From: Biniam Tekle (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed Jun 29 2011 - 08:51:07 EDT
South Sudan asks US to lift sanctions on Khartoum to help own oil exports
By Associated Press, Updated: Wednesday, June 29, 8:21 AM
JUBA, Sudan — Southern Sudan wants the U.S. to remove economic sanctions
against Sudan so that the south’s oil exports won’t suffer financially when
they move through northern Sudan’s oil pipelines, the region’s vice
president said Wednesday.
Southern Sudan will break away from the north and become the world’s newest
nation on July 9. A 2005 peace accord ended a decades-long civil war, but
northern troops over the last several weeks have attacked pro-southern
communities along the north-south border.
Despite the attacks, the south is lobbying for a lifting of sanctions on the
north, because of the economic benefits the south would also receive.
Vice President Riek Machar returned from a three-week trip to the U.S. on
Wednesday, where he said he discussed the future of the American sanctions
with the U.S. government and with ambassadors to the U.N. Security Council.
“We rely in Southern Sudan on oil revenues,” said Machar. “According to the
American sanctions on the whole Sudan, oil is a sanctioned commodity.”
Oil is virtually the only moneymaker for the government of Southern Sudan.
Sudan as a whole is the third largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa,
behind Nigeria and Angola. The majority of Sudan’s oil is in the south, but
the south’s only means to export the oil is through pipelines that run
through the north, to Port Sudan on the Red Sea.
Machar said his delegation lobbied the Obama administration to review and
“preferably” lift sanctions on the entire country, arguing that if U.S.
sanctions continue after Sudan splits in two, the oil-dependent southern
economy will suffer. Machar said his delegation received U.S. assurances
that it would review the sanctions.
The U.S. government first imposed sanctions on President Omar al-Bashir’s
Khartoum government in 1997. The order prohibited U.S. importation of
Sudanese items and goods and prevented the export of all U.S. goods to Sudan
except for humanitarian supplies. President Bill Clinton said at the time
that Sudan’s support for terrorist organizations and their leaders,
including Osama bin Laden, was one reason for the comprehensive sanctions.
Al-Bashir said in a speech in Port Sudan on June 22 that he would block the
south’s access to the pipelines unless a favorable wealth-sharing agreement
The north and south have been negotiating for months over wealth-sharing,
but no agreements have yet been reached.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may
not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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