The South Sudan government is attempting to restore oil fields damaged during the civil war. Before the war South Sudan was pumping around 245,000 barrels per day. Analysts have said production dropped to 150,000 barrels a day during the war (some sources say it dipped to 130,000). South Sudan could pump around 350,000 barrels a day, if it had peace and the money to repair damaged facilities and buy new production technology. Every major field has been affected by the war, in some way. The two years of fighting made proper maintenance of the oil fields all but impossible. Leaks and spills of crude had caused environmental damage which increases the cost of repair and restoration. South Sudan and Sudan have been discussing renegotiating the oil transport fee South Sudan pays Sudan for trans-shipping its oil to Port Sudan. The cost fluctuates somewhat, but is in the neighborhood of $24.50 a barrel. South Sudan can afford that when oil sells for $80 a barrel. The current price is around $45 a barrel. This is why South Sudan is interested in Kenya’s proposed oil export pipeline to Kenya’s seaport at Lamu (Indian Ocean coast).
May 31, 2016: Despite the peace deal in South Sundan the UN voted to extend some sanctions on key individuals there for another year. While the peace deal was agreed to and put in place, South Sudan is not at peace and much can still go wrong.
May 29, 2016: In Sudan the SPLM-N rebels accused the Air Force of once again launching attacks on civilians areas near the South Sudan border (South Kordofan and Blue Nile states). This began yesterday when an Antonov transport dropped ten barrel bombs in South Kordofan. Today a transport aircraft dropped twelve similar bombs. On May 25 a Sukhoi jet fighter dropped two bombs on a school in El Obeid. Rebels have also accused the government of attempting to disrupt the planting season. The rainy season is approaching and typically both government and rebels increase the number and intensity of attacks in order to seize key towns and terrain before the rainy season makes movement difficult.
May 28, 2016: In eastern South Sudan (along tne Ethiopian border) the outlaw Murle tribal militia that raided Ethiopia’s Gambela region in April has freed another dozen children. That brings the total number of abducted children who have been freed and returned to their homes in Gambela to around 70. At least 70 others remain imprisoned. Ethiopia told South Sudan that Ethiopian troops in South Sudan are prepared to carry out firther attacks in South Sudan against the Murle should the outlaw tribesmen fail to free the remaining children. All this began a motn ago when a large (over 2,000 armed men) outlaw Murle tribal militia from South Sudan crossed into Ethiopia and attacked thirteen villages and killed 208 people (most of them Nuer tribesmen). Over Nuer 140 children were abducted and over 2,000 cattle stolen. Ethiopian troops pursued the Murle raiders into South Sundan with the permission of the South Sudan government. The Murle and Nuer feuding have been going on for over a century but escalated in 2011 and have not stopped.
May 27, 2016: Tribal cattle rustlers mounted on camels in Sudan’s North Darfur state killed a Sudanese soldier who was part of the army unit pursuing them.
South Sudan’s transitional government has given permission to some former rebels (SPLM-IO) to build a military camp in Greater Equatoria and Greater Bahr el Ghazal states. Former rebel fighters will move to the new camp as part of the peace process.
May 26, 2016: The South Sudan government is fighting accusations that it used shipping containers in late 2015 to hold prisoners. This is suspected of killing (by suffocation). South Sudan insists it only used containers to transport captured rebels.
May 25, 2016: In Sudan the SPLM-N rebels accused the Air Force of sending a jet fighter to drop two bombs on a school in North Kordofan.
May 24, 2016: Another shortage of medicine and food threatens the Yida refugee camp in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state.
May 23, 2016: More Ethiopian soldiers have entered South Sudan’s Pibor region to reinforce the force already there (Since April) pursuing Murle tribesmen who raided into Ethiopia.
May 22, 2016: In South Sudan the Transitional Government agreed to review the government’s decision to create more states. The decision angered the rebels and has become a major political obstacle in the reconciliation process. South Sudan originaly had ten states. But shortly before a peace deal was agreed to the government created 28 states out of the original ten.
Sudan continues to play diplomatic games with the UN by expelling another senior UN official. Sudan is trying to coerce the UN to end the Darfur peacekeeping operation.
May 20, 2016: In the last ten days Ethiopian soldiers have freed over 50 children abducted by Murle tribesmen in April. Some of the children may have been released after negotiation.
May 17, 2016: Sudanese JEM rebels fought with a faction of the SPLM-IO (South Sudanese rebels) in Western Bahr el Ghazal state. There were no word on casualties. JEM fighters are not supposed to enter South Sudan.
May 16, 2016: Ethiopia confirmed that 44 abducted children have now been returned to their homes in Ethiopia. Ethiopian Air Force helicopters airlifted the children home from South Sudan. Most of the children were under five years old. Earlier this month an Ethiopian government official said that his government had concluded that the Murle raiders wanted to raise the young children as their own.
May 12, 2016: The International Criminal Court (ICC) has asked Uganda to arrest Sudanese president Omar al Bashir necause he is under indictment for genocide and crimes against humanity. Bashir is in Uganda for at least two days for discussions with the Ugandan government.
May 11, 2016: The South African government announced that its decision to withdraw its soldiers from the UN peacekeeping force mission in Sudan’s Darfur region was based on a determination that it could not reliably supply its soldiers. Harassment and interference by the Sudanese government interrupted logistical operations. Sudan considers this a victory over the UN.
May 10, 2016: The Ethiopian government said that South Sudanese negotiators have convinced rogue Murle militiamen to free 19 of the estimated 140 Ethiopian children they kidnapped in April. This is the first group of children to be released.
May 6, 2016: Sudan has reiterated its claim to two disputed areas on its border with Egypt. The two nations both claim Halayeb Triangle and Shalateen. The dispute has origins in the early 19th century. The government of Sudan sees Egypt’s decision to give two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia as a political opportunity to try and assert control over Halayeb and Shalateen.
May 5, 2016: In Sudan SPLM-N rebels claimed that for three days in a row a Sudanese Air Force Antonov transport rigged as a bomber and a MiG fighter-bomber have bombed and strafed civilian areas in South Kordofan state’s Nuba Mountains. The Antonov dropped four barrel bombs (home-made bombs) on the town of Heiban town and wounded two civilians. A MiG jet fighter-bomber dropped two bombs on Heiban. The MiG also dropped two bombs on the town of Kauda. The SPLM-N also accused government ground forces of attacking rebel positions in South Kordofan.
In South Sudan the Vice-President (the former rebel leader) called on all former rebel groups in South Sudan to release all POWs. He stressed that releasing POWs would improve relations and create stability.
May 3, 2016: Fighting broke out between South Sudan government forces and an undented political opposition group near the Sudan-South Sudan border.
May 2, 2016: Ethiopian troops remain inside South Sudan. The Ethiopian forces are pursuing Murle tribe raiders who abducted around 100 children in April. The Ethiopian task force includes 20 armored vehicles (tanks and armored personnel carriers). The task force is in Boma state which borders Ethiopia’s Gambela region, where the children lived. Some of the armored vehicles are heading toward the town of Pibor. Ethiopian Air Force jets have overflown the column. The South Sudan government said that it is in constant contact with the Ethiopian government. South Sudan said that its forces are also searching for the children. So far 32 children have been freed. Ethiopia has accused the raiders of killing over 200 people.