Sudan and southern rebels clash in oil border state
Sat Jan 14, 2012 8:36pm GMT
KHARTOUM Jan 14 (Reuters) - Sudan's army fought rebels in the oil-producing
state of South Kordofan last week, both sides said on Saturday.
The rebels said they had killed nine government troops, but the army denied
Fighting has taken place since last June in South Kordofan between the
Sudanese army and rebels from the northern wing of the Sudan People's
Liberation Movement, who want to topple the Khartoum government.
Clashes spread to neighbouring Blue Nile state, which also borders newly
independent South Sudan, in September.
The violence has already forced about 417,000 people to flee their homes,
more than 80,000 of them to South Sudan, the United Nations estimates.
Both Blue Nile and South Kordofan contain large groups who sided with the
south in a decades-long civil war, and who say they continue to face
persecution inside Sudan since South Sudan seceded in July.
The SPLM is now the ruling party in the independent south and denies
supporting SPLM-North rebels across the border.
The SPLM-North rebels said they had killed nine soldiers, destroyed three
tanks and seized military equipment in clashes at Tees near the southern
border on Monday. They also seized three army vehicles in another attack in
the same area on Tuesday, they said in a statement.
Army spokesman Sawarmi Khalid Saad confirmed military operations had taken
place in the town of Tees to reopen a road but denied any soldiers had been
"These areas are under army control," he said.
Events in South Kordofan and Blue Nile are difficult to verify because aid
groups and foreign journalists are banned from areas where fighting takes
SPLM-North is one of a number of rebel movements in underdeveloped border
areas who say they are fighting to overthrow Sudan's President Omar Hassan
al-Bashir and end what they see as the dominance of the Khartoum political
Sudan and South Sudan, who still have to resolve a range of issues including
the sharing of oil revenues, regularly trade accusations of supporting
insurgencies on each other's territory.
Their armed forces clashed at Jau in a region claimed by both sides last
month in a rare direct confrontation.
Locals have faced air raids and sporadic ground fighting, according to
rights groups and refugees, although Sudan denies it is bombing civilian
areas. (Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by
Ben Harding and Peter Graff)
JUBA Jan 14 (Reuters) - South Sudan said Sudan had ordered the loading of
650,000 barrels of southern crude oil on to a tanker belonging to Khartoum,
escalating tensions between north and south over how to share oil revenues.
There was no immediate comment by Sudan's foreign ministry, which on Friday
accused South Sudan of having failed to pay duties for oil shipments at the
northern oil export terminal in Port Sudan.
South Sudan took over two-thirds of Sudan's oil production of around 490,000
barrels per day when it became independent in July under a 2005 peace
agreement that ended decades of civil war.
The new, landlocked African nation needs to use a northern pipeline and the
Red Sea port of Port Sudan to export its crude, but both sides have failed
to reach a deal on how much it will pay.
South Sudan's oil ministry said on Saturday Sudan had forced pipeline
operator Petrodar to load the shipment, which is worth $65 million, to a
tanker belonging to Khartoum.
"The government of the Republic of South Sudan was informed by Petrodar ...
that such loading was required, non-negotiable and overseen by the
government of Sudan and their national security," it said.
It named the vessel as "MT Sea Sky."
Officials at the Sudanese foreign ministry could not immediately be reached
for comment after Reuters sent the South Sudanese statement to the ministry
On Friday, the foreign ministry said Sudan was holding two southern
shipments because South Sudan had failed to pay the port duties. Two other
vessels turned back after approaching Port Sudan when they leaned that port
duties had not been paid, it added.
Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said this month Khartoum would
impose a fee until a deal is reached with Juba over a transit fee. He did
Petrodar, a consortium which produces oil in South Sudan and operates the
pipeline, could not be immediately reached for comment. Major shareholders
include state-owned China National Petroleum Corp, Sinopec and Malaysia's
Sudan and South Sudan are due to resume bilateral talks over sharing oil
revenues, sponsored by the African Union, in Ethiopia after making no
progress in previous talks. (Reporting by Hereward Holland; Writing by Ulf
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Received on Sat Jan 14 2012 - 18:18:52 EST