South Sudan Oil-Export Plans Stall

From The Wall Street Journal

By Nicholas Bariyo

The planned resumption of transit oil shipments from newly independent South Sudan through Sudanese territory have stalled amid a simmering row over a border-security accord agreed in September, South Sudan’s information minister said Monday.

Barnaba Marial Benjamin said a scheduled meeting in Khartoum involving security officials from both countries aimed at completing arrangements over the creation of a demilitarized zone didn’t take off last week after Sudan failed to make the necessary arrangements to allow the commencement of the talks.

“In our view, Khartoum is not serious about the peace process…no action has been taken to show their commitment. Instead, they have resorted to bombing our territory,” Mr. Benjamin said.

Last week, South Sudan said that it hoped to resume the production of as much as 200,000 barrels-a-day of oil by the end of the week, but the delay in the creation of a 10-kilometer buffer zone continues to hinder shipments. The landlocked nation is struggling to deal with economic distress over the shutdown of oil shipments in January.

Last week, the U.S. voiced concerns about the delay of oil production, saying it threatens the stability of both nations.

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