.

The move followed South Sudan’s threat to halt production, as talks on the row over oil transit fees broke down.

The newly independent state currently has to use Sudan’s infrastructure to export its oil, but halting production would hurt the economies of both.

South Sudan seceded in July 2011, taking with it the lion’s share of Sudan’s oil – but without agreement on oil transit fees.

The BBC’s James Copnall in Khartoum says Sudan needs these oil transit fees to cover the gap in its budget caused by South Sudan’s secession.

It has started seizing oil in lieu of the fees.

Three ships carrying 2.2 million barrels of oil have been detained, AFP news agency says.

South Sudan has accused Khartoum of taking oil worth $815m (£518m) in total.

‘Stealing'”President Bashir is ready to make this gesture. Sudan is going to release the vessels detained in Port Sudan,” Sayed el Khatib told a news conference in the Ethiopian capital, where talks have been taking place.

Mr Khatib said releasing the ships should open the way for what he called a “cover agreement” between the two countries to be signed – and that Khartoum was ready to do this by the end of Saturday.

There was no immediate reaction from South Sudan.

Late on Friday, South Sudan’s lead negotiator, Pagan Amum, said a deal had fallen through because Sudan was “stealing” his country’s oil.

He also said the shutdown of South Sudan’s oil production would be complete by the end of Saturday.

Oil accounts for an estimated 98% of landlocked South Sudan’s budget – but it currently has to use Sudan’s pipelines and export terminal to export the oil.

Reuters news agency cited industry sources as saying Sudan had already sold at least one cargo of crude oil seized from South Sudan at a discount of millions of dollars, and was offering more.

Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir and his South Sudanese counterpart, Salva Kiir, have been holding talks in Addis Ababa, brokered by the leaders of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia.

Observers say the oil row has created the greatest crisis between the two states since South Sudan became independent, and has stoked fears of a return to war.

A map showing South Sudan and Sudan's oil fields

The laden vessels would be allowed to leave Port Sudan as soon as possibile, a Khartoum negotiator said.

The move followed South Sudan’s threat to halt production, as talks on the row over oil transit fees broke down.

The newly independent state currently has to use Sudan’s infrastructure to export its oil, but halting production would hurt the economies of both.

South Sudan seceded in July 2011, taking with it the lion’s share of Sudan’s oil – but without agreement on oil transit fees.

The BBC’s James Copnall in Khartoum says Sudan needs these oil transit fees to cover the gap in its budget caused by South Sudan’s secession.

It has started seizing oil in lieu of the fees.

Three ships carrying 2.2 million barrels of oil have been detained, AFP news agency says.

South Sudan has accused Khartoum of taking oil worth $815m (£518m) in total.

‘Stealing'”President Bashir is ready to make this gesture. Sudan is going to release the vessels detained in Port Sudan,” Sayed el Khatib told a news conference in the Ethiopian capital, where talks have been taking place.

Mr Khatib said releasing the ships should open the way for what he called a “cover agreement” between the two countries to be signed – and that Khartoum was ready to do this by the end of Saturday.

There was no immediate reaction from South Sudan.

Late on Friday, South Sudan’s lead negotiator, Pagan Amum, said a deal had fallen through because Sudan was “stealing” his country’s oil.

He also said the shutdown of South Sudan’s oil production would be complete by the end of Saturday.

Oil accounts for an estimated 98% of landlocked South Sudan’s budget – but it currently has to use Sudan’s pipelines and export terminal to export the oil.

Reuters news agency cited industry sources as saying Sudan had already sold at least one cargo of crude oil seized from South Sudan at a discount of millions of dollars, and was offering more.

Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir and his South Sudanese counterpart, Salva Kiir, have been holding talks in Addis Ababa, brokered by the leaders of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia.

Observers say the oil row has created the greatest crisis between the two states since South Sudan became independent, and has stoked fears of a return to war.

Sudan to release South Sudan oil shipments in portBy Otto Bakano (AFP) –ADDIS ABABA — Sudan agreed Saturday to free ships with South Sudanese oil as a goodwill gesture to ease negotiations aimed at resolving a furious row over pipeline transit fees with its southern neighbour.The two former civil war foes have held lengthy negotiations, but have been unable to reach agreement over the dispute which has seen Khartoum seize oil and South Sudan take the drastic step of shutting oil production.”We are ready to continue these talks and to prove it, we are… releasing vessels in Port Sudan to allay fears,” senior Khartoum official Sayed al-Khatib told reporters in Addis Ababa, where the talks are being held.”The vessels will be free to leave immediately,” al-Khatib added. “We expect the (South Sudan oil) shutdown to be halted and reversed.”Sudan has been detaining three ships carrying 2.2 million barrels of oil.In addition, Khartoum admits to have confiscated 1.7 million barrels of South Sudan crude, a measure it said was to compensate for Juba’s use of its pipeline and refinery.On Friday, South Sudan President Salva Kiir, who met with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in the Ethiopian capital for the oil talks, failed to sign an agreement due to Juba’s concerns over the detained ships, al-Khatib explained.

Landlocked South Sudan split from Sudan in July, taking with it three quarters of the country’s oil, but all pipeline and export facilities are controlled by Sudan.

“This oil was indeed developed when Sudan was one country and therefore all of the Sudanese people need to reap the benefit of it,” al-Khatib said.

South Sudan accuses Khartoum of stealing $815 million worth of oil. Al-Khatib said that Juba had not paid it for using the refinery since South Sudan seceded.

“We started taking the equivalent in kind of what we had been invoicing South Sudan, not a cent more,” he said.

African Union mediators have proposed an initial deal calling on the two countries to reverse their unilateral decisions before inking a comprehensive agreement later.

The oil talks come ahead of an AU summit starting Sunday. Al-Khatib said he hoped they could sign the initial agreement soon.

South Sudan’s chief negotiator Pagan Amum on Friday said the negotiations had reached an “impasse because of the intransigence of the government of Sudan.”

“The mood of course was not good because you can imagine sitting with somebody who is stealing your property,” he said of Kiir’s and al-Bashir’s meeting.

Juba this week began to halt oil production after it ordered a complete shutdown over the dispute with Khartoum, with over half the wells now shut, the South says.

China, which relies on South Sudan for nearly five percent of its oil and is also a key ally of the Khartoum government, has been supporting negotiations between the two sides.

This week South Sudan signed an agreement with Kenya to build an oil pipeline to a Kenyan port, potentially freeing it from its dependence on exporting oil through Sudan.

However, industry experts have said that building a pipeline could take more than three years and cost as much as $4 billion — a staggering cost for the South, where oil production is already close to peaking.

South Sudan has also approached Ethiopia to build a pipeline connecting to the Red Sea state of Djibouti.

Earlier this month, South Sudan signed its first oil deals with foreign nations since its independence, inking agreements with Chinese, Indian and Malaysian firms.

The deals, which replace deals signed with Khartoum under a unified Sudan, cover oil production in the two key petroleum states of Unity and Upper Nile.

Khartoum also opened bids to international companies days after the South penned its deals.

After South Sudan gained its independence, Sudan, which also relies on oil, was scrambling for ways to bolster its finances.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iOGJrxGo0w09YrYg3hV-ptz5Xx7g?docId=CNG.3130692da5b8a605890904cff0c6413b.d01

Sudan says to release ships seized from S.Sudan

Sat Jan 28, 2012 3:41pm GMT

* S.Sudan shutting down oil output in retaliation

* Sudan now says to free ships, ready to sign oil deal

* China biggest importer of Sudanese oil (Adds Sudan denies looting oil revenue, S.Sudan reaction)

By Aaron Maasho

ADDIS ABABA, Jan 28 (Reuters) – Sudan said on Saturday it would free tankers carrying cargoes of South Sudanese crude it had seized earlier this month, in a push to defuse a row over transit fees between former civil war foes that both depend on oil for almost all their income.

Landlocked South Sudan, which became independent in July after seceding from Sudan, has to use a northern pipeline and the port of Port Sudan to export its crude, and the two countries are in dispute over the transit fees it should pay.

The row heated up this month when Sudan said it was confiscating some of South Sudan’s oil exports to make up for what it called unpaid fees. South Sudan retaliated by saying it would shut down its crude output by Saturday.

Oil is the lifeline of both countries’ economies, and the south’s secession left Khartoum with output of about 125,000 barrels per day and South Sudan with production that has fallen slightly to 350,000 bpd from 375,000 bpd in June.

Oil revenue is about 98 percent of South Sudan’s income, and is vital if the government is to develop a country devastated by years of civil war and one of the world’s poorest nations.

China is the biggest buyer of oil from the two countries, taking some 12.99 million barrels last year – five percent of overall 2011 crude imports by China, which is also the biggest investor in South Sudan’s oilfields.

“President Bashir is ready to make this gesture. Sudan is going to release the vessels detained in Port Sudan,” Sayed El-Khatib, deputy head of Sudan’s negotiating team, told a media conference in the Ethiopian capital on Saturday.

“By taking this step, we expect the cover agreement to be signed, the shutdown to be halted, and the terms of the cover agreement to be respected,” said El-Khatib. “Before the end of today, we could be able to sign the cover agreement. We, at least, are ready to sign.”

A South Sudanese official, asked to comment, told Reuters: “We are studying the claim. We are waiting for confirmation from the shipping companies.” He did not want to be named.

