News

    Sudan-South Sudan Restart Oil Talks Amid Bitter Rhetoric

    South Sudan's chief negotiator Pagan Amum gives a press conference after Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and his South Sudan counterpart Salva Kiir failed to resolve a dispute over oil after negotiations in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, January 27
    South Sudan's chief negotiator Pagan Amum gives a press conference after Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and his South Sudan counterpart Salva Kiir failed to resolve a dispute over oil after negotiations in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, January 27

    Sudan and South Sudan have opened another round of talks on oil revenues and other contentious issues with harsh words and dampened expectations. Both sides appear to be holding to hard-line positions.

    South Sudan's chief negotiator Pagan Amum went into the opening session Tuesday of 10 days of African Union-mediated talks accusing  Khartoum of hostile acts on the ground even as it negotiates in Addis Ababa.

    "We are concerned the government of Sudan is beating the drums of war. They are mobilizing, according to them, to wage war against South Sudan. That is what the leadership of the government of Sudan are engaged in today as we speak," said Amum.

    Seemingly intractable positions

    Amum spoke as word arrived of fresh clashes along the loosely defined border. The United Nations refugee agency quoted new arrivals at camps in South Sudan as saying they were fleeing because of aerial bombardment and the fear of fresh violence.

    Southern negotiator Amum told VOA he had not seen any positive development since the last round of talks ended in deadlock last month. The two sides are far apart, with Sudan demanding oil transit and processing fees totaling $36 a barrel, and South Sudan offering to pay only 69 cents a barrel.

    Amum suggested the South would not budge from its offer.

    "The figures really for transit fee is 69 cents. They will have to accept that. If they don't accept that, then there will be no deal," said Amum.

    With the future of the talks in question, the African Union issued a statement Monday urging the international community to pressure the two sides to abandon their hard-line positions. The statement said progress is urgently needed on each of the three tracks in the talks - oil revenue sharing, citizenship questions left over from South Sudan's independence, and border issues.

    Diplomat's high hopes

    Khartoum's negotiators were not immediately available for comment as the talks began. But a senior official of Sudan's ruling National Congress Party was quoted as saying the south's negotiating team would have to be changed before the talks could progress.

    In an interview with the English-language Sudan Vision newspaper, party spokesman Ibrahim Ghandour called chief southern negotiator Amum a warlord who has no interest in peace. Ghandour said Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir had recently told South Sudan's leader Salva Kiir that Amum was not the right person to head the negotiating team.

    But a Sudanese diplomat attending the talks suggested Tuesday that despite the harsh rhetoric, progress still might be possible. The diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he is cautiously optimistic because both countries desperately need the oil revenue that has been cut off during their dispute.

    South Sudan shut down its oil production in January, accusing Khartoum of stealing from the pipeline that carries crude from southern oil fields though Sudan to international markets. Oil accounts for as much as 97 percent of the South's income, and a lesser but critical percentage of the north's.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: william
    March 07, 2012 3:11 AM
    israel want to Repatriating South Sudanese in april 1st, but for me in my opinion that's not a right time for a country like israel to do so let world tell them to give us time more. south sudan is now still in war with sudan

    by: George Lot.
    March 07, 2012 1:58 AM
    Pagan don't waste your time

    Dear Hon.
    I said don't waste your time with these Jallabas by negotiating the issue of our oil issue come back to Juba inorder to put things into practice, what i meant to come and mobilized our southerners to start digging of petroleum pipeline,to Kenya and DJibouti,we starved for twenty one years,did we received any Salary. God is great, let us be like birds which doesn't have farms and still can survive.

    by: Truesage Idowu
    March 06, 2012 11:34 PM
    South Sudan must build new pipelines to neighboring Kenya as transit route for its crude. It is share stupidity to enrich ones arch-enemy. Friendship with Kenya, Ethiopia and Israel will bring succor and relieve to the war torn nation and aid in ensuring that none of the resources of the south is shared between the imperialist north. Also an attack on resources of the south must be met with an attack on the resources and people of the north.

    by: Anyang Riak
    March 06, 2012 11:09 PM
    Oyee wen de Amum. The southerners are hundered precent behind you. Never let up! Don't relents any course!! You're the champion. And we need you to disarms the mudukuri. May God bless you and be with you all the way!

    by: hamad part 1 of 2
    March 06, 2012 8:46 AM
    North Sudan can not be more tolerant with those rebels who have hidden in South Sudan . Actually, wars has been undergoing since ages ,so North can not leave its merit of oil without resistance . Why do you think that US has been spreading its soldiers and military bases around the world ? Because it is only the way to protect their trade and oil business . As result , Americans oil have been exported and sold to other countries as well as cheap Egyptian gas while gas prices

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Rulingi
    X
    May 03, 2016 5:16 PM
    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora