Sudan's Bashir says no S.Sudan oil exports without security
Wed May 16, 2012 11 9:20pm GMT
KHARTOUM May 16 (Reuters) - Sudan will not allow South Sudan to export any
oil through its territory unless the two states settle all disputes over
border security, President Omar al-Bashir said on Tuesday.
Oil, security and frontier disputes ignited border clashes last month and
for a while raised fears of full-blown war in one of Africa's most
significant oil regions.
South Sudan took three quarters of Sudan's oil production when it became
independent in July under a 2005 peace agreement that ended decades of civil
war with Khartoum.
The landlocked new nation needs to export its oil through Sudan but has
failed to agree with Khartoum how much it should pay. It shut down its
output of 350,000 barrels a day in January after Sudan started seizing oil
for what the latter calls unpaid fees. Oil is the lifeline for both
In a speech in Khartoum, Bashir reiterated Sudan would not allow Juba to
export its oil through northern pipelines unless both sides sorted out all
disputes over border security.
"They shut it (the pipelines) down but the key (to reopening the pipes) is
with us," Bashir told a rally to support the army.
"We are the ones who will determine when it will be opened. We will not
allow the pipelines to open unless there is a 100 percent guarantee for our
security ... and that there is no threat to our citizens and our borders,"
Sudan accuses Juba's ruling party, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement,
of backing its civil war ally, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North,
which is fighting the army in Sudan's South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.
South Sudan and residents in the southern borderland accuse Sudan of
repeated aerial bombardments, charges Khartoum denies.
The U.N. Security Council endorsed on May 2 an African Union plan demanding
that Khartoum and Juba cease hostilities, withdraw troops from disputed
areas and resume talks within two weeks on all outstanding disputes.
It gave them three months to resolve the issues, under threat of sanctions.
Apart from oil and border security both countries also need to find a
solution for the disputed border region of Abyei. (Writing by Ulf Laessing;
editing by Andrew Roche)
S.Sudan says aims to obtain anti-aircraft missiles
Wed May 16, 2012 11:52am GMT
* Army chief quoted as saying will have them "in months"
* UN, US have condemned Sudan bombing raids on South
* Oil, border disputes triggered fighting last month
By Hereward Holland
JUBA, May 16 (Reuters) - South Sudan will soon acquire anti-aircraft
missiles to defend its territory against air attacks it says are frequently
carried out by warplanes from neighbouring Sudan, the South Sudanese
military said on Wednesday.
Since South Sudan became the world's newest independent nation in July last
year, its government has accused northern neighbour Sudan of continuing
aerial bombing raids on South Sudanese territory, a charge routinely denied
Foreign reporters in South Sudan have witnessed bombings by Sudanese
warplanes of targets including a market, a refugee camp and oil
infrastructure, and border skirmishes between the two countries' armies last
month included a series of air raids by the northern nation.
The United Nations' top human rights official said on Friday she was
outraged by Sudan's "indiscriminate" bombings of South Sudan that killed and
injured civilians, after U.N. officials verified damage and casualties
caused by recent raids.
South Sudanese army spokesman Philip Aguer told Reuters on Wednesday Juba's
military intended to acquire anti-aircraft missiles as part of the new
African nation's plans to modernise and re-equip its armed forces, which had
previously fought for years as a rebel guerrilla army against Khartoum.
"It will enhance our defenses. All strategic points need to be protected,
including oil-producing areas and airports," Aguer said. He did not say
where South Sudan would seek to purchase the anti-aircraft weapons, nor
exactly what kind they would be.
"It depends on the market and the political will to sell to us," Aguer said.
He did not specify a time-frame for the South Sudanese army to acquire the
anti-aircraft capability, but The Sudan Tribune newspaper quoted the head of
South Sudan's army (SPLA) James Hoth Mai as saying his troops would be
equipped with anti-aircraft missiles within a "few months."
Last month's fighting broke out amid disputes between the two former civil
war foes over oil exports, border demarcation, citizenship rights and
On May 2, the U.N. Security Council, endorsing an African Union peace plan,
gave the two sides two weeks to resume talks on the outstanding disputes,
but there was no indication that a firm date has been set for negotiations
The Security Council, including China and Russia, gave them three months to
solve the issues or face sanctions.
Aguer said acquiring air-defense capability would help South Sudan to
consolidate its newly-won independence, unanimously endorsed by its
population in a referendum following an initial 2005 peace agreement that
ended more than two decades of civil war between the North and the South.
"Prior to independence, it was not easy to acquire these weapons but now I
believe we will," Aguer said.
"This will promote the confidence of South Sudanese citizens that their
airspace will not be violated again. That will have a psychological and
physical impact," he added.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has also called on Sudan to halt
what she called "provocative" air bombardments.
Last week, a former U.S. special envoy to Sudan, Andrew Natsios, urged his
country to send weapons to Juba.
"The only way to end the North's bullying and foster peace talks is to give
the South the right tools: American anti-aircraft weapons," Natsios wrote in
an article published in the Washington Post.
Experts said acquiring anti-aircraft weapons would certainly strengthen the
South Sudanese army's arsenal against the generally better-armed northern
forces, but would not necessarily end the bombings or the conflict.
Jonah Leff, project coordinator for the Small Arms Survey Sudan Project,
said the South's army would have to be trained to use the surface-to-air
"I wouldn't expect for Khartoum to back down, but anti-aircraft missiles
would give the SPLA an advantage that they didn't previously have," he told
Reuters by email.
"Even if Khartoum decides to cease its aerial operations, which I find
doubtful, the two sides still seem to have an appetite for war, which could
be fought on the battefield," Leff added.
The two Sudans sit on significant oil reserves, but the independence of the
South gave it two-thirds of the oil outpout of the previously unified
nation. A dispute over the level of fees independent South Sudan should pay
to Sudan to export its crude through the north prompted Juba to shut off its
oil production earlier this year, straining the two economies.
Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said on Tuesday Khartoum would not
allow South Sudan to export any oil through its territory unless the two
states settle all arguments over border security. (Editing by Pascal
Fletcher and Janet Lawrence)
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Received on Wed May 16 2012 - 09:08:25 EDT