Sudan: Dying For Oil And Cattle

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May 16, 2011: The national government (some media are now referring to it as Northern Sudan) announced that new oil discoveries in South Kordofan state will eventually increase the north’s oil output by 15 to 20 percent. The north currently produces 117,000 barrels a day from fields that are in northern territory. The new discoveries will add at least another 20,000 barrels a day. It goes without saying that oil translates into money. The interesting twist between the two Sudans is that pumping oil and making money requires peace. Sudan produces around 490,000 barrels a day. Do the subtraction and Southern Sudan pumps 373,000 barrels a day. The south has promised to pay the north a large royalty. Oil for peace? It’s a possibility.

May 12, 2011: The International Criminal Court (ICC) asked the UN to take action against Djibouti for failing to arrest President Omar al-Bashir. Bashir has visited Djibouti on several occasions since his indictment by the ICC for war crimes and genocide.

May 11, 2011: The big debate on whether to build a new capital or stay put in Juba continues to roil Southern Sudan. A lot of southern Sudanese see a new capital as a waste of oil money. There is also the question of where to build a new one. Lakes state has a favored area, Central Equatoria state another. The group that favors building a new capital from scratch point out that Juba is a mess. That’s true. But the critics of the idea point to more immediate concerns like building new roads and improving agriculture.

May 11, 2011: A UN peacekeeping patrol was attacked in a village 25 kilometers north of the disputed town of Abyei. Four Zambian peacekeepers were wounded. The troops were serving with the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), the mission charged with forwarding the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended the north-south civil war. The Abyei region lies between South Kordofan state (northern Sudan) and North Bahr al-Ghazal state (Southern Sudan).

May 10, 2011: Some 82 people were killed in recent cattle raid in Warrap state. A militia loyal to a rebel officer named Philip Bepan killed 34 people and stole the herds. In turn the raiders were ambushed and 48 rebels died in the ambush.  SPLA forces in Unity state fought another militia, this one led by Peter Gadet, another rebel officer. The SPLA claimed it killed 80 of Gadet’s militia fighters.

May 9, 2011: The governments of Sudan and Southern Sudan informed the UN that they have agreed to withdraw all unauthorized forces from the disputed Abyei region. Mediators have been trying to get the national government and the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) to stop what appeared to be a slow build-up of conventional military forces in the area, in order to avoid triggering a north-south war. Several bloody clashes have already occurred. (See report of May 3.) The problem is, that the main force units also have a police role. Rebel militias and tribal militias are also active in the area. The south accuses the north of using pro-northern tribal forces to harass and intimidate southern tribespeople.

May 3, 2011: A crowd of 1,000 people collected in the national capital, Khartoum, to denounce the United States for killing Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.

Sudanese Army troops (northern army) fought with southern soldiers in a battle in the Abyei region. The south claimed six armed northern vehicles illegally entered Abyei. Police stopped the convoy and a battle ensued. 14 southerners were killed in the firefight. The north claimed that southern police fired first.

 

 

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