News / Africa

Sudan Oil Talks Fail; Pipeline Shutdown Looms

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.

Sudan and South Sudan have failed to resolve a dispute over oil revenues, less than 24 hours before the south is due to halt crude production and close its pipeline to the sea.  Failure to settle the dispute could have grave implications for the economies of both countries.

North-South Sudanese talks on sharing oil revenues started well Friday, when Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and South Sudanese President Salva Kir met on the sidelines of a regional summit.

Hopes of a deal were raised during the day when the host of the talks, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, told East African leaders an announcement was expected shortly.

"We had informal discussions this morning to deal with the current crisis between the republic of Southern Sudan and the Republic of Sudan," he said.  "I believe we will have an announcement to make on this matter at the end of our meeting."

But when the meeting broke up, Mr. Meles told reporters the hoped-for deal had fallen through.

"I think there's quite a lot of progress, but not enough for us to be able to clinch a deal now," he said.

Sources close to the talks say announcement of the deal was being made to regional leaders when South Sudan's President Salva Kir abruptly stood up and said his side had not accepted the terms.

The south's chief negotiator at the talks, Pagan Amoum, later told reporters a deal had never been close.  Amoum said the south remains adamant that the Khartoum government must make restitution for oil it has confiscated during their protracted dispute.

"These talks could not go anywhere because Khartoum is insisting to continue stealing ... and are determined that they will not rob and steal any oil that will go through the pipeline, that is why we are forced not to send any oil through their pipeline," Amoum said.

In an opinion piece in The New York Times this week, the adviser to the African Union mediation panel, Alex de Waal, said a pipeline shutdown would be “suicidal."  He says it would cut off 97 percent of the south's income.  It would mean a loss of $650 million a month in revenue.

Chief southern negotiator Amoum said the decision to close down the pipeline had been hard.  But he rejected a reporter's suggestion that it might be better to keep the pipeline, and the oil revenue temporarily flowing while the dispute is settled.

"For you to suggest that we continue to lose for one month and pump the oil to be stolen, it's very strange.  You want the south to lose more?  That is what is being suggested," he said.  "That is why we say, please stop this behavior and we are ready to resume.  So you are right.  South Sudan is losing and stand to lose?  It is because the government of Sudan is stealing and robbing the resources.  That is why we are losing."

Amoum said the shutdown is well under way and would be complete by Saturday.  He said it would take a week to resume full production after an agreement is reached.

Oil is considered the foundation of the economies of both north and south Sudan.  The south took more than 70 percent of their oil resources when it broke away from Khartoum last July.  But the oil can only be exported through the north.  A planned alternative pipeline to the south through Kenya is still years away.

You May Like

Cambodia Seeks Official UN Maps for Vietnam Border

Notice of request comes as 2 countries open border talks Tuesday after a clash last month More

From South Africa to Vietnam, Cyclists Deliver Message Against Rhino Horns

Appalled by poaching they saw firsthand, sisters embark on tour to raise awareness in countries where rhino horn products are in demand More

Uber Wants Johannesburg Police Protection

Request follows recent protests outside ride-hailing service's Johannesburg office More

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.
New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
Maia Pujara
July 07, 2015 10:01 PM
A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbs

A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deal

If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.

VOA Blogs