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

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter 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.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid