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

On Everest, Helicopters Rescue Stranded Climbers

Choppers transport some of more than 100 mountaineers trapped after deadly quake, avalanches More

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

In 2005, a Paris suburb exploded into violence after two teenagers were electrocuted as they hid from police; since then, somethings have changed, others not More

US, Japan Announce Historic Revision of Defense Cooperation Guidelines

Nations say new guidelines will be 'cornerstone for peace and security' in Asia-Pacific region while also serving as 'platform for a more stable international security environment' 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.
‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europei
X
Henry Ridgwell
April 26, 2015 10:36 PM
Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video ‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europe

Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

January’s terrorist attacks and fears of more to come are casting a spotlight on France’s neglected suburbs. Home to many immigrants, and sometimes hubs of crime, they were rocked by rioting a decade ago. Lisa Bryant visited the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, where the 2005 violence first broke out, and has this report about what has changed and what has not.
Video

Video Gay Marriage Goes Before US Supreme Court

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether gay people have a constitutional right to marriage. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the case could lead to the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, or a continuation of the status quo in which individual states decide whether to recognize gay unions.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.

VOA Blogs