Kenya PM: Sudan conflict threatens world oil prices
May 18, 2012 -- Updated 1434 GMT (2234 HKT)
* Kenyan PM has warned the crisis between S.Sudan and Sudan can affect
* "The international community cannot sit by and just watch this
happening," said Raila Odinga
* He called African Union to send more troops to resolve the border
See more on the interview with Kenya's prime minister Raila Odinga and the
conflict in Sudan on
Market Place Africa today at 1945 CET.
(CNN) -- The spiraling conflict between Sudan and South Sudan poses a threat
to world oil prices, the prime minister of neighboring Kenya has warned.
Speaking to CNN's Jim Clancy, Raila Odinga called on the international
community to take a more active role in resolving the crisis that brought
the two countries close to war in April.
"Certainly, if this continues it is definitely going to affect the oil
prices and therefore the international community cannot sit by and just
watch this happening," said Odinga. "But apart from affecting the oil
prices, many people are going to die," he added.
Odinga called on the African Union (AU) to increase its presence in the
hotly contested border between the two countries.
"AU need to send more troops to the border between the North and the South,
and while they are there insist that the demarcation be done using
independent forces so that the issue of border dispute is resolved once and
for all," said Odinga.
"If AU does not have the capacity to do so, then the U.N. should complement
Odinga's call comes as AU mediator and former South African president Thabo
Mbeki arrived in the Sudanese capital city of Khartoum Thursday in a bid to
convince the two parties to resume negotiations.
South Sudan split from Sudan last year as part of a 2005 peace deal that
ended decades of war in Africa's largest nation.
The war left two million people dead and ended with the peace agreement that
included an independence referendum for the South.
Significant issues between the countries remain unresolved, however,
including status of their citizens, division of national debt, disputed
border areas and sharing of oil wealth.
Simmering tensions peaked last month when South Sudan seized the
oil-producing region of Heglig from its northern neighbor. Oil fuels the
economies of both nations and Heglig oil facilities account for about half
of Sudan's production of 115,000 barrels a day.
South Sudanese forces withdrew days later after Sudan lodged protests with
the United Nations and African Union, but South Sudan said it continued to
come under aerial and ground attack.
Odinga said neighboring Kenya wants the matter "to be dealt with as quickly
as possible so the humanitarian crisis is avoided."
He added: "The previous conflict in the Sudan had a very devastating effect
on Kenya because we hosted the majority of the Sudanese refugees in Kenya.
As we are talking right now there is already an influx of new refugees
coming from South Sudan as a result of this conflict, so there is a big fear
in Kenya that we may again end up having to host so many refugees as a
result of this conflict."
In late March, Kenya announced that it had finally struck oil after decades
of exploration. British-based Tullow Oil said it established more than 20
meters (65 feet) of net oil pay, which refers to the depth of the oil
But Odinga said that the experience from other African countries has shown
that oil can either be "a blessing or a curse." On a cautious note, Odinga
stressed that Kenya should not neglect other sectors of the economy in favor
"One-commodity economy is dangerous in my view because it is not sustainable
and therefore in Kenya we must avoid the pitfalls that have been fallen in
the other countries on the continent by managing this oil properly," said
more: Oil discovered in Kenya
l> Opinion: Can Kenya avoid Africa's resource curse?
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Received on Fri May 18 2012 - 11:23:10 EDT