News / Africa

    South Sudan Oil Still not Flowing

    People pass by the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining in Juba, November 7, 2012.
    People pass by the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining in Juba, November 7, 2012.
    Hannah McNeish
    South Sudan is blaming Sudan for preventing it from restarting oil production, which was  halted ten months ago in a dispute between the former civil war foes that nearly took them back to all-out war.

    A September deal was supposed to see the southern oil start flowing north again, saving both economies which are in dire straits. But as South Sudan President Salva Kiir told crowds, the lifeline to both economies is still dangling.

    Supporters of South Sudan President Salva Kiir at a rally in Melut County, Upper Nile state, November 20, 2012. (H. McNeish/VOA)Supporters of South Sudan President Salva Kiir at a rally in Melut County, Upper Nile state, November 20, 2012. (H. McNeish/VOA)
    x
    Supporters of South Sudan President Salva Kiir at a rally in Melut County, Upper Nile state, November 20, 2012. (H. McNeish/VOA)
    Supporters of South Sudan President Salva Kiir at a rally in Melut County, Upper Nile state, November 20, 2012. (H. McNeish/VOA)
    Crowds of people danced, sung and beat drums Tuesday at a rally to welcome South Sudan President Salva Kiir on his first visit to oil-producing Melut County, in Upper Nile state.

    Kiir had hoped his visit to this border region would mark the resumption of oil production after a ten-month shutdown that has left South Sudan’s fledgling economy in ruins.

    Sudan and South Sudan signed a deal in September to resolve a dispute over fees the South pays Khartoum to export its crude through pipelines, refineries, and a port in the north.

    But Kiir said that Khartoum had now demanded that South Sudan first help resolve conflicts across the border in Blue Nile and in the Nuba Mountains.

    "We were supposed to restart oil production on November 15, five days ago," he said.   But he added "Suddenly Khartoum people changed their minds, saying that we must denounce the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile first."

    New tensions

    Rebels in South Kordofan - home to the ethnic Nuba people - and Blue Nile fought alongside the South during a decades-long struggle against Khartoum.

    But as South Sudan seceded in July, 2011, a new war erupted in the two states between rebels and Sudan's government, after promises that rebels would be integrated into the army and for popular consultations fell apart.

    Khartoum has long accused South Sudan of supporting the insurgency - a charge the South has vehemently denied. But analysts say it is part of a “proxy war” to counter Sudan’s support of militias in Southern territory.

    Kiir again denied that South Sudan had a role to play in stopping the conflict, instead asserting that Sudan was hiding behind this rationale in what appears to be another example of brinkmanship between the two countries.

    He says the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile are only fighting in the north in their territory and Khartoum is looking for an excuse not to restart the oil.

    US urges implementation of deals

    Meanwhile, the United States on Thursday urged the two sides to implement deals made in September on demilitarizing a largely undefined and oil-rich border and resuming production.

    State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland urged the two sides - both of which have experienced rampant inflation, plummeting currencies and shortages of key goods - to resume production soon to ease the pressure on the ailing economies.

    Upper Nile potential

    Back at the rally, the only cause for celebration was President Kiir’s announcement that his trip was not entirely wasted.

    He says he came to Upper Nile state for two reasons: First is to lay the foundation stone for and oil refinery and the second was to connect Upper Nile with old friend Ethiopia.

    South Sudan hopes that a refinery in Upper Nile state could produce 10,000 barrels daily for domestic consumption.  Another refinery in its second oil-producing Unity state also aims at easing reliance on oil imports.

    Meanwhile, an improved road to Ethiopia from Upper Nile’s oil fields has been discussed by ministers as a way to circumvent the pipeline through Sudan, by trucking oil all the way to the Red Sea port in Djibouti until a pipeline can be built on the same route or to Kenya’s new port in Lamu.

    Kiir met with Kenya’s deputy prime minister last week to discuss the pipeline, which would cost billions and take years to build.

    But until then, concerns over a continued shutdown remain high for two weakened Sudans.

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    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.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    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 Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    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 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 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.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora