News / Africa

    Sudan Oil Dispute Raises War Rhetoric

    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.
    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.
    Gabe Joselow

    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.



    You May Like

    Russian-Backed Offensive in Syria Pushes War to Tipping Point

    As threat to Aleppo and rebel forces grows, US plan to negotiate becomes less and less appealing for Syrian government, says one military analyst

    IS Runs Timber Smuggling Business in Afghanistan, Officials Say

    Government turning blind eye to smuggling, according to tribal leaders; Afghanistan's forest cover dropped by 50 percent in three decades, experts say

    Video White House Seeks $1.8 Billion to Combat Zika

    Obama administration says funding would 'support essential strategies to combat the virus' such as rapidly expanding mosquito control programs, accelerating vaccine research

    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.
    'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenyai
    X
    February 08, 2016 4:30 PM
    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 '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 Sanders, Clinton Battle for Young Democratic Vote

    Despite a narrow loss to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in last week's Iowa Democratic caucuses, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders secured more than 80 percent of the vote among those between the ages of 18 and 29. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to Democrats in New Hampshire about who they are leaning towards and why in this week's primary.
    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.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.