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Mati Maravanyika,

Editor (Africa)

 

SUDAN—Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir has instructed that the oil pipeline running from South Sudan should be shutdown. According to a state-run news agency Sudan TV, the closure is scheduled to occur on Sunday June 16, 2013.

In an announcement to crowd outside Khartoum at a power station, Al-Bashir said that his decision to close the pipeline “came after thoughtful considerations of all the consequences and expected impacts.” In a speech broadcasted by Sudan TV, the President stated that if South Sudan decides to send their oil through Kenya or Djibouti, that’s fine. Good for them. But we will never allow their oil to go through Sudan so they could buy arms and ammunition and give them to mercenaries, traitors and agents.”

Following a referendum and a deadly war that left over one million dead, in July 2011, South Sudan became independent. Despite the independence, Sudan and South Sudan are still unable to agree to certain issues, including the issues surrounding their borders and oil exports. After the separation, South Sudan attained ¾ of Sudan’s oil reserves and now the two countries cannot agree on the amount South Sudan should pay to use the pipeline.

Sudan and South Sudan’s conflict escalated to a civil war in April 2012 leaving many dead, injured and displaced in “a series of air and ground exchanges.” In September 2012, the leaders of the two countries agreed to resume oil exports but were unable to tackle other issues, including “the fate of the disputed region of Abyei.” There seemed to be progress when the countries signed a deal that required them to withdraw their military forces from the demilitarized zone between them. Following that agreement, they faced pressure from the U.N. Security Council and the African Union to resolve other clashes peacefully.

Image Courtesy: Achim1999 (Wiki Commons) Released under the Public Domain

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