Posts Tagged ‘rabak sudan’


Sudan and South Sudan Fail to End Oil Dispute

By ISMA’IL KUSHKUSH

Published: February 17, 2012

KHARTOUM, Sudan — Negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan over billions of gallons of oil have ended with very little progress, prolonging a dispute that is undermining the fragile economies of both nations and straining the tenuous peace between them after decades of war.

“There was nothing new,” Yahia Hussein, a member of Sudan’s negotiating team, said Thursday after returning from the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, where the negotiations were being held.

Sudan and South Sudan have been locked in a series of talks since the south seceded and became independent last July. The highly volatile issues to be resolved include the demarcation of the border separating the nations, the status of citizens in each country and, most thorny of all, oil.

Most of the oil is in South Sudan, a landlocked nation, so the pipelines and the facilities to export it are in the north, requiring the two sides, which fought one of Africa’s longest and deadliest civil wars, to cooperate.

Both nations depend enormously on the oil revenues, but the distance between them is wide. Sudan is demanding a $36 per barrel fee, citing the costs of processing the oil and various fees and services. South Sudan says that it would pay only the transit fees, putting the cost at $3 per barrel.

Last month, South Sudan stopped its oil production in protest, accusing Sudan of stealing $815 million worth of oil and announcing that it would seek to construct alternative pipelines to Kenya and Djibouti. Sudan argued that it was taking its fees “in kind” because it had not received any payments for transit since July.

Mr. Hussein, the negotiator, stated that the government of South Sudan “was willing to start re-exporting its oil through Sudan on the condition of reaching a final agreement.”

But Nhial Deng Nhial, South Sudan’s foreign minister, appeared to be less optimistic.

“The gulf is still huge,” he said in a statement, according to Agence France-Presse. “I don’t know if it can be bridged.”

Abdelwahab El-Affendi, a professor at the University of Westminster in London, said oil would be the most difficult issue to resolve. “The southern leadership has unleashed powerful nationalist sentiments over the oil issue, which would be difficult to contain and would constrain the leadership’s ability to make concessions in the short term,” Professor El-Affendi said.

Still, negotiations over the borders seem to have achieved some progress. Mr. Hussein said the two sides had agreed to start marking the borders immediately, an process that should take about three months.

Sudan and South Sudan share a long border with a number of disputed areas. Seeking to calm fears of renewed conflict, Sudan and South Sudan signed a nonaggression agreement last Friday, but just days later South Sudan accused Sudan of bombing a border town and killing four soldiers, an accusation Sudan denies.

The two sides must also deal with matters of citizenship. In April, at the end of an initial transition period, South Sudanese who live in Sudan will be classified as foreigners, and vice versa. Tens of thousands of South Sudanese seeking to go south have been stuck in the river city of Kosti, and South Sudanese officials accuse Sudan of hindering their return. Mr. Hussein denied the charge.

The African panel that has been mediating the talks under the leadership of former President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa had helped improve the “mood of talks,” Mr. Hussein said.

“There was less verbal abuse from their side,” he said, smiling.

At some point, Professor El-Affendi said, the negotiators will have to deal with the conflicts in the Sudanese states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan, which share borders with South Sudan and whose leaders have historical ties with the regions.

But, he said, “this war is not even on the agenda in the Addis Ababa talks, since it is regarded as an ‘internal issue’ for the north,” he said. The problem, he noted, is that “when the real issue is not talked about, you cannot hope to resolve other issues.”

Last year, conflict in both states broke out when rebels who previously fought with the south took up arms against the Sudanese government in Khartoum. Sudan accuses South Sudan of supporting them. Without a cease-fire in those conflicts, “not much progress can be hoped for,” Professor el-Affendi said.

A new round of negotiations has been set for the end of this month.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/18/world/africa/sudan-and-south-sudan-fail-to-end-oil-dispute.html?_r=1

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BusinessWeek
15 (Bloomberg) — Sudan expects to resume talks with South Sudan by the end of this month to try to end a dispute over oil payments after failing to make a breakthrough at the latest round of discussions, a negotiator from the north said.

Sacked South Sudanese block Khartoum road, hurl rocks
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By Ngor Arol Garang February 14, 2012 (JUBA) – South Sudan on Tuesday accused Khartoum of violating the recently signed memorandum of understanding on non-aggression and cooperation, by preventing the movement of barges back to Juba.



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By Ngor Arol Garang February 15, 2012 (JUBA) – South Sudan on Wednesday said the government of neighboring Sudan has “failed” to produce genuine reasons that support their demand for high charges in return for using the oil pipelines passing through 

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Little Progress in Sudan, South Sudan Oil Talks
Voice of America (blog)
Talks aimed at ending a bitter oil dispute between Sudan and South Sudan have ended without agreement. The six-day talks in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, finished early Wednesday. South Sudanese officials said late Tuesday that the sides remain far