LEADERS FOUND NO ANSWER

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir met on the sidelines of a meeting of East African officials in Ethiopia on Friday, but failed to resolve their differences over the oil transit tariff.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, a broker between the two sides, met Bashir again on Saturday.

The row with Sudan has angered many in South Sudan, where independence, the result of a referendum following a 2005 peace accord, is often framed as the climax of a long struggle against political and economic marginalisation by the north.

South Sudan’s Kiir accused Khartoum of “looting” oil worth roughly $815 million and of building a tie-in pipeline to divert 120,000 barrels per day of southern oil flowing through the north.

Industry sources have said Sudan has sold at least one cargo of crude seized from South Sudan at a discount of millions of dollars to the official price charged by the South, and is offering more.

Awad Abdelfatah, undersecretary of Sudan’s petroleum ministry, denied South Sudan’s accusations of oil “theft”.

“Since the 9th of July (South Sudan’s independence day), we have opened our export line for them (South Sudan) without any hindrance,” Abdelfatah told Reuters.

“We have been sending them invoices since that time and have been patient until the 1st of December. We decided then to take our dues. We didn’t take anything more than what our invoice shows,” Abdelfatah said.

Sudan’s civil war, fought over issues of ethnicity, religion, ideology and oil, ebbed and flowed from 1955 to 2005 and caused the deaths of an estimated 2 million people. Southerners voted overwhelmingly for secession in a referendum in January 2011.

(Writing by James Macharia; Editing by Tim Pearce)

http://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL5E8CS04920120128?sp=true

Sudan To Free Seized South Sudan Oil Ships

1/28/2012 10:33 AM ET
(RTTNews) – Sudan will release ships carrying South Sudan’s oil cargos to end a dispute over transit fees, reports said Saturday citing an official involved in negotiations.

An official in the negotiating team, Sayed El-Khatib reportedly said Sudan is willing to sign an agreement. He expects a deal to be signed by both countries by the end of the day.

Earlier in the day, South Sudan said it will complete the shutdown of its oil production on Saturday, following a dispute with the neighboring Sudan.

The country decided to go ahead with the shutdown after talks between President Salva Kiir and his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir on Friday failed to produce a deal to end the dispute over transit fees for oil. The leaders met in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on the sidelines of the 18th African Union Summit.

South Sudan alleges that Sudan is seizing its oil, meant for export, during transit through its territory to a northern port. Sudan proposed a transit fee of $36 barrel, while South Sudan is offering about $1 a barrel. The country has reportedly accused Sudan of stealing $815 million of its oil.

At the time of declaring independence in July 2011, South Sudan gained control of nearly 75 percent of Sudan’s oil production totaling around 500,000 barrels a day. China is the leading destination for Sudanese oil exports. Both South Sudan and Sudan are heavily dependent on oil revenues.

by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

http://www.rttnews.com/1807240/sudan-to-free-seized-south-sudan-oil-ships.aspx?type=gn&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=sitemap

Sudan says to release ships seized from South Sudan

By Aaron Maasho

ADDIS ABABA | Sat Jan 28, 2012 10:46am EST

(Reuters) – Sudan said on Saturday it would free tankers carrying cargoes of South Sudanese crude it had seized earlier this month, in a push to defuse a row over transit fees between former civil war foes that both depend on oil for almost all their income.

Landlocked South Sudan, which became independent in July after seceding from Sudan, has to use a northern pipeline and the port of Port Sudan to export its crude, and the two countries are in dispute over the transit fees it should pay.

The row heated up this month when Sudan said it was confiscating some of South Sudan’s oil exports to make up for what it called unpaid fees. South Sudan retaliated by saying it would shut down its crude output by Saturday.

Oil is the lifeline of both countries’ economies, and the south’s secession left Khartoum with output of about 125,000 barrels per day and South Sudan with production that has fallen slightly to 350,000 bpd from 375,000 bpd in June.

Oil revenue is about 98 percent of South Sudan’s income, and is vital if the government is to develop a country devastated by years of civil war and one of the world’s poorest nations.

China is the biggest buyer of oil from the two countries, taking some 12.99 million barrels last year – five percent of overall 2011 crude imports by China, which is also the biggest investor in South Sudan’s oilfields.

“President Bashir is ready to make this gesture. Sudan is going to release the vessels detained in Port Sudan,” Sayed El-Khatib, deputy head of Sudan’s negotiating team, told a media conference in the Ethiopian capital on Saturday.

“By taking this step, we expect the cover agreement to be signed, the shutdown to be halted, and the terms of the cover agreement to be respected,” said El-Khatib. “Before the end of today, we could be able to sign the cover agreement. We, at least, are ready to sign.”

