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Sudan and South Sudan are at each other throats again, threatening the tentative peace that has lasted for several months, after Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir ordered a stoppage of all oil exports travelling out of South Sudan along Sudan’s oil pipelines.
Back in May, Bashir warned that if South Sudan did not stop helping rebels operating in Sudan’s western region of Darfur, in the Blue Nile, and Southern Kordofan states, then it would close oil pipelines forever. He said that “Sudan won’t allow revenue from oil exports from South Sudan to be used for buying arms for rebels and mercenaries.”
The SPLM-N rebels, who fought alongside South Sudanese force during the civil war, started attacking Sudanese troups over a year and a half ago. Sudanese Information Minister, Ahmed Bilal Osman, has said that his government now has evidence that South Sudan is indeed backing its old allies in Western Darfur.
Osman believes that “it is clear that the purpose of supporting the rebels is to bring down the regime, which is why we have to stop the petrol. We asked them to stop their support so that it wouldn’t affect all the agreements that were signed.”
Landlocked South Sudan is reliant on Sudan’s oil and gas infrastructure to pipe its crude across Sudan to the Port of Sudan on the Red Sea. A dispute over how much South Sudan should pay to use the pipelines saw all oil production stopped for 15 months last year.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com