January 24, 2012 (JUBA) - South Sudan and Kenya have signed a memorandum of understanding on the building of a oil pipeline from South Sudan to the Kenyan port of Lamu.
- South Sudan and Kenya sign MoU for construction of oil pipeline, Juba, Jan. 24, 2012 (ST)
The agreement comes four days after South Sudan passed a resolution in cabinet to shut down the oil operations through the pipeline which passes through Sudan to its sea port of Port Sudan.
South Sudan accused Sudan of stealing its oil while Khartoum claimed it was confiscating the oil for unpaid fees; a claim Juba said was unfounded.
The South Sudanese government also passed another resolution seeking an alternative oil pipeline to another neighboring country.
A high level delegation from Kenya, led by the prime minister, Raila Odingo, arrived in Juba on Tuesday to negotiate the memorandum with their South Sudanese counterparts, which resulted in the signing ceremony at J-One Palace.
The Kenyan delegation also included its minister of foreign affairs, Moses Wetangula, minister of public service, Dalmas Otieno and minister of energy, Kiraitu Murungi, among others.
South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, and vice president, Riek Machar, witnessed the signing ceremony. Minister of foreign affairs, Nhial Deng and several other ministers and ambassadors were also present.
The minister of petroleum and mining in South Sudan, Stephen Dhiew Dau, and the Kenyan minister of energy, Kiraitu Murungi, signed the memorandum on behalf of their respective governments.
The memorandum also provided for the installation of fibre optic connections between the neighbouring countries.
In a press statement after the signing ceremony, the two ministers explained that the memorandum laid a foundation for economic cooperation between the South Sudan and Kenya.
“The purpose of this memorandum of understanding is to develop and expand a framework of cooperation and partnership between the Government of the Republic of South Sudan and the Government of the Republic of Kenya on the principles of equality, mutual benefit, mutual understanding, respect and trust,” partly reads the memorandum’s text.
The memorandum explained that the two countries will negotiate transit fees for the oil pipeline which will be based on international practice.
Currently, many countries in the region pay less than US$1 per barrel as transit fees; Khartoum is asking for $32.20.