A South Sudanese official, asked to comment, told Reuters: “We are studying the claim. We are waiting for confirmation from the shipping companies.” He did not want to be named.

LEADERS FOUND NO ANSWER

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir met on the sidelines of a meeting of East African officials in Ethiopia on Friday, but failed to resolve their differences over the oil transit tariff.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, a broker between the two sides, met Bashir again on Saturday.

The row with Sudan has angered many in South Sudan, where independence, the result of a referendum following a 2005 peace accord, is often framed as the climax of a long struggle against political and economic marginalization by the north.

South Sudan’s Kiir accused Khartoum of “looting” oil worth roughly $815 million and of building a tie-in pipeline to divert 120,000 barrels per day of southern oil flowing through the north.

Industry sources have said Sudan has sold at least one cargo of crude seized from South Sudan at a discount of millions of dollars to the official price charged by the South, and is offering more.

Awad Abdelfatah, undersecretary of Sudan’s petroleum ministry, denied South Sudan’s accusations of oil “theft.”

“Since the 9th of July (South Sudan’s independence day), we have opened our export line for them (South Sudan) without any hindrance,” Abdelfatah told Reuters.

“We have been sending them invoices since that time and have been patient until the 1st of December. We decided then to take our dues. We didn’t take anything more than what our invoice shows,” Abdelfatah said.

Sudan’s civil war, fought over issues of ethnicity, religion, ideology and oil, ebbed and flowed from 1955 to 2005 and caused the deaths of an estimated 2 million people. Southerners voted overwhelmingly for secession in a referendum in January 2011.

(Writing by James Macharia; Editing by Tim Pearce)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/28/us-sudan-oil-idUSTRE80R0B820120128

South Sudan: Aid Reaching Those in Need
Reuters AlertNet
By Melany Markham, Communications Officer, LWF South Sudan JUBA, South Sudan/GENEVA, 25 January 2012 (LWI) – Humanitarian organizations, including The Lutheran World Federation (LWF), have added emergency aid programs to their ongoing work in South 

South Sudan and Kenya sign oil pipeline deal
SteelGuru
AFP reported that South Sudan signed an agreement with Kenya to build an oil pipeline to a Kenyan port, potentially freeing it from reliance on its northern neighbor Sudan. Mr Elizabeth James Bol South Sudan’s deputy minister of petroleum and mining 

UN urges support for refugees at Davos summit
Aljazeera.com
Guterres, who is at the Davos summit to ask for further financial aid for the UN’s aid effort, has asked for “massive support” from the international community to assist hundreds of thousands of refugees, particularly in Sudan and South Sudan

Sudan Facilitates Humanitarian Aid in South Kordofan and Blue Nile
PR Newswire (press release)
27, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The humanitarian crisis in South Kordofan and Blue Nile is an expected, logical and inevitable consequence of the war waged by the rebels of the South SudanPeople’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) and the 

Sudan’s VP threatens army strike on Juba
Sudan Tribune
January 27, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The second Vice-President of Sudan, Al-Haj Adam Youssef, has warned that his country’s army could strike as far as South Sudan’s capital Juba in pursuit of hunting rebels operating in South Kordofan and Blue Nile…

IOM begins airlift to take South Sudan’s citizens home
Sudan Tribune
January 27, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – An airlift of 12 flights aimed at carrying nearly 400 people stranded in Sudan’s capital Khartoum to their homeland in South Sudan began on Friday, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), has announced…

Sudan says to release ships seized from South Sudan
Reuters
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Sudan will free ships carrying cargos of crude it seized from South Sudan to ease tensions between the two countries, Sayed El-Khatib, deputy head of negotiating team said on Saturday. “President Bashir is ready to make this 

Sudan to release detained oil tankers, sign deal to end dispute over oil with 
KSPR
By AP ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — A Sudanese official says Sudan will immediately release loaded oil tankers it has detained in its port and wants to end a dispute over payments for oil with its neighbor South Sudan. Landlocked South Sudan began 

RT News line, January 28
RT
Oil transit fees have become a major dispute between South Sudan and its northern neighbor, the Republic of Sudan, after the former seceded from Sudan in July. South Sudan has no other choice but to use its neighbor’s infrastructure to export oil, 

South Sudan shuts down more wells as crisis deal flops
Africa Review
By MACHEL AMOS in PalaugPosted Saturday, January 28 2012 at 14:29 South Sudan oil operators closed more 242 oil wells Friday as the government announced it has unearthed further oil theft of more than 40000 barrels per day. This came as President Salva 

Sudan To Free Seized South Sudan Oil Ships
RTT News
(RTTNews) – Sudan will release ships carrying South Sudan’s oil cargos to end a dispute over transit fees, reports said Saturday citing an official involved in negotiations. An official in the negotiating team, Sayed El-Khatib reportedly said Sudan is 

