Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sudan has started ‘confiscating’ southern oil

Sudan has started to confiscate some oil exports from South Sudan to meet “unpaid transit fees” but said it will not shut down a pipeline carrying the southern state's oil.

"Since early December we've started taking part of our share after the southern government refused to agree on a deal for a transit fee," Saber Mohammed Hassan, a member of the Sudanese delegation in Addis Abba for talks on the oil issue, said on Sunday.

The talks on Tuesday, sponsored by the African Union, are being held after previous rounds ended in failure.

South Sudan said on Saturday that diversion of its oil was "blatant theft." It accused Khartoum of ordering its security services to load 650,000 barrels of southern oil worth $65m on a Sudanese tanker at Port Sudan.

"The government of Sudan has chosen to steal this oil in broad daylight just days before its own proposed commercial oil negotiations with the Republic of South Sudan," Stephen Dhieu Dau , South Sudan's oil minister, said in a statement on Saturday. more