Posts Tagged ‘sudanese president’


Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Earlier this month, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir said on national television that Sudan is closer to war than peace with the breakaway state of South Sudan. (Reuters)

Earlier this month, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir said on national television that Sudan is closer to war than peace with the breakaway state of South Sudan. (Reuters)

By AFP
WASHINGTON

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday accused Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir of trying to undermine newly independent South Sudan, adding Washington would consider increasing pressure on Bashir to reverse course.

Clinton told U.S. lawmakers that “what we’ve got with Bashir is a very determined effort to try to undo the results of the comprehensive peace agreement,” which led to the creation last July of a separate state in South Sudan.

She recalled “the United States played a very important role in negotiating that agreement,” a 2005 deal that ended more than two decades of war between the Islamist-led government in Khartoum and rebels representing the mainly Christian and animist south.

“The people of South Sudan voted for independence and ever since, despite Bashir going to Salva Kiir’s inauguration, there has been a steady effort to undermine this new state,” Clinton said, referring to the new southern president.

“We will certainly look at trying to up the pressure on Khartoum and on Bashir personally,” the chief U.S. diplomat told a House of Representatives committee.

On Feb. 3, Bashir said on national television that Sudan is closer to war than peace with the breakaway state of South Sudan, with a dispute over oil and other issues stoking tensions.

Bashir spoke after Kiir warned that renewed conflict could erupt if oil negotiations with Khartoum do not include a deal on other key issues, including the contested Abyei region.

Tensions have also been raised by the still undemarcated border, parts of which cut through oilfields, as well as mutual allegations that each side backs rebel forces against the other.

“We also believe there has to be an agreement to finish out the comprehensive peace agreement and try to finalize all of the border issues, the oil issues, and that’s going to be very difficult, too,” Clinton said.

“We support the process that the African Union is running in Addis Ababa but it doesn’t seem to be making a lot of progress yet,” she said.

http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/02/29/197822.html

Clinton: Bashir trying to scuttle Sudan peace deal

By MATTHEW LEE
Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday accused Sudan’s leader of trying to scuttle a historic peace deal that created the world’s newest country last year.

Clinton told a House panel that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir’s regime in Khartoum is actively trying to undermine the government of South Sudan and that the Obama administration will look at new ways to build pressure on them to stop. Her comments came in response to a lawmaker’s question about reported bombing attacks on refugees fleeing violence in the south and firefights between southern and northern troops.

“I think that what we’ve got with Bashir is a very determined effort to try to undo the results of the comprehensive peace agreement,” Clinton said.

South Sudan was created last year after southern Sudanese voted to secede from Sudan in a referendum required by a 2005 peace agreement that ended the country’s long-running civil war. Clinton noted that the people of the South had voted overwhelmingly for independence and lamented that Bashir, after initially embracing the results and attending the inauguration of South Sudan’s president, had been involved in “a steady effort to undermine this new state.

“We will certainly look at trying to up the pressure on Khartoum and on Bashir personally,” she said.

Earlier this month, South Sudan accused Sudan of bombing a border town, violating a non-aggression agreement between the two nations just hours after it was signed.

That agreement was inked during talks to resolve outstanding provisions of the 2005 peace deal, including the division of the two nations’ once-unified oil industry. South Sudan inherited nearly three quarters of Sudan’s oil production but its oil must still exported through pipelines through Sudan.

The two countries have been unable to agree on the transport fees the south should pay. In lieu of an agreement, Sudan declared it would take a percentage of the South’s oil as in-kind payments prompting the South to accuse Khartoum of stealing its oil and shut down all production in its oil fields, depriving Khartoum of a critical source of income.

The two countries are also far apart on other issues such as the demarcation of the north-south border and the status of the disputed Abyei region.

UN peacekeeper killed in Darfur ambush
Reuters
Separately, the UN peacekeeping department will brief the Security Council later on Wednesday about reports that rebels killed some 130 members of the Sudanese army near the border withSouth Sudan. Rebel groups in Sudan claimed credit on Monday for 
US accuses Bashir of trying to undermine South Sudan
Al-Arabiya
Earlier this month, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir said on national television that Sudan is closer to war than peace with the breakaway state of South Sudan. (Reuters) By AFP US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday accused Sudanese 
Clinton: Bashir trying to scuttle Sudan peace deal
Modesto Bee
Clinton told a House panel that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir’s regime in Khartoum is actively trying to undermine the government of South Sudan and that the Obama administration will look at new ways to build pressure on them to stop.
Vice President Riek Machar will give address to South Sudanese at Minesota 
New Sudan Vision
The Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan Dr. Riek Machar, will address South Sudaneseat Minnesota State University Mankato, on Saturday 3rd of March 2012. Dr. Machar is in the United States for quick medical checkups.

By PaanLuel Wël

Dear Esteemed Readers,

Besides the well-known problems felling the newly independent nation of South Sudan–inter-ethnic strifes, mega-corruption, mismanagement etc. and the never-ending precarious military and economic stand-0ff with the north–fire has just surfaced to rival them all.

The beautiful presidential office constructed and inaugurated just last year was smoldered by fire on February 09, 2012. That embarrassing incident was blamed squarely on “an electrical fault.”

A fire broke out at the official residence of South Sudanese president, Salva Kiir on Thursday and burnt down a building he uses as an office. The incident, which started at about 7:00pm local time was reportedly attributed to an electrical fault said to have emanated from an electrical pole next to the house. No casualties were involved [Sudan Tribune].

The new Office of the President of @RepSouthSudan in Juba

Then on February 17, 2012, merely eight days after the presidential office went up in flame, the SPLM General Headquarters that house SG Pagan Amum’s office was consumed in a similar inferno. Fortunately no one was hurt, but faulty electrical wiring was blame for the fire.

 A devastating fire broke out on Friday at the headquarters of South Sudan’s ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in Juba, a week after a similar incident at the official residence of the country’s president Salva Kiir Mayardit. No one was hurt in the blaze although SPLM officials say many files and documents were lost in the fire that erupted at the premises of the national secretariat at around 1pm. The party’s northern secretariat, located in Thongpiny area, Munuki payam (district) is the official workplace of Pagan Amum, the SPLM secretary general and other senior party officials. The cause of fire remains unknown although senior officials have speculated that it was down to an electric fault [Sudan Tribune].

What remained of South Sudan ruling party head offices after a fire Friday afternoon.

Such incidences of fire outbreaks are not uncommon in Juba. The Chinese-owned Beijing Hotel in Juba, for example, has been repeatedly gutted down by fire, one in 2009 in which about 60 rooms were blazed down and again last year in December.

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The Beijing hotel in Juba on fire in 2009 (ST file photo)

Common and well-documented as accidental fire outbreaks might be, what is puzzling though in this latest cases are the timing and the official buildings affected. The timing is suspicious because these inferno came on the heel of a scathing press release statement from the ex-minister of finance, Mr. Arthur Akuien Chol. In that statement, February 10, 2012, the disgraced former minister not just denied the allegation of corruption against him, he implicated the VP Dr. Machar, SG Pagan Amum and the “Above” (which, undoubtedly, is a coded word for President Kiir) in the corruption dealings that appeared to have cost South Sudan over $60 million between 2005-2007 when Mr. Chol was the finance minister.

That the office of SPLM SG Pagan and the presidential office are being consumed by fire is raising eyebrows in many quarters across South sudan particularly because some “confidential documents are feared to have been lost as a result of the impromptu fire outbreak.” That, to most wary South Sudanese citizens, sounds like a conspiratorial sabotage to destroy files and computers that might contain incriminating information concerning the aforementioned corruption case which is, reportedly, under investigation.

Of course, that could just be a conspiracy talk, with no substantiation to it. What is indisputable, however, is the faultiness of the electrical engineers contracted by the government of South Sudan. Because of corruption–kickbacks accruable from such contracts, greedy government officials prefer to deal with “fake” supposedly foreigner engineers from neighboring countries as they are easy to control and intimidate-able. Therefore, much of the budgeted funds ended up being stolen and the amateur engineers would wire up faulty electrical wires on jut third of the allocated funds, fully aware that he would never be held accountable by anyone for fear of exposure.

As these three concerned South Sudanese citizens explain below, the danger pose to South Sudan by corruption in government contracts outweigh even the one mega-corruption case involving ex-minister Mr. Chol:

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Dear all,
Last year I was in the same SPLM offices in the hall when the air-condition almost started a fire. There was an electrical spark and the wires connecting to the air-condition started to burn. Everybody panicked and fled the hall except me because I saw it necessary to turn off the switch and the thing died down. Another time the air-condition in the hall of the offices of the Economic affairs secretary was always sparking and there were naked wires you could see. It is only God who saves us in the South Sudan sometimes. So to me it is not a surprise when fires from electrical faults combined with heat can turn deadly. There were many people who witnessed the sparks in the SPLM offices and they can tell their sides also even though they may not know why and how it happens.
The workmanship of electrical connections in Juba is appalling. The Ugandan amateurs do the worse work and the things can burn any time. When I moved into a house in Juba I had to redo all the wiring in the roof. As soon as I turned a switch the thin wires went into smoke but likely the house was mostly concrete and it did not burn. I brought in a South Sudanese electrical technician (John Deng) and together we changed the wiring which was badly made by these Ugandan contractors. The wiring must have a rating -which means how much current it can stand. Connecting thin poor wire to an air-condition consuming 3 or 4 KWs of Electricity  can be deadly as it will overheat and melt the wires insulators  and connecting the two materials  together so that short circuit can start to burn things.