South Sudan oil row: Sudan to release shipments
BBC News
Sudan says it will release detained crude oil shipments belonging to South Sudan to help end a bitter dispute. The laden vessels would be allowed to leave Port Sudan as soon as possibile, a Khartoum negotiator said. The move followed South Sudan’s 
South Sudan ‘to complete shutdown’ of oil production
BBC News
South Sudan says it will complete the shutdown of its oil production on Saturday, after attempts to resolve a dispute with Sudan failed. The presidents of both countries held talks in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, but were not able to sign a deal 

By Hereward Holland

JUBA | Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:47am EST

(Reuters) – South Sudan said Monday it started shutting down oil production and accused Sudan of seizing $815 million worth of crude, escalating an increasingly bitter row over oil revenues between the former civil war foes.

South Sudan seceded last July under a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war between north and south, but the two have remained locked in a dispute over how to untangle their oil industries.

The new landlocked nation needs to use a northern pipeline and the port of Port Sudan to export its crude but has failed to reach an agreement with Khartoum over a transit fee, prompting Sudan to start seizing oil as compensation.

South Sudan started shutting down oil output Sunday and expected to finish the process within two weeks, government spokesman Barnaba Marial Benjamin told Reuters by phone.

“The task force has been formed for the shutdown and they are already in the fields carrying out the instructions,” he said, listing the Thar Jath field in Unity state as one field where the shutdown had begun.

Officials said in November South Sudan was producing about 350,000 barrels of oil per day.

China is the biggest buyer of oil from the two countries, some 12.99 million barrels last year. That amounted to five percent of last year’s crude imports by China, which is also the top investor in South Sudan’s oilfields.

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir accused Khartoum of having “looted” revenues amounting to roughly $815 million and building a tie-in pipeline to divert 120,000 barrels per day of southern production flowing through the north.

“Given our history with the administration of (Sudan’s) President Bashir, we realize that, unfortunately, we must prepare for a disruption of revenue that could last many months,” Kiir told parliament in Juba.

The justice ministry in South Sudan’s capital Juba published a list of three vessels it said had been forced to load southern oil at Port Sudan on orders from Khartoum.

The MT Sea Sky loaded 605,784 barrels on January 13/14, the MT Al Nouf around 750,000 barrels on January 16/17 and the MT Ratna Shradha another 600,000 barrels on Jan 19/20, the ministry said.

Officials in Khartoum could not immediately be reached for comment. Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Karti told Reuters last week that Khartoum was entitled to seize oil to compensate for transit fees.

South Sudanese officials have said they are planning to build a new pipeline to export oil through East Africa, but analysts have expressed skepticism because of the difficulty of carrying out such a project.

“The financial, technical, and political obstacles to the construction of an alternative pipeline are enormous,” Jean-Baptiste Gallopin, an analyst at Control Risks, said.

“I have no doubt both Sudanese governments are under a lot of international pressure to reach an agreement, because the risks of conflict are real at this stage,” Gallopin said.

NO END TO ROW

The two countries are expected to resume oil talks soon, sponsored by the African Union in Addis Ababa, after negotiations were suspended last week.

Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said this month Khartoum would impose a fee since Juba had not paid anything for using northern export facilities since independence.

Khartoum is demanding $1 billion for fees since July and $36 a barrel as a transit fee, officials have said.

South Sudan’s Kiir said his government was planning to reduce its dependence on oil revenues, which make up 98 percent of state income.

“We will need to find other sources of funding. In doing so I have instructed the ministry of financeto initiate contingency plans for revenue collection and allocation,” he said.

Sudan’s civil war devastated much of the south, leaving the new nation one of the least developed in the world.

The row with Sudan has stirred anger among some in South Sudan, where independence is often framed as the culmination of a long struggle against political and economic marginalization.

Underscoring those sentiments, around one thousand people marched to parliament Monday to support the government’s decision to shut down oil production.

The crowd, mostly university students, cheered, waved their fists in the air and carried placards reading: “Looting our oil is a crime” and “We call on the international community to help the infant country.”

(Reporting by Hereward Holland and Alexander Dziadosz; Writing by Ulf Laessing and Alexander Dziadosz, editing by Jane Baird and Jason Neely)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/23/us-sudan-south-oil-idUSTRE80M1KG20120123

Sudan seized oil worth $815 million, South Sudan says
Reuters
By Hereward Holland | JUBA (Reuters) – South Sudan said Monday it started shutting down oil production and accused Sudan of seizing $815 million worth of crude, escalating an increasingly bitter row over oil revenues between the former civil war foes.

South Sudan: UN envoy urges sending more Government forces to troubled state
UN News Centre
Special Representative Hilde Johnson (centre) on a visit to Pibor in Jonglei State,South Sudan. Photo: UNMISS/Isaac Gideon The top United Nations envoy in South Sudan stressed today that the best way to protect civilians in the strife-torn state of 

Sudan-South Sudan: AU urges to stop ‘unilateral actions’
Afrique en Ligue
Khartoum, Sudan – The African Union (AU) on Monday urged Sudan and South Sudan to end what it calls their current unilateral action, saying it threatens to bring the two countries to confrontation. In a statement issued in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 

Stopping Sudanese genocides
Jerusalem Post
South Africa has long been a mediator in Sudan and its leadership is needed now more than ever. Sudanese officials are engaged in an escalating and violent triangular assault on two states that border South Sudan – South Kordofan and Blue Nile – as 

Abdulrahman Al-Sadiq Calls on Sweden to Advice South Sudan to Adopt Dialogue 
Sudan Vision
Abdulrahman Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi, Monday called on the visiting Swedish delegation to advice South Sudan leadership to adopt dialogue as a means to address outstanding issues to defuse tensions. Col. Al Mahdi, in press statements after his meeting with 

Khartoum Breaks International Laws by Blocking South Sudan’s Crude Oil
OilPrice.com
By Diplomatic Courier | Mon, 23 January 2012 23:33 | 0 The Republic of Sudan has suddenly blocked the transportation of South Sudan’s crude oil to the international market. On Christmas Eve all loaded cargo was prevented from leaving, while other cargo 

South Sudan starts shutting down oil production
Newsday
Click here South Sudan starts shutting down oil production Originally published: January 23, 2012 8:49 AM Updated: January 23, 2012 9:57 AM By The Associated Press MICHAEL ONYIEGO (Associated Press) (AP) — South Sudan has ordered oil companies to shut 


South Sudan
 Gothic

The Massachusetts Daily Collegian
On July 9, after 21 years of civil war, South Sudan claimed its independence. Although this is great news for the Southern Sudanese, it comes with the problems of having to re-start the development of what is now a separate and new country.

South Sudan Plans to Shut Down Oil Output Over Sudan Fee Demand
BusinessWeek
20 (Bloomberg) — South Sudan plans to shut down its oil production after Sudan demanded it pay a transit fee of $36 per barrel to ship the crude via a pipeline that runs through the neighboring country, Deputy Oil Minister Elizabeth James Bol said.

South Sudan to shut oil production over thefts
The Seattle Times
South Sudan official says the country is shutting down its oil production because Sudan is stealing its oil. The Associated Press No comments have been posted to this article. A South Sudan official says the country is shutting down its oil 

We have no guarantee that oil flowing through the Republic of Sudan will reach its intended destination.  We cannot allow assets which clearly belong to the Republic of South Sudan to be subject to further diversion, says President Kiir

[Juba, South Sudan] – By Larco Lomayat      January 23, 2012

While addressing remembers of the South Sudan National Legislative Assembly as well as South Sudanese citizens in Juba on Monday on the Government of South Sudan (GOSS) decision to stop the oil flow through the pipelines on the territory of the Republic of Sudan, the Oresident of the Republic of South Sudan, Gen. Salva Kiir says “During the second Council of Ministers of 2012 meeting on January 20, we unanimously decided that all oil operations in South Sudan should be halted with immediate effect and no crude oil belonging to South Sudan shall flow through the pipelines on the territory of the Republic of Sudan.  

 

The government stands ready to handle this situation; however, we are mindful that it cannot be done without the collective support of this august house.  We have reached this point only after exhausting all avenues including my sending envoys to Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia last week.  The presidents of those countries reached out to President Bashir to ask him to stop taking unilateral decisions regarding our oil.

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President Kiir Addressing Members of the
South Sudan Legislative Assembly
Photos by Larco Lomayat,
January 23, 2012
Below is the Full Message of President Kiir:
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Statement by H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan
to the National Legislature on the current oil crisis

January 23, 2012

 

Right Honorable Speaker and

Honorable Members of the National Legislature

I am here today to brief this august house about the current crisis in our oil industry. The crisis has reached a stage that is unacceptable. On the 6th of December  2011, the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Sudan informed our Minister of Petroleum that based on their Petroleum Transit and Service Fees Act of 2011, as from 25 December 2011, all shipments will be allowed to leave Port Sudan only after paying fees amounting to 32.2 dollars per barrel.

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Immediately following this warning, they proceeded to block four ships with 3.5 million barrels of Dar blend from sailing out of Port Sudan.  They have further prevented four other ships from docking at Port Sudan. These ships have purchased 2.8 million barrels of Nile and Dar blends but are unable to collect their purchases.  To date, these eight vessels remain under the control of the Government of Sudan with oil worth 630 million dollars.

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In addition to that, they have forcibly taken another 185 million dollars’ worth of oil.  In total, the revenue that the Government of Sudan has looted since December amounts to approximately 815 million dollars.  Furthermore, they have completed constructing a tie-in pipeline designed to permanently divert 120,000 barrels per day f South Sudan oil, which is almost 75 percent of our daily entitlements, to their refineries in Khartoum.

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Your Excellences

The diversion of South Sudan crude oil has disrupted revenues that are vital to the security and welfare of the people of South Sudan. At this time, we have no guarantee that oil flowing through the Republic of Sudan will reach its intended destination.  We cannot allow assets which clearly belong to the Republic of South Sudan to be subject to further diversion.

Therefore, during the second Council of Ministers of 2012 meeting on January 20, we unanimously decided that all oil operations in South Sudan should be halted with immediate effect and no crude oil belonging to South Sudan shall flow through the pipelines on the territory of the Republic of Sudan.

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The government stands ready to handle this situation; however, we are mindful that it cannot be done without the collective support of this august house.  We have reached this point only after exhausting all avenues including my sending envoys to Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia last week.  The presidents of those countries reached out to President Bashir to ask him to stop taking unilateral decisions regarding our oil.

The response from Bashir is that he will not stop taking oil until we pay the exorbitant amount of 32.2 dollars per barrel, something that is completely out of international norms and a precedence that we are unwilling to set.

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Insomuch as the duration of revenue disruption is unknown and to ensure the continued operation of our national government and to provide services for our people, we will need to find other sources of funding.

In doing so, I have already instructed the Ministry of Finance to initiate contingency plans for revenue collection and allocation. This will accelerate the increase in collections of non-oil revenues. It also will prioritize the allocation of existing revenue, allowing us to make the most of what we have.   The Ministry of Finance will also look into other options for replacing the lost revenue.  On existing cash reserves, rest assured that the government can operate for the immediate future, depending on which cuts are made.

Your Excellences

The safety, security and health of our citizens remain our priorities. Whatever austerity measures are required, we are confident that we can continue to meet critical obligations for national security and public welfare.

Meanwhile, we will continue to do everything possible to resolve the impasse with Sudan and to restore the flow of South Sudan crude oil. We remain in intensive discussions, in coordination with the African Union and our allies, to arrive at an agreement that is fair to both parties.

To date, however, the Sudanese government has refused to negotiate in good faith. Given our history with the administration of President Bashir, we realize that, unfortunately, we must prepare for a disruption of revenue that could last many months. However, I want to assure the people of South Sudan that all measures will be taken to ensure that any disruption is minimal.

 

Your Excellences

This crisis comes at a period that we have internal challenges, particular the recent tribal conflict in Jonglei State.    It is our collective responsibility to manage this situation with patience and perseverance. This is a time when we as South Sudanese need to speak with one collective voice and avoid inciting statements which will further fuel the situation.

For this reason, I call upon this august house to support the decision of the Council of Ministers to stop the flow of oil and search for alternative sources of funding to manage government projects.  I have no doubt that this august house will seriously and critically consider all available options and make the appropriate resolutions in the best interest of the Republic of South Sudan immediately.

Together, as South Sudanese, we will endure this hardship. We are a nation built on resilience, vigilance and pride.  Through discipline and focus, I am confident that our young nation will emerge stronger and more united.

Thank you and God bless you all. 

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__._,_.___

Stop Dealing with Thieves, Say the People of South Sudan

[Juba, South Sudan] – By Larco Lomayat    Monday, January 23, 2012

During a Peaceful Procession on Monday from Juba University to the South Sudan National Legislative Assembly in Support of the Government of South Sudan (GOSS) resolution to stop oil flow through the Republic of Sudan, the people of South Sudan chanted “Stop Dealing with Thieves.

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President Kiir Addressing the People of South Sudan in front of
the South Sudan National Legislative Assembly
Photos By Larco Lomayat
January 23, 2012

Here below are some of pictures taken during the Procession and while the President is addressing the people of South Sudan in Juba.

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(AFP) – 5 hours ago  

KHARTOUM — Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi pledged his country’s ongoing support for Sudan, “whatever … the internal and external changes,” at the start of a two-day visit, Sudanese media reported.

“China’s policy towards Sudan will not change, whatever the pressure and internal and external changes,” Yang was quoted as saying by the semi-official Sudan Media Centre late on Sunday, shortly after his arrival in Khartoum.

“China will continue its support for infrastructure projects in the fields of economy and development,” he added.

A key ally of Sudan, which has suffered from US economic sanction since 1997, the rising world power is also a major military supplier to the regime in Khartoum, as well as one the largest foreign investors and the biggest buyer of Sudanese oil.

President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes in Darfur, travelled to Beijing just before the secession of the south last month, where most of Sudan’s oil lies, to bolster bilateral ties.

On Sunday, Yang urged north and south to find “urgent solutions” to their outstanding differences, two days after a dispute over duty payments caused the authorities in Port Sudan to block a 600,000 barrel shipment of southern oil.

“Sudan and the south will lose the peace equation by not cooperating on common and disputed issues,” he said.

Yang was due to meet his Sudanese counterpart Ali Karti on Monday morning, and President Bashir after his return from Chad, before travelling to Juba, capital of newly-independent South Sudan, on Tuesday.

Chinese foreign minister on two day trip to North and South Sudan

[08.08.2011 12:37]

Chinese foreign minister on two day trip to North and South Sudan

Chinese Yang Jiechi was in North Sudan on Monday, for a two-day trip to both Khartoum and Juba, in what was seen as an effort by Beijing to tighten its economic links to the oil producing region, dpa reported.

Sudan, which split last month into two countries, has been a major exporter of oil to China, which in turn was a staunch supporter of Khartoum, now capital of the north, internationally and through economic development projects.

Most of the oil reserves now lie in the south. Jiechi is expected to travel to South Sudan on Tuesday, for his first trip to the newly independent nation, after meetings on Monday with northern officials, including President Omar al-Bashir, who has a warrant against him from the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes.

Unnamed Chinese diplomats were quoted by northern Sudanese media as warning that the two countries should not squander their peace deal and work towards cooperations. They also pledged that Beijing would not end its support of Khartoum.

The warning over the tense relations between north and south came following a recent a major oil row. The North blocked a 600,000-barrel oil shipment from South Sudan on Friday, alleging customs duties over the use of facilities were not paid.

The shipment was released over the weekend, after a compromise was found between Juba and Khartoum.

After decades of conflict and poor development, South Sudan’s infrastructure is in shambles or is simply lacking altogether.

Chinese foreign minister to meet Sudan’s Bashir

Mon Aug 8, 2011 12:50pm GMT

KHARTOUM Aug 8 (Reuters) – China’s foreign minister was due to meet Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on Monday for the highest-level talks between the two allies in the Sudanese capital since south Sudan seceded to form an independent state.

Yang Jiechi met Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Karti in Khartoum and announced that China was giving Sudan a 100 million yuan ($15.53 million) interest-free loan, a Sudanese government statement said.

Sudan was the sixth-largest source of Chinese oil imports in 2010. China has maintained close ties with north Sudan throughout a U.S. trade embargo.

Beijing called on the world to normalise relations with Khartoum after South Sudan seceded last month and has also been keen to build a relationship with leaders in the south.

Bashir has pledged to work with Africa’s newest nation, but north and south Sudan have failed to agree on how to divide their oil revenues. ($1 = 6.440 Chinese Yuan) (Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; Writing by Sherine El Madany)

Chinese Foreign Minister Visits Sudans

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi is visiting both Sudan and the newly independent South Sudan, marking the first high-level visit from Beijing since the latter’s secession last month. From the BBC:

China has been a strong supporter of  and its President Omar al-Bashir, despite allegations of Sudanese war crimes in Darfur.

The visit comes after Sudan released a cargo of South Sudanese  it had blocked in a row over custom duties.

 has to export oil via the north because it has no port or refineries of its own. However, the two sides have so far failed to agree on transit fees, or how to share oil revenue.

Chinese companies are heavily involved in Sudanese oil extraction.

The BBC’s James Copnall in Khartoum says that since three-quarters of the reserves now lie in South Sudan, Mr Yang’s visit will be closely followed for any possible signs of a shift in China’s loyalties.

The Paris-based Sudan Tribune relays Yang’s comments on the situation:

The Chinese top diplomat was quoted as saying by the government sponsored Sudanese Media Center (SMC) website that North and South Sudan “will lose the peace equation” by not cooperating on the joint and controversial issues.

He also affirmed that Beijing’s policy towards Khartoum will not change regardless of the pressures, internal and external variables adding that China will continue its support for infrastructure projects in the fields of economy and development.

On Darfur, Jiechi’s stressed that the ultimate solution to the conflict in the restive region lies in development and eliminating the causes of the conflict. He said that the recent Doha accord signed between the Sudanese government and one rebel group is an important achievement for the continuation of the peace and political process in Darfur with everybody’s will.

China FM warns North & South Sudan against losing “peace equation”
Sudan Tribune
August 7, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The Chinese foreign minister Yang Jiechi arrived to Khartoum on Sunday on a two-day visit that will take him to South Sudan’s capital of Juba. Jiechi’s discussions will likely focus on pressing the two countries on resolving