Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Sudan, S.Sudan to resume oil exports

27 September 2012, 13:14

Addis Ababa - The leaders of Sudan and South Sudan reached a border security deal on Wednesday that will restart badly needed oil exports, but failed to solve the other main conflicts left over when Africa's largest country split last year.

The deal, reached after more than three weeks of negotiations, will throw both economies a lifeline. It should for now prevent any resumption of the kind of fighting that broke out along the border in April - the worst violence since South Sudan seceded in July 2011 under an agreement that ended decades of civil war.

But the neighbours still deeply distrust each other and have a history of failing to implement agreements.

Faced with the threat of U.N. sanctions and economic collapse, Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and his South Sudanese counterpart Salva Kiir agreed after four days of summit talks to set up a demilitarised border buffer zone.

The deal will allow landlocked South Sudan to resume oil exports through Sudan, providing both battered economies with dollars. The south had shut down its entire 350,000 barrels a day of output in January after the countries argued about transit fees.

"The agreement will be signed tomorrow," El-Obeid Morawah, spokesman for Sudan's Foreign Ministry, told Reuters. Atif Keir, spokesman for the southern delegation, confirmed the deal.

But despite pressure from the African Union, the United States and other Western powers, the two sides failed to settle the fate of at least five disputed oil-producing regions along the border.

Tensions over the unmarked 1,800-km (1,200-mile) common border spilled over into fighting in April, when South Sudan's army briefly occupied the Heglig oilfield, vital to Sudan's economy.

"We will talk about the claimed areas in future talks," Morawah said.

No deal on Abyei

The neighbours were also unable to reach a solution for the border region of Abyei, which has symbolic significance to both and is rich in grazing lands. Plans for a referendum have failed over the question of who should participate.

"The African Union will decide on a final solution," Keir said.

The security deal will be signed on Thursday, but it will take several months to restart southern oil production as the export pipelines were filled with water to prevent them becoming blocked, and some fields were damaged during fighting.

The U.N. Security Council had set a September 22 deadline for a broad deal to end hostilities but that was informally extended until the end of the Addis Ababa summit.

The African Union even postponed a signing ceremony for the border security deal at the last minute on Wednesday to make a last push for at least some agreement on Abyei, but to no avail.

The border deal provides for both armies to pull back 10 km (6 miles) from the frontier. Special arrangements will be made for a strategic strip of land called Mile-14, which is important to Arab tribes allied to Sudan.

But the lack of a permanent solution for the disputed regions will pose future risks to border security. Their fate may ultimately be settled only in international arbitration, a lengthy process.

Furthermore, AU mediator Thabo Mbeki failed to achieve tangible progress in indirect talks between Sudan and the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-North), which is fighting the Sudanese army in two areas bordering South Sudan.

The SPLM-North is part of an alliance with rebels from the western region of Darfur who want to topple Bashir. Sudan refuses direct talks as it accuses the south of supporting the SPLM-North, which controls some territory on the Sudanese side of the border.

Diplomats say each side supports rebels on the other side. South Sudan last weekend accused Sudan's army of having airdropped weapons to a militia fighting the government. Sudan denied this.

A deal reached last month to allow aid into rebel-controlled areas has not been implemented yet.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...