But it is the norm in Juba where those of us South Sudanese who have the technical knowledge are ignored and not being empowered to work for the government of south Sudan and people prefer Ugandan thieves to do the jobs and without regard to standards and safety.
Well what surprise me is that an investigation committee is formed all the time to come up with reason of the fires.  The reasons  are well known as I stated here and these committees are e just a waste of resources since the root cause of wrong contractors and poor installations are not  being considered at all. Also the committee are made of the same biased people who cannot put an independent view like I say here because they are the very people responsible for bringing the wrong people to do the work in the first place.

The government should come up with a Standards organisations with ability to persecute and fine.  Many commissions from the technical side of things have been missing from the list of commissions in Juba as the  Government  tends to shy away from technology things.

Eng Charles B. Kisanga
Juba/South Sudan
M. Sc in Communications Systems and B. Eng Hons in Electrical and Electronics  Engineering-Herriot Watt University.

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Dear all

They say, it takes two to tango. While we may blame the Ugandans and Kenyans for providing substatndard services, we must also be ready to blame ourselves to a certain extend for letting us be taken for a ride by these people. First, our education system has neglected vocational training and the establishment of technical colleges that would have provided us with middle level cadres to do what the Ugandans are doing.

We have decided to open up ten universities in the ten states, and not considered opening a single politechnic. The private sector too inherited the madness and have been calling every tukul a private university, and we are happy to go along with that.  The few who raise a voice of reason are dubbed as elitists. You do not need a degree to make electrical installations or do plumbing. This sorry attitude has created a vacuum for the Ugandans and others to fill.

Secondly, as someone has already mentoned elsewhere, we prefer to be politicians whatever our profession. And with politicians required at the payam, county, state and national levels, politics has now become a booming business in South Sudan, for it does not need much effort to be one. Hence, even the few artisans we have, do not have the time to dirty their hands and sweat for a living. Third, some of those who decide to compete with the Ugandans sometime price themselves out of the market, for they want to get rich very quickly.

Now when you want to build a budget house, you have no alternative but to turn to the Ugandans who are ready to work flat out and get the job done, even if in a shoddy fashion. But, when it is government contract, there is no excuse but to go for the best. Howver, due to lack of transparency and the fact that whoever  is giving out the tender also wants a cut, it usually goes to some untested contractor. It is so easy to make a background check of any would-be Ugandan or Kenyan contracting firm since we do have offices in these countries.

But do we ever do that? I doubt it. Hence, let us not malign  Ugandan contractors. The fault is entirely ours, and, as smart business people, they are only cashing on our naivity and greed.

Charles Bakheit

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Cde. Kisanga,

I agree with your analysis 100%. The concept in RSS is to go for the quickest and cheapest product without taking into account any safety precautions or viability/durability of whatever it is. This is one of the reasons that RSS is a big market for the cheapest Chinese third grade products. (Mind you the Chinese do have first and second grade products which are better and safer).
Just to mention one out of the bunch,  anyone who knows our East African brothers, will confirm that since 2005 to this day, they consider RSS as their  Gold rush destination where even an unqualified construction worker can come and claim he/she is an Engineer and can still make it big because there is no assigned system to check him/her. And guess what; these are the people who are building our nascent RSS using the mentioned third grade products from China! Anyone who want build anywhere today in RSS will tell you he/she will prefer the Wee-wees (East Africans) than the South Sudanese workers because they are easy to deal with and much cheaper. But nobody is taking the time to check the quality/safety of their work as compared to their South Sudanese counterparts.

I am not sure if the idea of outsourcing every single project  to contractors is doing RSS any good because that is where the issue of kick-backs, cuts and percent of shares etc comes in. Hence it observed that the chunk of funds allocated for a specific project always disappear in the process rendering the intended project to operate on minimal funds.
I think in this regard our Ministries of Housing, Construction and Roads need to quickly come up with standard safety rules and regulations to govern how contractors operate and hold them to task in the courts if they recklessly screw-up else we will never have long lasting and stable constructions in RSS.

Cde. Mazinda

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Press Freedom at Risk in World’s Newest Nation

By: Scott Griffen, IPI Associate

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir (C) addresses a rally in Juba supporting the decision to stop exporting oil through northern Sudan, 23 Janury 2012. EPA/STR.

VIENNA, 7 Feb, 2012 – A South Sudanese journalist covering a session of the country’s National Assembly yesterday was removed and later allegedly assaulted by security guards, according to news reports.

The incident is but the latest in a series of aggressive acts against journalists in South Sudan — raising doubts about the newly independent state’s commitment to press freedom.

Mading Ngor of Bakhita Radio in Juba told the Sudan Tribune yesterday: “I entered the chamber of the assembly, got out my recorder and started recording proceedings. Moments later, an unidentified man walks up to me, asks why I was seated there and I explained to him. He could not listen to me. Instead he ordered four security officials to throw me out of the assembly.”

Multiple eyewitnesses, including other journalists, said the security guards followed Ngor outside, violently throwing him down to the floor and tearing his clothes. According to the Tribune, the assault ended only after a legislator intervened.

MP Joy Kwaje, chair of the Assembly’s Information Committee, apologised for the security guards’ action and promised to investigate the matter further, news reports said.

The motive for the removal and attack remained unclear. The South Sudanese Assembly’s official Regulation of Sittings states: “The Assembly shall be open to the public, press, and visitors, unless the Speaker decides otherwise.”

In December 2011, a group of journalists covering a legislative debate on unrest in Juba, South Sudan’s capital, were forced from the assembly on the orders of the deputy speaker, Daniel Awet Akot, the Tribune said. According to the Assembly’s official procedures, the deputy speaker may exercise the duties of the speaker — and thus close the assembly to the press — at the latter’s request. It was not known whether the speaker or deputy speaker was involved in yesterday’s incident.

IPI Press Freedom Manager Anthony Mills said: “This was an unacceptable act of physical violence against a journalist who was simply doing his job. We continue to be troubled by the threats to press freedom in South Sudan. We call upon the South Sudanese government to respect the rights of all journalists.”

As IPI previously reported, South Sudanese authorities last November arrested two editors, Ngor Garang and Dengdit Ayok, who had been working for the now-banned Destiny newspaper. The two were held for 18 days before charges were dropped. They had reportedly been detained in connection with an op-ed published in Destiny’s first issue, in which the author criticised South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir for having allowed his daughter to marry a foreigner.

http://www.freemedia.at/index.php?id=288&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=6001&cHash=27b9c1f2f2

Sudan Oil Dispute Raises War Rhetoric
Voice of America
February 07, 2012 Sudan Oil Dispute Raises War Rhetoric Gabe Joselow | Juba, South Sudan A deepening oil dispute between South Sudan and Sudan has raised hostility to a point where leaders of both countries have suggested there is the strong 
South Sudanese Journalist Assaulted in Parliament
International Press Institute (press release)
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir (C) addresses a rally in Juba supporting the decision to stop exporting oil through northern Sudan, 23 Janury 2012. EPA/STR. VIENNA, 7 Feb, 2012 – A South Sudanese journalist covering a session of the country’s 
South Sudan struggles to help ethnic violence victims
Press TV
These are the situations of the almost ninety thousand people whose lives were devastated by the recent intercommunal violence in South Sudan’s fragile Jonglei state. The violence, which has led to the death of over three thousand people, 

Press TV
South Sudan, India Signs Pan African E-Network Project MoU
Oye! Times
“The MoU will open other avenues on telemedicine, e-education and rural access of latest technology in South Sudan. I know we have been referring patients from South Sudan to other hospitals in the Diaspora. Now doctors in Juba Teaching Hospital can 

Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said tensions with South Sudan over oil transit payments could lead to war between the two countries during an interview with state TV, in Khartoum, February 3, 2012.

Photo: Reuters
Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said tensions with South Sudan over oil transit payments could lead to war between the two countries during an interview with state TV, in Khartoum, February 3, 2012.

A deepening oil dispute between South Sudan and Sudan has raised hostility to a point where leaders of both countries have suggested there is the strong possibility of a conflict.

Last week, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, speaking on national television, said his country is closer to war than to peace with South Sudan without progress on an oil deal.

His comments followed similar remarks from South Sudanese President Salva Kiir, who has warned that fighting could erupt if Sudan does not meet the south’s terms.

Dispute over pipeline transit fees

The dispute stems from South Sudan’s use of Sudan’s pipelines to transport its oil abroad. The south began shutting down its oil fields last month after accusing the north of stealing $815 million worth of southern-produced oil. Khartoum said it confiscated the oil to compensate for unpaid transit fees.

Asked about the possibility that the dispute could lead to war, South Sudanese Deputy Defense Minister Majak D’Agoot told VOA that Sudan already launched the first attack.

“Isn’t it an aggression? How could an independent state be obligated to share its resources with another country? Where does it happen?  Is it that some external force or some former colonial master is trying to continue to exercise hegemony and control over the people of South Sudan and their resources? What could be the basis for that?” asked D’Agoot.

The north and south fought a 21-year war when Sudan was a unified nation, and the sides skirmished as recently as last May in the disputed, oil-rich Abyei region.

Old scores remain unsettled

Before the current oil shutdown, South Sudan was producing about 350,000 barrels of oil per day. But without refining capacity or a port to ship it from, the landlocked country relies on pipelines that extend through the north to reach international markets.

Khartoum is seeking revenue to replace the estimated $7 billion it lost with South Sudan’s separation, in which the South took three-quarters of Sudan’s oil production.

In addition to the oil dispute, the two nations also have failed to reach a final agreement on the final demarcation of the border.

D’Agoot said the Defense Ministry is working on turning the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army [SPLA], a former rebel force, into a more formal, standing army to face future threats.

“Anything that stands in the way of securing the security of our natural resources, securing ourselves, securing our people, securing our land, it stands to be a source of threat,” said D’Agoot. “I don’t want to pinpoint it to any particular source, but anything that tends to threaten our core interests as a nation of course will have to be responded to.”

While D’Agoot did not want to pinpoint which nation poses the biggest threat to South Sudan’s sovereignty – outside his office, in the middle of the military base – a statue of the former SPLA General John Garang points firmly toward the north.
http://www.voanews.com/english/news/africa/Sudan-Oil-Dispute-Raises-War-Rhetoric-138859149.html
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The war of words between the recently-divided two Sudanese nations is escalating – with the President of Sudan saying war with the south is a ‘possibility’.

During an interview on state television, Omar Hassan al-Bashir insisted he wanted peace, but would go to war ‘if forced to’.

A dispute between the two countries over oil has been rumbling on for months.

Landlocked South Sudan has all the precious resource, but Sudan in the north has the ports and part of the pipeline passing through it.

The row is over fees Sudan believes it should be paid.

As the two have failed to agree a sum, Sudan has seized some of the oil in transit and detained some tankers during the export process.

South Sudan is accusing its northern neighbour of stealing 66 million euros worth of oil and stopped all production last weekend – affecting foreign companies. However, analysts predict the stoppage can not last more than five months.

http://www.euronews.net/2012/02/04/war-between-two-sudans-is-possibility/

Sudanese president: We are close to war with South Sudan

By JPOST.COM STAFF02/04/2012 07:23
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir warned Friday that his country is close to going to war against South Sudan, according to an AFP report.”The climate now is closer to a climate of war than one of peace,” said Bashir on national television.

Tension has been rising between the two countries since Sudan seized a shipment of 1.7 million barrels of South Sudanese oil.. In response to the move, South Sudan halted oil exports, which usually pass through Sudan, earning that country a substantial amount of money in taxes.

The countries are also locked in a border dispute over the oil-rich Abyei region, which both claim as their own sovereign territory.

Sudan’s Bashir says tensions with South could spark war
Fri Feb 3, 2012 8:50pm GMT

By Khalid Abdelaziz and Ulf Laessing

KHARTOUM Feb 3 (Reuters) – Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said on Friday tensions with South Sudan over oil transit payments could lead to war between the two countries.

Asked in an interview with state television whether war could break out with South Sudan, Bashir said: “There is a possibility.”

He said Sudan wanted peace but added: “We will go to war if we are forced to go to war.”

“If there will be war after the loss of oil it will be a war of attrition. But it will be a war of attrition hitting them before us,” he said.

South Sudan took away much of Sudan’s oil production when it split away from Khartoum as an independent country in July. Oil is the lifeline of both economies.

The landlocked South still needs to export its crude through the north’s port and pipelines. But the two countries went their separate ways without agreeing how much South Sudan was going to pay Sudan to use its oil infrastructure.

The crisis came to a head when Khartoum said in January it had seized some southern oil as compensation for unpaid fees. South Sudan responded by shutting down oil production.

Bashir accused Juba of shutting down the oil flow to provoke a collapse of the Sudanese government. Khartoum has been fighting an economic crisis since the loss of southern oil, sparking small protests against high food prices and corruption.

Bashir said it was clear Juba did not want to reach an oil deal after his southern counterpart Salva Kiir had refused to sign during a meeting with him a proposal made by the African Union in Addis Ababa last week.

“They (the South) didn’t sign and they will not sign,” Bashir said, adding that Khartoum was entitled to 74,000 barrels of day of southern oil. Juba pumped 350,000 bpd prior to the shutdown.

“This is our right,” he said.

There was no immediate comment from Juba. Kiir said on Thursday he had rejected the deal in Addis Ababa because it would have required the South to pay billions of dollars to Khartoum and keep exporting crude through Sudan.

South Sudan wants to develop an alternative pipeline to Kenya to bypass Sudan’s facilities but oil insiders are sceptical the project is viable.

ECONOMIC CRISIS

Bashir said the economic situation was difficult for Sudan this year but the country would boost current oil production of 115,000 bpd by 75,000 bpd. Sudan’s current output serves only domestic consumption.

Bashir said Sudan would also export gold worth $2.5 billion this year and expand the agricultural sector to compensate for the loss of oil. Experts have expressed doubts that raising gold exports and other plans to diversify the economy will offset the loss of oil revenues of $5 billion booked in 2010.

They say economic diversification has been hampered for years by corruption, misplanning and a U.S. embargo in place since 1997 for hosting militants such as Osama bin Laden in the past.

Apart from oil, the north and south also need to mark the 1,900 km (1,200 miles) long border and find a solution for the disputed region of Abyei. Khartoum also wants Juba to share Sudan’s external debt of $38 billion.

Both countries regularly trade accusations of supporting rebels on each other’s territory.

To read an analytical story about the conflict between Sudan and South Sudan double click on: (Reporting by Ulf Laessing and Khalid Abdelaziz)

http://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL5E8D33ZT20120203?sp=true


By Abdelmoneim Edris Ali (AFP) –

KHARTOUM, SUDAN — Sudan is closer to war than peace with the breakaway state of South Sudan, President Omar al-Bashir said on national television on Friday.

“The climate now is closer to a climate of war than one of peace,” Bashir said.

He spoke after South Sudanese President Salva Kiir warned on Thursday that renewed conflict could erupt if bitter oil negotiations with Khartoum do not include a deal on other key issues, including the contested Abyei region.

Tensions have also been raised by the still undemarcated border, parts of which cut through oilfields, as well as mutual allegations that each side backs rebel forces against the other.

But Bashir said Sudan will not go to war “unless it is imposed on us.”

South Sudan separated last July after an overwhelming vote that followed two decades of civil war which killed two million.

The crisis between the neighbours has become a major threat to regional peace and security, United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon has said.

Juba announced last Sunday it had nearly completed a protest shutdown of its oil production after talks in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa failed again to resolve a disagreement with Sudan over oil fees.

Khartoum admits to confiscating 1.7 million barrels of South Sudanese crude since vowing in November to take 23 percent of southern oil exports as payment in kind during the fee dispute.

The South calls this “theft.”

“We will continue taking our rights in kind until we reach agreement,” Bashir said.

When South Sudan separated, it took with it three-quarters of the country’s total oil production of 470,000 barrels per day.

But landlocked and grossly underdeveloped South Sudan can only ship its oil through the north, leaving the two countries disputing how much Juba should pay for pumping its crude through the pipeline and Red Sea marine terminal.

The South depends on oil for more than 90 percent of its revenues, while Khartoum’s finance minister said late last year that the loss of oil from the South left a budget shortfall of 30 percent.

Since then, Sudan has witnessed spiralling inflation — which the government sees reaching 17 percent this year — and the sharp devaluation of the Sudanese pound.

At the same time, crippling debts of almost $40 billion and US economic sanctions, which have banned virtually all trade with Sudan since 1997, choke its access to external financing.

In South Kordofan and Blue Nile States, along the contested border with South Sudan, the regime has for several months been fighting ethnic minority insurgents who fought alongside the former rebels now ruling in Juba.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gB07KOmhTLn6VH23Q2zfJHRKsnlQ?docId=CNG.509c6be00a165aa5f8d8dd1384c905e8.361

Sudan’s Bashir says tensions with South could spark war

Fri Feb 3, 2012 7:13pm GMT

 

KHARTOUM Feb 3 (Reuters) – Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said on Friday tensions with South Sudan over oil transit payments could lead to war, stepping up the rhetoric in a row over crude reserves between the two countries.

Asked in an interview with state television whether war could break out with South Sudan, Bashir said: “There is a possibility.”

He said Sudan wanted peace but added: “We will go to war if we are forced to go to war.”

