KHARTOUM Feb 1 (Reuters) - Sudan, stepping up its rhetoric, accused South
Sudan of "hostility" in their row over oil transit fees and said it would
hold Juba responsible for any attack on northern oil facilities, a
state-linked news website said on Wednesday.
The two neighbours are locked in a worsening row over disentangling their
oil industries after the South split from Sudan and became independent in
July, following decades of civil war that ended with a peace deal in 2005.
The landlocked new nation took three-quarters of the oil production - the
lifeline of both economies - but needs to pay for using northern export
facilities and the Red Sea port of Port Sudan.
Tension rose when Sudan said last month it started seizing southern oil at
Port Sudan as compensation for what it called unpaid pipeline transit fees.
Juba, the southern capital, responded last week by shutting down its entire
output of 350,000 barrels a day.
The African Union has been trying to broker a deal but a meeting between
Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and his southern counterpart Salva
Kiir failed last week. More talks are scheduled for next week.
The Sudanese negotiation team said South Sudan had not been ready to reach a
fair deal at the latest round of talks in Addis Ababa, the state-linked
Sudanese Media Centre (SMC) said, citing a statement issued by the
delegation after its return.
"The Government of Sudan ... called on the southern government to review its
hostile leaning towards Sudan," the SMC said, adding that Sudan remained
ready to continue talks in "good faith."
Sudan also again accused Juba of supporting rebels in the main northern
border state of South Kordofan, the SMC said.
"The Government of Sudan will hold the government of South Sudan responsible
for any attempt to target or sabotage oil fields, facilities and oil
infrastructure," SMC said, without elaborating.
There was no immediate reaction from Juba. South Kordofan is home to much of
Sudan's remaining oil industry after the split.
Fighting broke out in June between the Sudanese army and rebels of the
SPLM-North, and clashes spread to Blue Nile in September. Both states border
Blue Nile and South Kordofan contain large groups who sided with the south
in the civil war, and who say they have continued to face persecution inside
Sudan since South Sudan seceded.
The SPLM is now the ruling party in the independent south and denies
supporting SPLM-North rebels across the border.
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 Bashir and end what they see as
the dominance of the Khartoum political elite.
The fighting has already forced about 417,000 people to flee their homes,
more than 80,000 of them to newly independent South Sudan, according to the
United Nations. (Reporting by Ulf Laessing and Khalid Abdelaziz; editing by
SINGAPORE Feb 1 (Reuters) - South Sudan's chief negotiator has rejected
African Union-backed proposals that could see it pay up to $6.5 billion to
Sudan in the latest attempt to break a deadlock between the two over oil
export transit fees, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.
The latest draft proposal from the AU foresees the South giving Sudan a
direct cash transfer of between $2.6 billion and $5.4 billion, plus transit
fees worth up to $1.1 billion, covering the period until the end of 2014,
the report said.
The AU set these figures as parameters for discussion, with an exact figure
to be decided on within 30 days, it added.
"The AU has lost sight of the principle of mutual economic viability," Pagan
Amum, lead negotiator for the South, was quoted by the Financial TImes as
"We could not sign; they were stealing the oil and obstructing the flow of
our oil, and this robbery continues up to today. Now it is not secure for us
to put our oil through Sudan because of this state piracy. This is about our
economic independence. No country can continue through a country that is
South Sudan -- which seceded last July under a 2005 peace agreement that
ended decades of civil war with Khartoum -- has shut down its roughly
350,000 barrels per day of oil production in protest after Khartoum started
to seize some southern crude to compensate for what it called unpaid fees.
The landlocked new nation took control of about three quarters of the
unified country's roughly 500,000 barrels a day in oil output, but it needs
to export its crude through northern pipelines to the Red Sea port of Port
Earlier, Amum reiterated South Sudan's proposal that the country pay a fee
of $0.69 per barrel for one of the pipelines and $0.63 per barrel for
another. Sudan has publicly stated it wants a fee of $36 per barrel.
Oil provides about 98 percent of South Sudan's income and is vital to the
impoverished country as it tries to develop infrastructure and institutions
devastated by a war that killed an estimated 2 million people. (Reporting by
Himani Sarkar; Editing by Simon Webb)
C Thomson Reuters 2012 All rights reserved
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Received on Wed Feb 01 2012 - 15:47:52 EST