News / Africa

Sudan, South Sudan Resume Tense Talks on Oil, Borders

Sudan, South Sudan Resume Tense Talks on Oil, Borders
Sudan, South Sudan Resume Tense Talks on Oil, Borders

Sudan and South Sudan have resumed talks on oil revenue sharing and other issues that have raised bilateral tensions to the boiling point. The talks are being held in Addis Ababa under African Union mediation.

A fresh round of negotiations began late Friday at a luxury Addis Ababa hotel.

The Sudanese and South Sudanese defense ministers led the opening session.  A spokesman said the two sides discussed a framework to govern how they would interact on border issues.

Diplomatic observers at Friday's talks say the preparatory nature of the opening session indicates the deep mistrust between the two sides.  Both Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir and South Sudanese President Salva Kir have in recent days suggested the neighbors may be close to war.

The last round of talks two weeks ago ended in mutual recriminations, with the south cutting off the flow of the oil that is critical to the economies of both countries.

The south is likely to suffer from the cutoff more because oil generates about 97 percent of its income. But chief negotiator Pagan Amoum emerged from that round of talks saying South Sudan would rather lose all its revenue than allow their oil to be stolen.

"So you are right, South Sudan is losing and stands to lose," said Amoum. "It is because the government of Sudan is stealing and robbing the resources. That is why we are losing."

South Sudan's Oil Minister Stephen Dhieu Dau recently said he believes the Khartoum government is imposing impossible conditions and fees on the oil to punish the south for seceding from the north last July.

"What we need from them is acceptance of the best state practice, the international experience in a case like ours where by the landlocked country is allowed to transit, to pass the commodities based on a reasonable agreed fees between the two countries," said Dhieu Dau. "But unfortunately Khartoum is introducing punitive fees, discriminatory fees against South Sudan as a penalty for the secession."

With tensions running high, several international actors are working closely with the African Union mediation team, which is led by former South African president Thabo Mbeki.  The United States, Britain, Norway and China all have senior envoys involved in seeking an agreement.

Amanda Hsiao of the Washington-based Enough Project says urgent action is needed to prevent a further escalation of hostilities.

"To prevent a complete collapse in North-South relations, the international community needs to seize on this next round of negotiations as their last-ditch opportunity," said Hsiao. "All efforts must be made, all diplomatic levers must be pulled to pull the two sides closer together, to reconcile their differences and to get them to sign a comprehensive agreement."

With no end to the dispute in sight, South Sudan this week signed a memorandum of understanding with Ethiopia to build an alternative pipeline to the port of Djibouti.  South Sudanese Information Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin was quoted as saying a U.S.-based company could build the line in six months.

The current round of Addis Ababa talks is expected to last at least a week.  Negotiations on the most contentious issue, sharing oil revenues, are scheduled to begin next Tuesday.

You May Like

Video In Ukraine's Nikishino, No House Untouched by Fighting

Ninety percent of homes in one small village were damaged or destroyed as government forces failed to stop a rebel advance More

Pakistan’s 'Last Self-Declared Jew' Attacked, Detained

Argument about the rights of non-Muslims in Pakistan allegedly results in mob beating well-known Jewish Pakistani More

Turkey Cracks Down on Political Dissent, Again

People daring to engage in political dissent ahead of upcoming general elections could find themselves in jail 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.
In Their Own Words: Citizens of Kobanii
X
Mahmoud Bali
March 06, 2015 8:43 PM
Civilians are slowly returning to Kobani, after Kurdish fighters backed by coalition airstrikes fought off a four-month siege of the northern Syrian town by Islamic State militants. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Mahmoud Bali talked to some of those who have returned. We hear about the devastation of Kobani through their own words.
Video

Video In Their Own Words: Citizens of Kobani

Civilians are slowly returning to Kobani, after Kurdish fighters backed by coalition airstrikes fought off a four-month siege of the northern Syrian town by Islamic State militants. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Mahmoud Bali talked to some of those who have returned. We hear about the devastation of Kobani through their own words.
Video

Video In Ukraine's Nikishino, No House Untouched by Fighting

In the village of Nikishino, in eastern Ukraine, recent fighting has brought utter devastation. Ninety percent of the houses are damaged or destroyed after government forces tried and failed to stop rebels advancing on the strategically important town of Debaltseve nearby. Patrick Wells reports for VOA from Nikishino.
Video

Video Crime Scenes Re-Created in 3-D Visualization

Police and prosecutors sometimes resort to re-creations of crime scenes in order to better understand the interaction of all participants in complicated cases. A Swiss institute says advanced virtual reality technology can be used for quality re-creations of events at the moment of the crime. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Sierra Leone Ebola Orphans Face Another Crisis

There's growing concern about the future of an orphanage run by a British charity in Sierra Leone, after a staff member and his wife died this week from Ebola. The Saint George Foundation Orphanage in Freetown is now in quarantine, with more than 20 children and seven staff in lock-down. The BBC has agreed to share Ebola-related material with Voice of America because of the difficulties faced by media organizations reporting the crisis. Clive Myrie reports from Sierra Leone.
Video

Video Growing Concerns Over Whether Myanmar’s Next Elections Will Be Fair

Myanmar has scheduled national elections for November that are also expected to include a landmark referendum on the country's constitution. But there are growing concerns over whether the government is taking the necessary steps to prepare for a free and fair vote. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman was recently in Myanmar and files this report from our Southeast Asia bureau in Bangkok.
Video

Video Nigeria’s Ogonis Divided Over Resuming Oil Production

More than two decades ago, Nigeria’s Ogoni people forced Shell oil company to cease drilling on their land, saying it was polluting the environment. Now, some Ogonis say it’s time for the oil to flow once again. Chris Stein reports from Kegbara Dere, Nigeria.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More