“If there will be war after the loss of oil it will be a war of attrition. But it will be a war of attrition hitting them before us,” he said.

Sudan is locked in a row with South Sudan over sharing oil revenues. South Sudan, home to substantial crude reserves, split away as an independent country in July, under a 2005 peace agreement.

The landlocked South still needs to export its crude through the north’s port and pipelines. But the two countries went their separate ways without agreeing how much South Sudan was going to pay Sudan to use its oil infrastructure.

The crisis came to a head when Khartoum said in January it had seized some southern oil as compensation for what it called unpaid fees, and South Sudan responded by shutting down oil production.

Bashir on Friday accused Juba of shutting down the oil flow to provoke a collapse of the Sudanese government. Khartoum has been fighting a severe economic crisis since the loss of southern oil, sparking small protests against high food inflation.

Bashir also said his southern counterpart Salva Kirr had refused to reach a deal about oil payments at a meeting last week on the sidelines of the African Union in Addis Ababa.

“They (the South) didn’t sign and they will not sign,” Bashir said, adding that Khartoum was entitled to 74,000 barrels of day of southern oil. Juba pumped 350,000 bpd prior to the shutdown.

“This is our right,” he said.

Bashir said the economic situation was difficult for Sudan this year but the country would boost current oil production of 115,000 bpd by 75,000 bpd. Sudan’s current output serves only domestic consumption.

Sudan would also export gold worth $2.5 billion this year and expand the agricultural sector to compensate for the loss of oil, he said.

Experts have expressed doubts rising gold exports and other measures to diversify the economy will offset the loss of oil revenues of $5 billion booked in 2010.

They say economic diversification has been hampered for years by corruption, misplanning and a U.S. trade embargo. (Reporting by Ulf Laessing and Khalid Abdelaziz)

http://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL5E8D33ZT20120203?sp=true


Thu Feb 2, 2012 12:23pm EST

* Transit row worsening as countries try to disentangle oil industries

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

* Needs to pay for using pipelines and Port Sudan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NEGOTIATIONS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


South Sudan
 wants more talks to end oil transit row

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

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

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

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

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

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

KHARTOUM | Wed Feb 1, 2012 1:37pm EST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

South Sudan lists demands in oil row with north

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

By Paul Richardson and William Davison

(Corrects quote in third paragraph to say dispute may have unsalutary impact on economies.)

Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) — The dispute between Sudan and South Sudan over oil fees, which led the south to suspend crude production, risks damaging both economies because of their dependence on the natural resource, the World Bank said.

South Sudan began halting production earlier this month after accusing Sudan of seizing oil that passes through its territory via a pipeline to an export terminal on the Red Sea and of seizing vessels carrying crude. Sudan says it is diverting the fuel to cover unpaid fees for allowing it to transit the country. South Sudanese President Salva Kiir said on Jan. 23 that Sudan has “looted” oil valued at $815 million.

“Considering the importance of oil to both sides, the lack of economic activities in the sector that’s predominant would have a huge, unsalutary impact on the economies,” Obiageli Ezekwesili, vice president for Africa at the World Bank, said in an interview yesterday in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital.

South Sudan took control of about three-quarters of Sudan’s output of 490,000 barrels a day when it gained independence from its northern neighbor in July. The crude is pumped mainly by China National Petroleum Corp., Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Bhd. and India’s ONGC Videsh Ltd. Sudan is demanding compensation for the loss and also wants South Sudan to pay $6 a barrel to transit the oil via the country. The neighboring country has offered to pay $1 a barrel.

The dispute presents an opportunity to “look at options other than oil for growing their economies,” Ezekwesili said. South Sudan relies on oil to generate more than 90 percent of government revenue, and Sudan depends on it for 30 percent.

Agriculture

“Whether it’s South Sudan or Sudan, agriculture is a key potential source of transformational growth,” Ezekwesili said. “They need to focus on those, they need to focus on other aspects or opportunities in attracting foreign direct investment into manufacturing and that would mean they have to focus on macro-economic reforms.”

South Sudan is set to become a member of the World Bank next month, giving the country access to zero-interest loans of $75 million a year over the next three years, Ezekwesili said. Similar loans to countries like Sierra Leone and Liberia in the past have enabled the bank to “mobilize three times that amount from other partners,” she said.

–Editor: Shaji Mathew

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin in Johannesburg at asguazzin@bloomberg.net.

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-01-29/south-sudan-sudan-risk-economic-damage-bank-says.html

South Sudan, Sudan Risk Economic Damage on Oil, World Bank Says
BusinessWeek
29 (Bloomberg) — The dispute between Sudan and South Sudan over oil fees, which led the south to suspend crude production, risks damaging both economies because of their dependence on the natural resource, the World Bank said.

SD spirit backs Sudan rebirth
Sioux Falls Argus Leader
Voting takes place on the South Sudan independence referendum. Ballots are cast in Sudan, Canada, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Australia, England and the United States. In South Sudan, 99 percent vote to secede. South Sudan declares independence, 

As Of April South Sudanese Citizens To Be Considered Foreigners In Khartoum
Eurasia Review
From April 9 onward about 700000 south Sudanese citizens living in Khartoum and other northern regions will become “foreigners”, at least at the administrative level. According to the latest provisions of the Government in order to stay they will have 

IGAD urges Sudan and S. Sudan to refrain from unilateral actions
Sudan Tribune
 President of the Republic of the Sudan; HE Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan, the Honourable Henry Okello Oryem Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (International Affairs) and Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs of the 

South Sudan completes 90% closure of oil production
Sudan Tribune
By Ngor Arol Garang January 28, 2012 (JUBA) – South Sudan on Saturday said it had shut down 90% of its oil production, a day after the latest talks to resolve a fee dispute with north Sudan failed in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa…

Chinese company attacked in South Kordofan: SAF
Sudan Tribune
January 28, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) on Saturday announced that fighters from the Sudan People Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) launched an assault on the site of a Chinese construction company in South Kordofan…

South Sudan tribe kills 22 in new ethnic violence after their group targeted 
Washington Post
JUBA, South Sudan — Members of a South Sudanese tribe targeted in massive attacks late last month have killed 22 people and burned down three villages of the opposing tribe in new attacks, a state governor said Monday. Thousands of youth from the Lou 


Published: Jan. 26, 2012 

JUBA, South Sudan, Jan. 26 (UPI) — South Sudan, born six months ago, says it’s shutting down more than 900 oil wells after accusing its former masters in Khartoum of stealing its oil piped north for export.

The shutdown is a bold, some might say almost suicidal, move by the world’s newest state, which depends on oil for 98 percent of state revenue.

But it reflects the frustration and anger in the south at what is widely seen as the Machiavellian machinations of Khartoum to sabotage the breakaway state that sits on 75 percent of Sudan’s oil.

The dispute could trigger new violence. The Financial Times said “the reduction in supply may prompt a rise in global prices” amid Iranian threats to close the export outlet from the Persian Gulf.

The shutdown ordered Monday by South Sudanese President Salva Kiir sharply heightened the tension with north Sudan after acrimonious talks on how to divide oil revenue, vital to both states, collapsed.

Sudan has reserves of 6.6 billion barrels and is rated the third largest producer in sub-Saharan Africa after Angola and Nigeria. The two Sudans produce 460,000 barrels per day, with the greater part by the south.

But landlocked South Sudan can only export via pipelines running through the north to Sudan’s only terminal at Port Sudan on the Red Sea.

Oil is the core of the dispute that threatens the existence of the infant state, which was established July 9, 2011, after a landslide vote for secession in a referendum.

The poll was conducted under a 2005 peace treaty that ended a civil war that began in 1955 and took the lives of more than 2 million people.

Khartoum has demanded fees of $32 per barrel for use of the pipelines and the terminal. South Sudan says that’s extortionate and has offered $1 a barrel as part of a multimillion-dollar compensation package for seceding.

The south says it was left with no option but to shut down oilfields after Khartoum unilaterally sold southern oil worth $815 million.

The north said it seized the oil in lieu of transit fees it said the southern government hasn’t paid since secession.

The halt in production leaves both north and south in a precarious economic situation.

The south has no other resources it can fall back on and needs oil revenue to pay for its drive to build an economic and social infrastructure in the impoverished region, where there are only about 50 miles of paved road and few schools.

The north is also under growing economic pressure. In the final decade before separation, “oil production fed a boom in consumer spending and services concentrated around Khartoum,” the Financial Times reported.

“But the government was ill-prepared for the 75 percent drop in revenues from oil when the south voted for independence and took most of the country’s reserves with it in July.”

Since then, the north’s currency has nosedived 60 percent on the black market, alongside a decline in foreign currency inflows.

“Annual inflation reached 21 percent in September 2011 but the price of some basic foodstuffs such as sorghum, a staple food, have more than doubled, ramping up social tension,” the Financial Times observed.

“The government is definitely worried,” said Ibrahim Ghandour, political secretary of the north’s ruling National Congress Party.

“They’ve been quelling protests with violence, like before, and with large numbers of arrests.”

Khartoum argues that by 2015 it will have lost $15 billion with the secession of the south. The International Monetary Fund puts the figure at $5 billion.

The south’s lead negotiator, Pagan Allum, told the Financial Times the Muslim Arab regime in Khartoum had plundered the Christian and animist south for centuries.

He said Kiir’s Sudan People’s Liberation Movement government in the southern capital of Juba may demand Khartoum pay for oil revenue over which it claims the north has “cheated the south” since the 2005 peace pact.

The oil shutdown came a day after South Sudan and neighboring Kenya signed a memorandum of understanding to build a new pipeline to Lamu on the Indian Ocean.

Allum said another possibility is running a pipeline through Ethiopia to Djibouti in the Horn of Africa.

But both projects, if they take off, will take years to reach fruition.

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Energy-Resources/2012/01/26/Angry-South-Sudan-shuts-down-900-oil-wells/UPI-60331327611953/#ixzz1khdZtLjt

South Sudan To Continue Oil Shutdown; Talks End Without Agreement
Wall Street Journal
LONDON (Dow Jones)–South Sudan will press ahead with its shutdown of oil production after negotiations with Sudan ended without agreement, David Kong, deputy of mission at South Sudan’sembassy in Ethiopia, told Dow Jones Newswires on Friday.
SD’s Generosity Helps South Sudan
KELOLAND TV
He’s bringing the generosity of South Dakota into South Sudan. Whenever pilot Moses Joknhial II flies himself into South Sudan, the people in his hometown have the mistaken impression that he’s a jet-setting millionaire. “They think that I’m the hero, 

KELOLAND TV
Sudan Facilitates Humanitarian Aid in South Kordofan and Blue Nile
Sacramento Bee
By Embassy of the Republic of the Sudan WASHINGTON, Jan. 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 Sudan 
S. Sudan oil shutdown continues after talks fail
Reuters
By Yara Bayoumy and Aaron Maasho | ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – The presidents of Sudan andSouth Sudan failed Friday to resolve an oil dispute that has led to the shutdown of the South’s crude output and threatened both countries’ economies.
Kenya, South Sudan ink oil pipeline agreement
Coastweek
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) — Kenya and South Sudan governments have signed an agreement that will allow for the construction of an oil pipeline connecting the two countries. A statement from Kenya ‘s Prime Minister’s office issued here on Wednesday said the 
Angry South Sudan shuts down 900 oil wells
Outcome Magazine
JUBA, South Sudan, Jan. 26 (UPI) — South Sudan, born six months ago, says it’s shutting down more than 900 oil wells after accusing its former masters in Khartoum of stealing its oil piped north for export. The shutdown is a bold, some might say 

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir arrives at the the 20th Extraordinary Summit of IGAD Heads of state meeting in Addis AbabaSouth Sudan’s President Salva Kiir arrives at the the 20th Extraordinary Summit of IGAD Heads of state meeting in Addis Ababa (NOOR KHAMIS, REUTERS / January 27, 2012)
Aaron Maasho and Hereward HollandReuters1:12 p.m. CST, January 27, 2012
NAIROBI/PALOUGE, South Sudan (Reuters) – South Sudan’s top negotiator said his country would complete an oil production shutdown by Saturday, after Sudan and South Sudan failed to agree on a deal to end an oil crisis.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.The two discussed a deal that “would have frozen the situation and reverses the unilateral actions that had been taken by both,” a source close to the talks told Reuters.But Pagan Amum told reporters in Addis Ababa: “Tomorrow the shutdown will be complete and what will be remaining to be done the day after is finishing the cleaning and flushing of facilities.”South Sudan is shutting down its oil production, last put by officials at 350,000 bpd in November, to protest against Sudan seizing some southern shipments at the northern port of Port Sudan in a dispute over pipeline fees.Both countries depend heavily on oil and have put forward widely differing figures for a possible transit fee. Sudan has publicly proposed $36 per barrel, while South Sudan has listed figures under $1 per barrel.The main operator Petrodar expects to close the key blocks 3 and 7, officials said on Friday. Petrodar is a consortium comprising mainly Chinese firms China National Petroleum Co (CNPC), Sinopec and Malaysian firm Petronas. Analysts estimate its total oil output from South Sudan at 250,000 bpd.

“We have shut down almost around 250 (wells). Remaining are 390 oil wells. The program is expected to finish in three more days. Maybe on 30 or 31 of this month all oil wells in Ada, Gumri, Moleta and Palouge will be shut down,” Hago Bakheed Mahmoud, field operation manager for Petrodar, told reporters at the Palouge oil fields.

He said current output was still between 145,000 and 150,000 barrels a day, adding that the company could resume production within three to four days. Blocks 3 and 7 provide much of South Sudan’s output.

Oil Minister Stephen Dhieu Dau said the shutdown was going to plan.

“The shutdown is going well,” Dhieu Dau told reporters during a visit to the Palouge oil field in Upper Nile state. “Now 50 percent of the wells are off,” he said, without saying whether this was referring to only Upper Nile fields or the whole country.

He spoke after the presidents of Sudan and South Sudan had met at the African Union in Addis Ababa.

He said Khartoum may have diverted some oil from the fields which lay on the southern side of the joint border to feed its refinery in Khartoum.

There was no immediate comment from Sudan which has said it was seizing an unspecified amount of southern oil to use for its refineries in a dispute over pipeline transit fees.

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

(Reporting by Hereward Holland; writing by Ulf Laessing editing by Keiron Henderson)

Petrodar sees its S.Sudan oil shutdown complete soon
Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:49pm GMT

PALOUGE, South Sudan, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Chinese-Malaysian oil consortium Petrodar plans to shut down South Sudan’s oil blocks 3 and 7, completing the shut down of its own oil output in the country within around three days, a senior executive said on Friday.

“We have shut down almost around 250 (wells). Remaining are 390 oil wells. The program is expected to finish in three more days. Maybe on 30 or 31 of this month all oil wells in Ada, Gumri, Moleta and Palouge will be shut down,” Hago Bakheed Mahmoud, field operation manager for Petrodar, told reporters at the Palouge oil fields.

He said current output was still between 145,000 and 150,000 barrels a day, adding that the company could resume production within three to four days. Blocks 3 and 7 provide much of South Sudan’s output.

South Sudan is shutting down its oil production, last put by officials at 350,000 bpd in November, to protest against Sudan seizing some southern shipments at a northern port in a dispute over pipeline fees.

Petrodar is a consortium comprising mainly Chinese and Malaysian firms. Analysts estimate its total oil output from South Sudan at 250,000 bpd. (Reporting by Hereward Holland; writing by Ulf Laessing; editing by Keiron Henderson)

http://af.reuters.com/article/sudanNews/idAFL5E8CR3RR20120127

Sudan, South Sudan End Talks on Oil Dispute Without Accord
BusinessWeek
27 (Bloomberg) — South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, and Sudanese leader Umar al-Bashir failed to reach an agreement to end an oil dispute between the two countries that led South Sudan to start shutting down its crude production.

Stories of struggling families emerge as Plan steps up relief in South Sudan
Reuters AlertNet (blog)
Our cows were raided and our crops was burned down by them,” said Mary Nyagolol, resident of Likuangole displaced to Pibor town in Jonglei, South Sudan. At least 17, 000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in two payams of Gumuruk and Likuangole of 

Sudanese Bishop Granted Asylum in US, with Covington’s Help
The BLT: Blog of Legal Times (blog)
Lawyers with Covington & Burling in Washington helped to secure asylum for a Sudanese Episcopalian Bishop after he became a target for his support of South Sudan, the firm said Friday. Bishop Andudu Adam Elnail is a native of the Sudanese province of 

South Sudan starts shutting down oil production

By Michael Onyiego

Associated Press / January 23, 2012

JUBA, South Sudan—South Sudan has ordered oil companies to shut down oil production within two weeks, a response to the new country’s allegations that Sudan has stolen $815 million worth of the south’s oil, government officials said Monday.

The shutdown could lead to a tightening of the world’s oil supply and cause prices to rise.

Oil companies in South Sudan began shutting down operations on Sunday and have two weeks to complete the process, since oil production cannot be easily stopped, South Sudan Minister of Information Barnaba Marial Benjamin said.

South Sudan — which broke away from Sudan last July to form the world’s newest country — must pump its oil through Sudan’s pipelines. However, the two countries have never agreed on the transit fees that South Sudan should pay Khartoum.

Over the last several weeks South Sudan has made repeated accusations that Sudan is stealing massive amounts of its oil, which Benjamin cited as the reason the south has decided to halt production.

In an address Monday to the South Sudan’s National Assembly, President Salva Kiir said Sudan has already taken $815 million worth of southern oil. He said the decision to stop oil production came only after his country approached Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia for help in economic negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan.

“The presidents of those countries reached out to President Bashir asking him to stop taking unilateral decisions in regards to our oil. The response from President Bashir is that he will not stop taking oil until we pay what he says — $32.20 per barrel,” Kiir said.

A research note from Commerzbank said South Sudan produces about 350,000 barrels of oil per day.

“Any prolonged discontinuation of South Sudan’s oil production, in combination with the partial shortfall in Iranian oil exports, could lead to a tightening of supply on the oil market and cause prices to rise still further,” Commerzbank said.

In December, Sudan began taking southern oil arriving at Port Sudan as an “in kind” payment. This month, a tie-in pipeline was built that South Sudanese officials say is diverting around 120,000 barrels of southern oil per day.

South Sudan originally offered 70 cents per barrel to use Sudan’s pipelines. Oil Minister Stephen Dhieu Dau said on Friday that South Sudan was willing to pay up to $1 for the use of the pipelines.

Almost all of South Sudan’s government revenue — 98 percent of it — comes from the oil sector.

It is not immediately clear how South Sudan will manage during the shutdown. But Kiir said the shutdown was necessary to protect South Sudan’s natural resources.

“At this time we have no guarantee that oil flowing through the Republic of Sudan will reach its intended destination,” he said.

Kiir asked parliament to enact an austerity program in anticipation of the shortfall. He did not give specifics. In the short term, Kiir said the government would be able to function.

“On existing cash reserves, rest assured that the government can operate for the immediate future depending on which cuts are made,” he said.

In a separate statement, South Sudan said it was beginning investigations into the stolen oil and put ship owners and potential buyers of stolen oil on notice. It said the stolen oil is undermining its economic development and its rights under international law and national security.

The owners of four vessels that the oil was loaded onto, the South Sudan government said, “are being treated as trafficking in stolen goods.”

The oil negotiations taking place in Ethiopia are part of a host of unresolved issues left from the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, a deal that ended decades of civil war between the two countries. The talks have continued for over one year with little progress.

© Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2012/01/23/south_sudan_to_shut_oil_production_over_thefts/

By Jared Ferrie – Jan 23, 2012 8:39 AM ET
South Sudan Begins to Shut Down Oil Production, Government Spokesman Says

South Sudan started shutting down oil production amid a deepening dispute with its northern neighbor Sudan over transportation fees for its exports.

The shutdown started in the Thar Jath field in Unity state, government spokesman Barnaba Marial Benjamin said today by phone from Juba, the capital, and will take two weeks to complete. The field is run by the White Nile Petroleum Operating Co., whose partners include Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Bhd. and India’s ONGC Videsh Ltd. (ONGC), according to the company website.

South Sudan says Sudan is seizing exports that pass through its territory to an export terminal on the Red Sea and is demanding $32 a barrel in transportation fees. Sudan says it is diverting the crude to cover unpaid bills. South Sudanese President Salva Kiir today said Sudan has “looted” $815 million worth of his country’s oil.

“At this time we have no guarantee that oil flowing through the Republic of Sudan will reach its intended destination,” Kiir told Parliament. “We can’t allow assets which clearly belong to the Republic of South Sudan to be subject to further diversion.”

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

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

Crude Prices

The suspension of oil production by South Sudan, which pumps crude of a similar quality to Libya, may bolster oil prices, Commerzbank AG said.

“Any prolonged discontinuation of South Sudan’s oil production, in combination with the partial shortfall in Iranian oil exports, could lead to a tightening of supply on the oil market and cause prices to rise still further,” Carsten Fritsch, an analyst in Frankfurt, said in a report.

Brent oil for March settlement advanced $1, or 0.9 percent, to $110.86 a barrel at 1:36 p.m. on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London.

The government also issued a statement today telling companies that if they buy or sell “stolen crude” they will be subject to legal action and said it sent letters to the owners of ships loaded with southern oil.

“The presumed owners now are on notice that they are being treated as trafficking in stolen goods,” the government said in an e-mailed statement.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-23/south-sudan-begins-to-shut-down-oil-production-government-spokesman-says.html

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January 04, 2012


It is now eight months since South Sudan joined the family of nations as a newly independent state. However, as the South Sudanese struggle to find their bearings in a very unpredictable world, compounding challenges seems to be wearing heavily on them. Elizabeth Tesfaye Haile takes stock of how some of these challenges are redefining South Sudan’s dynamics, inquiring as to whether it is greed or grievance at the heart of the simmering tensions.


Introduction

South Sudan achieved its independence from the North on July 9, 2011 after a referendum in January 2011. The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement bore its fruit and ended Africa’s longest-running civil war, which claimed the lives of an estimated 2.2 million people (BBC News, 2011). However, the question remains whether South Sudan will be able to sustainably achieve peace and stability by overcoming its ongoing and future challenges. While this new country still maintains hostilities with Sudan even after its independence it has been also critically confronted by internal rebels.

Though it is difficult to exactly trace the root causes of the North–South civil war, various suggestions have been offered by scholars with regard to the causes of the war. Exclusion of South Sudan from political power and development, along with the racial and ethnic divide between the north and south since colonial times, are considered major causes for the civil war. Islamisation policies by different leaders of Sudan, especially the waging of Sharia law in Sudan by the then-Sudanese President Jaafar Mohammad al-Nimeiri, has further radicalized South Sudanese, who are animists and Christians (Batruch, 2003; ICG, 2010). In general, a historical consistency of oppressive regime from Khartoum discriminating and exploiting the South is believed to have initiated grievances by the South (Johnson, 2003, as cited in Patey, 2007).

Simmering Hostilities

However, it is not only grievance by South Sudanese that has contributed to the onset of the north–south civil wars in Sudan. Even if the first civil war broke out mainly due to grievance, the greed for resources, especially oil, has contributed its share to the onset of the second civil war. The first civil war ended in 1972 and granted autonomy to the South. Then, it is not by chance that war resumed again and the second civil war started in 1983 after the discovery of oil in South Sudan in 1979 by Chevron (U.S Department of State, 2011). Consequently, President al–Nimieri disregarded South Sudan’s autonomy and moved to change southern state boundaries to ensure the North would have access to future oil earnings (Patey, 2007). Sudan’s interest in south Sudan seemed to shift from political and territorial to economic. In actuality, no conflict remains static. Structural and situational factors, especially economic ones, can transform the objective of armed struggle and shape the character of the conflict. Hence, economic objectives might overtake political objectives when the priority becomes economics (Ballentine, 2003). Further, the nature of the resource also determines the type and duration of the conflict. Un-lootable resources including oil tend to lead to separatist conflicts and increase the duration of the conflict itself (Ross, 2003).

Economic interests also shape international interventions, as interventions are for the most part directed by powerful nations such as the United States, whose actions, in turn, are primarily dictated by their own economic agendas vis-à-vis the war-affected nations. Hence, it was only after the discovery of oil that the internationally mediated peace process began. And until that time, Sudan’s war had been neglected within the international arena, except from the humanitarian perspective (Batruch, 2003). In general, as Patey (2007) explains, it looks like the all of the same causes of civil war that have long plagued the African continent also attributed to Sudan’s North-South civil war.

Even though the civil wars have ended and South Sudan is separated from Sudan, the two governments still remain hostile toward each other. The main reason for their hostility is North Sudan’s economic fear and insecurity resulting from South Sudan’s independence. Under the 2005 peace deal, the oil wealth was split 50-50 between North and South Sudan.

However, this deal ended when South Sudan obtained its independence, taking 380,000 barrels per day of oil production and leaving North Sudan only 120,000 barrels of production per day ( Sudan Tribune, 2011). However, while the South possesses roughly 75 percent of Sudan’s oil reserves, the North has the refineries and pipelines, which could help both countries benefit fairly well from the oil (The New York Times, 2011). Nevertheless, South Sudan has already started complaining about the higher rates charged by the North for oil infrastructure. Hence, landlocked South Sudan is currently considering building its own refineries and pipelines and looking for other optional ports; this has created further frustration on the part of North Sudan (Kron, 2011). In general, high inflation, low foreign exchange reserves, huge debt, the loss of South Sudan and its huge oil income has prompted economic distress for the North, which analysts expect could lead North Sudan to resume war with the South in order to get back the South’s oil producing areas (Reeves, 2011).

Further, the dispute over the border district of Abyei remains unsettled. In accordance with the comprehensive peace agreement, the referendum of Abyei district has been planned to take place in 2011. However, due to the disagreement between the North and South Sudan, the referendum has been postponed indefinitely (IPS, 2011). The Sudanese army occupied Abyei town in May, 2011, violating the 2005 peace deal and conflict assumed between the Sudanese army and the other faction of SPLM, SPLM -North (aligned with South Sudan). A deal on demilitarization of Abyei has been reached on June 20, 2011, led by the African Union. The United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) consisting mainly Ethiopian peace keepers is patrolling the Abyei area since June 27, 2011(Reuters, 2011). Even if the conflict over Abyei is usually described as economic, ethnic rivalries between the southern group Dinka Ngok and northern nomads, the Misseria has been a challenge for the referendum to occur (Copnall, 2011).

The Kordofan Question

Although ceasefire has been reached in Abyei, another conflict escalated in Sudan’s only oil producing state of South Kordofan, which borders South Sudan (Reeves, 2011). The origin of the conflict goes back to the dispute that marred the state’s gubernatorial elections in May 2011. The National Congress Party (NCP)’s incumbent Ahmed Haroun won the election over the SPLM-N’s candidate Abdel Aziz Al-Hilu, who alleged that the vote was rigged and refused to accept the outcome (Sudan Tribune, 2011). The conflict is between North Sudan’s army and SPLM-North (SPLM-N), and it spilled over into Blue Nile state (AFP, 2011). South Kordofan and Blue Nile states are home primarily to Nuban people who associate themselves with South Sudan and fought with SPLM-A against the Sudanese government during the civil wars. However, these states were not allowed to participate in the January 2011 referendum to form South Sudan, and the “popular consultation” process as promised by the 2005 peace deal was repeatedly delayed. Ethnic cleansing has been claimed against the Nubans by the Northern Arab militia, and the crisis has been mentioned as “another Darfur” (The Guardian, 2011). North Sudan accused South Sudan of supporting SPLM-N, although South Sudan claimed that it stopped its ties with the SPLM-N after independence (ICG, 2011). The United States proposed splitting South Kordofan in two as a mean to accommodate the rebels SPLM-N, though it was rejected by Sudan.

The humanitarian crisis is growing at an alarming rate in these two states. Approximately 1.4 million people have been killed or injured by the military (The Guardian, 2011). The UN accused the Sudanese government of bombing civilians in these north-south border areas and even bombing civilians crossing South Sudan’s border. Around 140, 000 people fled the conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states (BBC, 2011). UNHCR says that almost 33,000 people have fled to Ethiopia from Blue Nile, while South Sudan has absorbed more than 50,000 refugees since fighting began in June (IPS, 2011). The government of Sudan also embargoed foreign aid directed towards South Kordofan and Blue Nile state. The UN humanitarian chief is calling now for free access to provide humanitarian assistance to the two Sudanese states (UN News & Media, 2011).

The international community, including the UN and US, is committing effort to end the crisis in these states and also to stop the confrontation between North and South Sudan. For instance, the African Union panel led by former South African president Thabo Mbeki, attempted to mediate between SPLM-N and the Sudanese government (BBC, 2011). The AU hailed, on June 29, 2011, the preliminary deal between Sudan and SPLM-N, which was supposedly intended to lead to a ceasefire in the ethnically divided South Kordofan region; however, it failed to prevent the spread of the conflict or result in ceasefire (Terra Daily, 2011). Humanitarian organizations, such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, are also constantly reporting human rights abuses by both conflicting parties, especially that of Sudan’s government, for bombing civilians (Sudan Tribune, 2011). Consequently, both Sudan and the new nation of South Sudan are anticipating the possibility of a new war based on the current cross-border attacks and economic hostilities (BBC, 2011). The North-South border has not been officially designated since the South gained independence in July. Troop build-ups are being identified on both sides of the Sudan-South Sudan border (Straziuso, 2011).

The Internal Rebellion: Greed or grievance?

Apart from the conflict with Sudan, South Sudan itself is in civil war with different rebel groups. Meanwhile, violent cattle raiding is also igniting ethnic and tribal disputes in some communities, creating further instability.

South Sudan is an ethnically diverse country. The Dinkas are the largest ethnic group, followed by the Nuer and Shilluk (BBC News, 2011). In the country, power-sharing across tribal lines is not done. The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and its armed wing, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), are the main constituents of the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS). SPLM is dominated by South Sudan’s largest ethnic group, the Dinka, and is accused of ignoring other ethnic groups, in particular the second largest – the Nuer. Military and oil interests are dictated by the Dinka, themselves driven by different objectives (The Economist, 2011). Ethnic belonging is not simply a source of identity; it is also a source of livelihood and social capital in many weak states (Ballentine, 2003). The presence of ethnic diversity usually makes a country safe from civil war, as argued by scholars (Collier, 2001). However, since the dominance of one ethnic group over the others still prevails in South Sudan, exclusion of other groups begets grievance and violence. Apart from political exclusion, several complaints have been voiced in South Sudan, including inflation, corruption, and unemployment since independence.

Hence, a series of armed rebellions have appeared in 2010-2011 in South Sudan; several in the state of Unity, such as the South Sudan Liberation Army (SSLA) and a force led by former SPLA General George Athor (BBC News, 2011; ICG, 2011). Even very recently, in September 2011, a new rebel group called the National United Front emerged. The majority leaders of the rebel groups are also former senior officials of SPLA or militia leaders who fought in the civil wars. Although it is difficult for these rebel groups to overthrow the government at present time, indeed they will cause instability in specific regions, such as Unity state, which produces a third of South Sudan’s total oil production (BBC News, 2011).

President Salva Kiir promised amnesty for all groups who rebelled against the government after the April 2010 election, right on Independence Day. Some successes have been achieved such that some rebel groups surrendered to the Juba government. However, a majority of rebel groups are active, especially in the oil rich Unity state. For instance, though one faction of SSLA led by Peter Gadet reached a ceasefire agreement with Juba, another faction of SSLA rejected the deal and announced that the ceasefire decision was made without the consultation with the group (Kuich, 2011). George Athor, who was killed in December 2011 during a clash with South Sudan, had been a senior member of SPLA who rebelled against GOSS once he lost the April 2010 governmental election in Jongeli state (Aljazeera, 2011). He was believed to be one of the most powerful of the post-election insurrectionists (Sudan Tribune, 2011; ReliefWeb, 2011).

The Enemy From Within

Various grievances, such as rising inflation, corruption, nepotism, tribalism, inequality, and high unemployment are described by rebels. For instance, the current faction leader of SSLA, Major General Bapiny Montyuil, in an interview with the BBC spoke out against the discrimination of South Sudanese by Salva Kirr’s regime, and he stated that the people need freedom, education and development (BBC News, 2011). Apart from the presence of real grievance issues at hand, it should be noted that grievance discourses are highly crucial for rebels in order to shape popular perception about the violence, and also to recruit supporters. Rebels need grievance discourses to function no matter how their objectives vary (Collier, 2001).

On the other hand, some of the rebels’ actions clearly reflect predatory behavior and their greed for power and resources. For instance, Major General Bapiny Montyuil clearly indicated that oil and overthrowing Salva Kirr’s regime are major targets for his group. As Keen (1998, p.11) suggested, war is the continuation of economics by other means. George Athor also urged for the formation of a new government in which his group would get “two or three” ministerial posts until the organization of the vote (Sudan Tribune, 2011). As David Keen explained, much of the violence in contemporary conflicts has been initiated by elites seeking to defend their vested interests. Further, some economic aims, especially obtaining unlootable resources such as oil, can be furthered by controlling the state (Keen, 1998, p. 12-13). Also short term economic advantages of violence for rebels could include pillage or securing protection money from civilians (ibid).

Some SPLA troops also joined rebel groups. In contrast to SPLA troops’ salary delay and associated frustrations, rebel groups promised decent salary and allowances for SPLA soldiers once South Sudan is liberated from Saliva Kiir. They also announced that each household in South Sudan will obtain compensation from oil after liberation of South Sudan (South Sudan News Agency, 2011; CIA Fact Book, 2011):

“It is our position that once Salva Kiir is removed, our government will give each household across the ten states of South Sudan a share of oil money. We will ensure that the oil money is accessible to each and every citizen of South Sudan. Under Saliva Kiir regime, the oil money is controlled by Awan clan where he originated from. As soon as the current regime is toppled, each Southern Sudanese will get monthly payment from the government as the way to redistribute oil money”

As Collier (2001) argues, groups rebel when rebelling is financially viable. Rebel groups, unlike governments, cannot finance conflict through taxation or other legitimate revenues. Rebel groups might have genuine grievances, but they only rebel if they know they do well out of war. Some rebel leaders led by greed may instrumentalize ethnicity and other grievance discourses to meet their economic agenda. On the other hand, ordinary people driven by fear, grievances or need for greed may turn to violence for a solution to their economic and social problems (Keen, 1998, p.12). It is expected that grievances would arise in such a chronically underdeveloped war-torn country emerging after decades of conflict. Hence, the presence of the dissatisfactions and grievances as claimed by rebel groups in South Sudan cannot be denied; however, they could be addressed through non-violent political opposition. This is also partially due to the fact that post-conflict societies are at substantial risk because of what has happened to them during conflict. Violent ways of handling matters are usually learnt during conflict and, thus, post-conflict societies may have a limited tradition of conducting their political conflict nonviolently (Collier, 2001). Insecurity among rebels and lack of trust in the government to address their dissatisfactions non-violently, along with the lack of a strong and transparent political system in South Sudan both contribute to the problem. This is also exacerbated by the abundance of weapons, particularly after the end of conflict. However, unrealistic dissatisfaction related to individual oil income distribution in South Sudan, as claimed by rebels, is far from a true grievance; rather, it indicates greediness on their part.

Resources: Blessing or curse?

South Sudan is characterized by a wealth of resources, in contrast with the resource-poor country of North Sudan. It has one of the richest, agriculturally fertile lands in Africa with more-than-adequate water supplies. The country has about 10-20 million head of cattle and also wildlife herds, which can help establish eco-tourism in the future. This new country produces three-fourths of the former Sudan’s total oil output at nearly a half a million barrels per day. Though South Sudan’s population was based for a long time on subsistence agriculture, the country now highly depends on its oil revenue, with oil constituting 98% of South Sudan’s budget (BBC News, 2011; CIA Fact Book, 2011).

GOSS is accused of spending on military and not in human investment. Further accusations of oil revenue misuse are widespread, and the social and environmental consequences of extraction on the local communities persist (ICG 2011; Aljazeera, 2011). The oil resource in South Sudan can be a ‘blessing’ to be used positively for development, or it can be a ‘curse’, as witnessed in the Niger Delta in Nigeria, where conflict is fuelled to serve the economic interests of multinational companies and corrupt government officials.

There are many factors that could make South Sudan vulnerable to future wars and make the resource more of a curse than a blessing. Its high dependency on natural resource exports, weak institutions and poor governance, unemployment, lack of diversified economic opportunities, limited education, vast geography and conflict history are some factors, among many (Pineda & Rodriguez, 2010). A high level of natural resource dependence is a risk factor for civil war, fuelling competition over resources. A high level of dependency on primary commodities also makes the country’s economy vulnerable to price instability and global financial shocks. In addition, the vast geographical area of the nation matters, as distance could pose difficulties for the government to effectively address and manage rebels (Collier, 2011). Last but not least, the presence of diasporas abroad is also another factor, since they serve as huge contributors to rebel finance. South Sudan has a vast number of diasporas, who fled their region mainly due to the civil wars (ibid; Ballentine, 2003).

The nature of the resources in South Sudan, mainly oil, is also another factor that poses a challenge. Different resources are associated with different types of conflict. Oil is an un-lootable but obstructable resource, since it must travel through a long, above ground pipeline. Hence, it presents rebel groups with an unceasing flow of extortion (Ross, 2003, p.65). For instance, during the second north-south Sudan civil war, SPLM periodically attacked the workers and equipment in pipeline construction. SPLA then used the money it extorted from western oil firms that wished to protect their equipment to fund itself (ibid).

Even if there are various factors that could make South Sudan’s resource a curse, the situation with resources is not bleak, as long as GOSS chooses the right path for development. Natural resources can be a blessing rather than a curse if GOSS could manage its wealth and invest it in human development, diversification of its economy, such as by strengthening the agriculture sector and investing in science and technology. As Pineda and Rodriguez (2010, p.10) argue, countries can benefit from natural resources and can create sustainable economic growth and development through proper export diversification, human and physical capital investment, volatility and real exchange rate control. Further, many success stories have also been witnessed from natural resource wealth including those of Norway and Dubai. Even without going the extra miles to Europe or the Middle East, lessons could be learnt from the African nation of Botswana. Botswana more importantly invested in its own people, which South Sudan can learn from.

The way forward

Since the South recently achieved independence, long–suppressed grievances increasingly emerged (ICG, 2011). There are high expectations of the new government by the people, which could be very challenging to be met by this undeveloped nation in th short term (Aljazeera, 2011). Some of the expectations set by rebels, such as individual distribution of oil money, are unlikely and unfeasible for South Sudan to realize. South Sudan is one of the least developed nations with very poor infrastructure and social development. According to the United Nations, approximately a third of the South Sudanese population will need food aid starting this year because of crop failures and the widespread violence that killed more than 3,000 people in 2011.

Further, inflation also topped 80 percent, and trade income including oil has been reduced due to disruption by border violence (Reuters, 2011). Moreover, any revenue generated in South Sudan including oil money needs to be spent on sustainable investments, such as human development and building infrastructure for trade and development. Hence, direct distribution of wealth as stipulated by rebel groups is unsustainable and will not help South Sudan tackle its inherent poverty sustainably. Nevertheless, the construction of sustainable peace in post-conflict societies such as South Sudan must aim to address realistic grievances, such as equal representation of the peoples of South Sudan in all political, social and economic spheres, are paramount for sustainable development.

Looking Beyond Juba

In line with this, GOSS need to commit itself to constructing a government where each ethnic group is fairly represented. GOSS needs to also fight corruption and build transparent and accountable governance. Effective governance serves as a bridge to avert the relationship between natural resources and the opportunity for rebellion (Ballentine, 2003). National and international actors must also look beyond Juba to the many challenges and threats throughout the regions of the emerging Republic (ICG, 2011). The international community could also play a role in negotiating power re-distribution in South Sudan.

GOSS should strengthen its provision of public services, such as education and health services, and invest in employment creation for the young population (Collier, 2009). Only 27% of South Sudanese aged 15 years and above can write and read (CIA Fact Book, 2011). Education is one among other elements considered a risk for natural resources to become a curse rather than a blessing (Pineda & Rodriguez, 2010; Ballentine, 2003). There is also a positive correlation between economic decline, high levels of poverty and unemployment, and the incidence of armed conflict (Ballentine, 2003). Hence, GOSS should diversify its economy, encourage private investment, and decrease its prime dependency on natural resources, thereby also creating diversified employment. It should also encourage its diasporas to invest and contribute to South Sudan’s development.

The nature of un-lootable resources is more of a benefit for the government than it is for rebels, especially as it tends to make non-separatist conflicts short. This is because un-lootable resources require effective rebel and group leadership, in contrast with lootable resources such as diamonds, which can be easily exploited (Ross, 2003). Hence, this could be used as a window of opportunity by GOSS if it can establish a stronger, representative and united party to hasten the end of conflict. Further, the GOSS needs to take care while handling civilians in conflict regions. Taking harsh measures against civilians purported to be associated with rebel groups can further intensify the conflict (Keen, 1998).

GOSS needs to provide adequate compensation for its soldiers so that they will not be attracted to other economic benefits. For instance, the former Sudan’s soldiers during the North-South civil war sold arms and ammunition on the open market, which finally reached the hands of the rebels. It should also not be assumed that violence is always characterized by rivalry. Cooperation can also happen between opposing groups and members when the need exists (Keen, 1998).

International Responsibilities

In a nutshell, it should be noted that South Sudan’s stability cannot be achieved without addressing Sudan’s stability and the north-south hostility. Hence, there is a need for the international community, including international institutions such as the UN, IGAD and AU, to facilitate dialogue and cooperation between Sudan and South Sudan by arranging conditions for agreement, particularly on oil and border disputes. Both Sudan and South Sudan benefit from their peaceful coexistence, as they depend on each other for exploiting oil resources in South Sudan. South Sudan’s plan to construct its own pipeline and refineries will not be viable in the short term; hence, it is a must for South Sudan to depend on Sudan’s oil infrastructure for an indefinite period of time.

Moreover, a coordinated international effort including the US, EU, China, the Arab League, and other friends of Bashir’s government is required in order to stop Sudan’s civil war. China, the oil partner of both countries, is considered to play an immense role in bringing peace between the two countries (Sudan Tribune, 2011). Achieving Sudan’s stability is very complicated and thus demands an all-inclusive approach. Although relying on past experiences, it is expected President Bashir will refuse international requests to stop the conflicts. However, there is a chance that his government will agree to international help, since the country is economically weakened. External interventions to cease the civil war in Sudan may also include arranging debt relief by the US, facilitating the writing of a new constitution, legalization of the north-south border, facilitating dialogue between Sudan and its rebels, popular consultation about CPA with the South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, and arranging Abeyi’s referendum and new election in Sudan.

In the coming days, the Juba-based leadership and their external friends might have to look beyond Juba. If, after all, they do not want South Sudan to join the long list of failed states, they must diversify their economic interests and start perceiving the population as a resource rather than a burden.

http://www.monitor.upeace.org/innerpg.cfm?id_article=855


BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union expressed concern on Monday about a second visit to Chad by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, saying he should have been arrested there under an International Criminal Court warrant.

An EU statement welcomed the improvement and normalisation of the relations between Chad and Sudan, but noted Chad was a signatory to the ICC statute and stressed the importance of implementing U.N. resolutions.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton expressed concern about Bashir’s Sunday visit and urged Chad “to respect its obligations under international law to arrest and surrender those indicted by the ICC,” the statement said.

“Crimes against humanity and war crimes must not go unpunished and their prosecution must be ensured by measures at both domestic and international level,” it said.

The ICC issued an arrest warrant last year for Bashir for orchestrating genocide in the Darfur region, where as many as 300,000 people have died since 2003.

This followed an earlier warrant issued in March 2009 for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Bashir has dismissed the charges by the ICC, the world’s first permanent court for prosecuting war crimes, as part of a Western conspiracy.

The ICC warrants were the first issued against a sitting head of state by the court, but Bashir remains at large as the ICC has no police force and depends on national authorities and states that have signed up to the court to make arrests.

(Reporting by David Brunnstrom; Editing by Jon Hemming)