Home | News    Tuesday 24 January 2012

Youth back oil shut down in Unity state

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By Bonifacio Taban Kuich

January 23, 2012 (BENTIU) - A large group of protesters took to the streets of Bentui, the capital of South Sudan’s oil-rich Unity State in support of the governments decision to stop exporting oil through north Sudan as the dispute between Juba and Khartoum shows no signs of abating.

South Sudan announced it was shutting down its oil production on Friday and on Monday the new country’s President accused north Sudan of stealing seizing $815 million worth of its crude oil.

Khartoum, however, says it has seized and re-diverted southern oil because the Juba has failed to pay fees. South Sudan denies this and has announced it build a new pipeline to Kenya to end its reliance on Port Sudan on the Red Sea.

Since South Sudan seceded just over six months ago the former civil war foes have not been able to agree a fee for landlocked nation to use northern infrastructure to export its oil.

African Union mediated talks between Juba and Khartoum that were supposed to have reconvened over the weekend have borne little fruit.

Juba expects that the process of stopping the production of its daily output, of 350,000 barrels a day, will take up to two weeks. The South claims Khartoum is stealing 120,000 barrels per day using a tie-in pipeline.

Authorities Unity state told Sudan Tribune on Sunday that they agree with the decision of the central government and have instructed security personal in the oil fields to stop oil entering the north-bound pipeline

Gideon Gatpan Thaor, State Minister of Information and Communication, confirmed that his government is fully committed to shut down the oil supply.

Every institution and was happy with the decision he said.

Stephen Mading Chan, who joined the demonstration backing the move to close down production said that South Sudan should stop all ties with north Sudan as the had "cheated" South Sudan.

“I’m here today by supporting the degree being issued by the president in the council of Minister in the national level of shutting down the oil production in South Sudan this is why I’m here with my people."

When South Sudan broke away from the north in July 2011 it took with it 75% of Sudan’s oil production. This has had a serious affect on Sudan’s economy with inflation and food price rises triggering small level protests in Khartoum in recent months.

China being the main buyer of southern crude has tried to bring the side together but has so far failed.

Khartoum wants Juba to pay $1 billion in fees plus $36 dollars for every barrel exported through its territory. Figures that South Sudan refuse to accept.

Sudan also wants Juba to take on part of the country’s international debts.

On Friday the South Sudanese Minister of Justice, John Luk Joak, warned companies that buy oil from Khartoum government belonging to South Sudan that they would face legal action.

JUBA

In Juba, the South Sudan capital, there were also a series of peaceful processions in support of the second council of ministers January 20 decision to immediately halt all oil operations in the country.

A group of youth, women and students marched from the Juba-based Nyakuron Cultural Center, chanting pro-government slogans before submitting a memo addressed to the national assembly speaker, prior to the president’s speech.

Another similar procession, Sudan Tribune understands, is due to take place on Tuesday on South Sudan Warrap state, reportedly organised by youth and women to support the government’s move.

“All the peace loving youth, women and students from Warrap have decided to hold this peaceful demonstration to show our support for the national government over the decision to shut down oil production. This will enable the government in Khartoum to respect our resources,” Makur Ngong Dit, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) state secretary said by phone.

(ST)

Additional reporting from Julius N. Uma in Juba.

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  • 24 January 2012 06:56, by LL Reuben

    Bravo Unity State youth, you’ve shown a tremendous courage by taking to the street and support your government’s decision. Soon the olden day’s salt merchants and their gang organization known as NIF will regret their latest dubious dealing with the South. God bless South Sudan!

    repondre message

    • 24 January 2012 07:04, by Lokorai

      Hon. Minister Gatpan and Youths from Unity State we are proud of your action to stand with your people.

      This is a moment we put up socks and be together, and go for our claims as one. Khartoum must give us back our Abyei...

      Lokorai

      repondre message

    • 24 January 2012 07:38, by Dinka Dominated SPLA/M

      I love such people who know between good and bad,
      Thank you very much my dear youth in Unity state
      God bless you all,

      repondre message

  • 24 January 2012 07:15, by Lang

    were all proud of the government but hurry and get funding or a reasonable loan before i change my mind :D.

    repondre message

  • 24 January 2012 08:09, by Madina Tonj

    Southern Sudanese have been gone through all kinds of difficulties without oil, Khartoum government have been additcted to oil’s money and living to comforable life for years unfortunately, this time Khartoum turn to be a robbery agent, a shameful on them to steal oil without permission from the New nation.

    repondre message

  • 24 January 2012 14:28, by sudinka

    Dear citizen in all state in south Sudan the stealing of oil by Khartoum government is bad thing to us I thank the Unity state Youths we must to open our eyes with out fare .

    repondre message

  • 24 January 2012 14:42, by south boy

    Brabo unity state youth, the decission taken by our president and his vice is good decision,its good for our future, because we are the future of south sudan, you show a good encouragement and good tremendous to the south people, sudan steal ours and they deserv court for that.
    thank you very much.

    repondre message

  • 24 January 2012 18:52, by Adviser

    Well that is fine, We normally react as civil society when any thinhs happen between and South Sudan and Khartuom which good indication of our unity, soldairty and love for our nation. But we keep watching, quite and silence when our Goverment is messing up with us . specially the current situation in Jonglei, corruprion and lack unemployment . Which are our sole responsibilties as citizen to come

    repondre message

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