World Bulletin/News Desk
South Sudan plans to sell 6.4 million barrels of oil worth $300 million before shutting down its entire production by the end of July due to a row over its alleged support for rebels in neighbouring Sudan, its oil minister said on Saturday.
Sudan, the sole conduit for South Sudan's oil exports, said a month ago it would close two cross-border oil pipelines within 60 days and insisted output be shut by Aug. 7 unless South Sudan gave up support for the rebels. Juba denies backing insurgents.
The shutdown is bad news for both countries, which fought one of Africa's longest civil wars before separating in 2011.
Diplomats worry South Sudan might collapse without oil, the main source for the budget apart from foreign grants. They point to recent looting of aid agencies by soldiers as a sign that Juba is struggling to pay salaries.
Closing the wells is also grave news for Sudan, which has been struggling with turmoil since losing most oil reserves with South Sudan's secession. oil fees from Juba are essential to bringing down soaring inflation, which stokes dissent.
oil industry insiders say once the pipelines are closed it will take several months to restart production as they would have to be flushed of water and cleaned first.
"There is enough crude in the pipeline to meet this," he said. Sudan has said it would allow the sale of oil which has already reached pipelines on its territory or the export terminal on the Red Sea.
Dau repeated South Sudan was not backing any Sudanese rebels. "We are committed to the flow of the oil. It is in the interest of the two countries. We don't see that this shutdown can bring any peace or stop internal rebellions in Sudan."
Khartoum accuses Juba of supporting the "Sudanese Revolutionary Front" (SRF), a rebel alliance, which complains of neglect at the hands of the wealthy Khartoum elites. The SRF in April staged an attack on central Sudan, embarrassing the army on whose support President Omar Hassan al-Bashir depends.
South Sudan in turn accuses Sudan of backing rebels in its eastern Jonglei state, where fighting is making it impossible to realise government plans to search for oil with the help of France's Total and U.S. Exxon Mobil.
China dominates the oil industries in both countries, and state firm China National Petroleum Corp is most affected as it runs the oilfields in the South with Malaysia's Petronas and Indian firm ONGC Videsh.
There are fears of a humanitarian crisis as refugees seek ways to enter Serbia taking weeks to walk from Syria making their way through Turkey, Greece and Macedonia
The US imposes further sanctions against Russia over the events in eastern Ukraine and Crimea
Workers say new law reduces the rights of employees and makes it easier for employers to fire them
Jose Zamora Induta had been exiled in Portugal before returning home to Guinea-Bissau.
Russian President Putin has assured Netanyahu that the Iranian deal would improve security in the Middle East.
Nigel Farage said his party would launch a "major ground campaign" for the referendum, which Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to hold by 2017.
Roughly 70 percent of the world's cocoa is grown in West Africa and several people in the chocolate industry have been trying to reduce child labor in West Africa for years.
This is Africa reflects on Mr. Mazrui’s five strategies for taming Western-oriented imperialism disguised as globalisation
Ex-Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned with polonium in 2006. Litvinenko accused Putin of trying to kill him before his death.
Multiple power and water cuts make everyday life difficult when temperatures rise with authorities giving a 4 day mandatory holiday relief.
Syriza split issue over bailout deal may be overcome with party referendum
Cameroon has shut down all mosques and Islamic centres in response to a wave of suicide attacks in the country's north.
Shortly after their French collegues, Italian MPs also plan on visiting occupied peninsula
“Russia failed to stand up in the quest for international justice.”
Resolution would have set up tribunal to prosecute those responsible for shooting down the Malaysian plane over Ukraine
Tax inspectors in Greece are now turning their attention to holiday hotspots with tourism bosses complaining that increase taxes will hit tourism revenue