[Dehai-WN] (Reuters): Sudan mediators urge swift end to oil dispute

From: Berhane Habtemariam <Berhane.Habtemariam_at_gmx.de_at_dehai.org>
Date: Tue, 6 Dec 2011 20:02:50 +0100

Sudan mediators urge swift end to oil dispute

Tue Dec 6, 2011 4:36pm GMT

WASHINGTON Dec 6 (Reuters) - The United States joined other international
mediators on Tuesday urging Khartoum and the new government of South Sudan
to quickly resolve a dispute over oil payments that threatens both their

The United States, which along with Britain and Norway formed a "troika" in
2005 to support peace efforts between the two sides, said new proposals
tabled in recent talks brokered by the African Union warranted careful

"We note in particular a detailed proposal by the government of South Sudan
that put forth financial contribution to help the government of Sudan reduce
its financial gap after South Sudan's secession," the three countries said
in a joint statement.

"In light of recent developments, we strongly urge the parties to reconvene
as soon as possible, ahead of the agreed December 20 date, to agree on
arrangements for the export of oil."

The two sides have disputed the sharing of oil revenues since South Sudan
seceded from the north in July, taking some three-quarters of the formerly
united country's 500,000 barrels per day of oil production.

Oil is vital to both Sudan and South Sudan, but they have not agreed on how
much the landlocked South, which must send its oil exports through pipelines
in Sudan to a port, should pay in transit fees.

Sudan last week denied it had halted South Sudan's oil exports in a transit
fee row, but said it had confiscated crude shipments to make up for payments
it claims South Sudan owes.

China, which has sought to maintain good relations with both countries and
is a major customer for Sudanese crude oil, said this week it was
dispatching an envoy to join the mediation effort.

The Western countries said both sides needed to immediately implement agreed
security and administrative arrangements in the disputed border territory of
Abyei, saying that withdrawal of armed forces from the area was a top

"We further call on the parties to refrain from any further destabilizing
actions or inflammatory language that might jeopardize the relations between
both states, and in that context note with concern the recent and dangerous
escalation of military action along the Sudan-South Sudan border," the
statement said.

The two countries have accused each other of supporting rebellions in their
territory, leading some analysts to say that they risk reigniting conflict
following a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war.

(Reporting by Andrew Quinn; editing by Doina Chiacu)

C Thomson Reuters 2011 All rights reserved


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