News / Africa

    Sudan Report Finds Oil Transparency Key to Peace

    An oil rig in the Heglig oil field near Bentiu, southern Sudan (file photo)
    An oil rig in the Heglig oil field near Bentiu, southern Sudan (file photo)

    Multimedia

    Audio

    More transparency is needed over Sudan oil revenues, according to the environmental rights group Global Witness. The distribution of resources in Sudan is a hot issue as the country prepares for a referendum on dividing the country between north and south.

    A peace deal made in 2005 splits Sudan’s oil revenues between the north and south, but that wealth-sharing pact is due to expire following this month’s referendum.

    Southerners begin voting January 9 on whether to secede from northern Sudan, and polls suggest independence will follow.

    Why transparency is important

    Rosie Sharpe from Global Witness says when a new deal is made, it needs to be more transparent than the outgoing arrangement.

    "No one for sure can know exactly how much oil Sudan produces at the moment,” Sharpe said. “And in order for any new oil deal between the north and south to be able to stand the tests of time, which could have disastrous consequences for the country, that issue needs to be cleared up going forward."

    The Global Witness report says oil figures published by the Sudanese government are different from those put out by the country’s largest oil extraction operation, the China National Petroleum Corporation.

    Number gap

    The oil production figures reported by the Chinese corporation are between 9 - 25 percent higher than the figures reported by the government in the north.

    The Sudanese government told Global Witness the gap in the figures is due to the fact the China National Petroleum Corporation says it reports its figures before water has been extracted from the oil and some oil is also lost in transit.

    Division of wealth

    Three-quarters of Sudan’s oil is in the south of the country. But as Sharpe explains, dividing oil wealth will not be clear cut even if the south does secede.

    "If south Sudan were to become independent, as all the polls suggest is likely, southern Sudan would be landlocked and the only way, at least for the next few years, that it would be able to export its oil would be through oil pipelines that run through the north of the country to the Red Sea coast and in a way that means that both north and south will have to cooperate if their oil is to be exported," Sharpe added.

    Quest for peace

    East Africa researcher Justin Willis of Britain’s Durham University says bringing more transparency to Sudan’s oil sector will be crucial to ensuring peace and stability in the country.

    "This is an area which is absolutely shrouded in mystery,” said Willis. “There are complicated special deals involving the output from each of the fields; it is very difficult to know how much money is being paid per barrel, where exactly the money is going. Unsurprisingly there has been a lot of suspicion in Juba that they are not getting what they are supposed to get and this really is a very major issue for the future. If there is not transparency there cannot possibly be any trust over this."

    Global Witness says in the future a transparent deal should see oil figures regularly published, independent monitors, audits, and a dispute resolution mechanism put in place.

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    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.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora