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Salva Kiir takes a swipe at AU

11 June 2013, 14:03

Johannesburg - President Salva Kiir has taken a swipe at the African Union over its failure to step in to resolve South Sudan's standoff with Sudan, media reports said on Tuesday.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir threatened on the weekend to cut the flow via Sudanese pipelines of South Sudanese crude oil over its alleged support for rebels.

"This latest turn of events brings into question the credibility of the African Union mediators but we remain optimistic that they will intervene accordingly," Kiir was quoted as saying by the Sudan Tribune.

"We urge both regional and international governments to diplomatically engage with Sudan in order to protect the lives of the citizens of both nations and to encourage Sudan to engage in peaceful dialogue with their internal rebellion."

South Sudanese officials say they have yet to receive formal notification of a plan to halt the flow of oil destined for international markets.

The standoff is seen as a setback for the two countries, which reached the brink of war after a dispute over oil transit fees a little over a year ago.

In March, Khartoum and Juba agreed in talks under the mediation of the African Union to the resumption of southern crude oil production and exports via northern pipelines.

The two sides failed to agree on several key issues, including border demarcation and how to share oil revenue.

When South Sudan split from Sudan to become an independent state in July 2011, it took about two-thirds of its oil reserves. However, Juba is entirely reliant on Sudan's pipelines, as it has no alternative means to bring the oil to ports.



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