News

    Sudan Fighting Damages Both Sides' Oil Industry

    Newly appointed U.S. special envoy for Sudan Princeton Lyman attends a meeting with Sudan's Foreign Minister Ali Karti in Khartoum. (File Photo - April 6, 2011)
    Newly appointed U.S. special envoy for Sudan Princeton Lyman attends a meeting with Sudan's Foreign Minister Ali Karti in Khartoum. (File Photo - April 6, 2011)

    U.S. officials say the most recent fighting between Sudan and South Sudan damaged some of the oil infrastructure on which both countries' economies depend. African Union is working to implement terms of a cease-fire.

    During South Sudan's brief occupation of the town of Heglig, there was damage to an oil collection manifold joining pipelines from adjacent oil fields. The Harvard Humanitarian Initiative says satellite imagery can not determine whether the damage came from aerial bombardment or ground action.

    Either way, it is another setback for Sudanese oil at a time when both countries are counting on that revenue.

    "That's not a very good situation at all," said Princeton Lyman, the U.S. special envoy for Sudan and South Sudan. "It will take some time to get that back on track. Both countries are suffering from the crisis in the oil sector. South Sudan lost 98 percent of its budget revenue. Sudan is facing serious foreign exchange shortages, which means they can't import as much food. They have fuel shortages."

    Watch related video of exclusive VOA interview with former British PM Gordon Brown

    At independence last year, South Sudan took over most of Sudan's oil fields. But Juba shut down production in January after refusing to pay what it said were inflated fees imposed by Khartoum to use northern pipelines and ports.

    One of the biggest investors in oil infrastructure on both sides of the border is China. Beijing is playing a more active diplomatic role in the dispute, hosting South Sudanese President Salva Kiir this week on a state visit.

    Ambassador Lyman travels to China next week along with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

    "They have a stake in the oil sector," said Lyman. "But they have a larger stake in their relations between Sudan and South Sudan, and their relations with Africa in general. And I think they have increasingly recognized that if the political issues in Sudan and between Sudan and South Sudan are not resolved, neither the oil nor their other interests can be served."

    In an interview Friday with VOA, Lyman said Juba and Khartoum need to formalize their cease-fire and act on an already agreed upon system to demilitarize and monitor their border. That, he says, should help resolve longstanding security concerns that Khartoum is backing raids into the south and southern forces are helping rebels in the Sudanese provinces of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile.

    "I think a political process there will decrease the problem of southern support to that conflict," added Lyman. "But the government of Sudan has to stop sending arms or other kinds of support to militia in South Sudan to try and weaken the government there."

    Lyman says the strength of this week's African Union resolution to stop the fighting reflects the gravity of the conflict's threat to the region.

    "They realize that a breakdown in peace in Sudan will spill over in every country - whether it is Uganda, whether it is Kenya, whether it is Ethiopia, whether it is Egypt," he said. "So all the countries in the region are affected if you have widespread conflict in Sudan."

    The Arab League has joined the African Union and United Nations in a plan to open humanitarian corridors in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile. Lyman says Khartoum is still studying the proposal and has concerns about how some parts of the plan will be carried out.

    Aid officials say more than 140,000 people have already left Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile and are now refugees in South Sudan, Kenya and Ethiopia.

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

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clownsi
    X
    February 09, 2016 8:04 PM
    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay Prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East Affairs and national security.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.