News / Africa

    Sudan Oil Talks End With Recriminations, Large Rift

    Pagan Amum, South Sudan's top negotiator in the oil dispute talks with Khartoum, speaks during a news conference in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, January 27, 2012.
    Pagan Amum, South Sudan's top negotiator in the oil dispute talks with Khartoum, speaks during a news conference in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, January 27, 2012.

    South Sudan has threatened to keep the oil pipeline to the Red Sea shut permanently following a failed round of talks on sharing revenues with Sudan. The shutdown is costing the two countries hundreds of millions of dollars a month. Six days of African Union-mediated talks ended Wednesday, with the two sides seemingly farther apart than when they began.

    South Sudan's chief negotiator Pagan Amum emerged from a long night of negotiations saying he sees no reason to continue discussing oil payments with the Khartoum government.

    "There is no agreement. There is no prospect of reaching an agreement on oil. Because the government of Sudan has taken a position which is hostile, of stealing our oil, robbing it at gunpoint. They are continuing to steal more oil from South Sudan," said Amum.

    Focus on pipeline transit fees

    The dispute centers on how much South Sudan is to pay the north for use of the pipeline that carries southern oil to Sudan's port on the Red Sea.

    Amum showed reporters letters sent by oil companies in the past two days indicating Sudan was continuing to confiscate South Sudanese crude even as talks on revenue sharing were in progress. The Khartoum government says the oil is being taken as in-kind payment for fees they are owed.

    A South Sudanese official said the oil taken by the north since the dispute began is valued at nearly $1 billion.

    Bold declarations


    Amum vowed to keep the pipeline shut until Sudan agrees to pay for all the confiscated oil. He said the south is moving ahead with plans to build another pipeline that would bypass the north.

    "[It] is clear we cannot resume the flow of our oil through Sudan. Because the companies are telling us Khartoum has taken the decision to unilaterally take our oil by force. So there is no way South Sudan can again venture to pump its oil through Sudan. We have to build an alternative pipeline," said Amum.

    When it was pointed out that it takes time to build a pipeline, Amum said it had taken less than 11 months to build the line from the oilfields to Port Sudan, a distance of about 1,700 kilometers.

    Amum, who also is secretary-general of South Sudan's ruling party, said he would attend another African Union [AU]-mediated session of talks next week. He said Khartoum must agree, however, to pay for oil it seized before discussions can begin on reopening the pipeline.

    Intractable positions

    Sudanese negotiators agree that the outlook for the future of the talks is grim. Sabir Hassan represented the Khartoum government in the oil negotiations. He said neither side appears willing to back down from hardline positions.

    "In this status quo, it will be difficult. I think they made a strategic mistake by this shutdown decision, because by shutting down now we are completely separate," said Hassan. "We have hit the bottom. Nothing else could be added for us, for the north there is nothing more. So we just wait and see."

    South Sudan took three-quarters of the oil when it gained independence last July, but all the export facilities are controlled by the north.  Sudan's Hassan said in the end the two neighbors must put aside their hostilities and find a way to cooperate or both will be losers.

    "The south has most of the oil fields, the north have all the infrastructure.  The south without using the infrastructure will not benefit from its oil.  The north without having the oil exported through its infrastructure will not benefit, so if they don't cooperate, both lose.  If they cooperate and share, both win. "

    The next round of talks is scheduled to begin February 22 in Addis Ababa. A member of the AU mediation team said those negotiations will be limited to three members on each side, in an attempt to foster more serious and constructive dialogue.

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora