Home | News    Friday 30 March 2012

Return to North-South Sudan war will cost over $100bn: activists

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March 29, 2012 (JUBA) - If recent large scale clashes between South Sudan and Sudan trigger a return to war, it would cause loses of $100 billion to the region in addition to incalculable human costs, a coalition of African and Arab civil society organisations have warned.

Newly independent South Sudan on Tuesday accused the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) of bombing oilfields in Unity State, a day after both armies clashed near the oil-rich region of Heglig, in South Kordofan State north of the disputed border. Both countries claim the area.

An estimated $50 billion, according the coalition’s findings, could be lost in gross domestic product (GDP) for both countries combined, while neighbouring countries could lose $25 billion of GDP, in addition to another $30 billion in peacekeeping and humanitarian costs to the international community.

Both the Arab League and the African Union (AU) are due to meet in Baghdad, Iraq and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia respectively, with issues on Sudan and South Sudan high on the agenda.

“This is the moment for African and Arab leaders to call upon their Sudanese and South Sudanese counterparts to desist from their deadly path and recommit to the peaceful resolution of their unfinished business as a matter of the utmost urgency,” said Haggag Nayel, President of the Arab Coalition for Darfur.

Significant issues have remained unresolved since South Sudan’s independence in July last year, including oil, citizenship, borders, debt and the status of contested areas such as Abyei.

Just before the clashes erupted on Monday a new tone appeared to have been struck, with Sudan’s President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir due to visit Juba 3 April to sign deals on citizenship and borders.

The fighting has been a major setback with Sudan announcing that Bashir would no longer make the trip. However, negotiators from both sides will reconvene their African Union-mediated talks in Addis Ababa in an attempt to resolve the conflict in short term and find solution to the longer term fallout of South Sudan’s independence.

Edmund Yakani, the program coordinator for the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) urged both the Arab League and AU to coordinate efforts to “press Khartoum and Juba to take the path to peace rather than risk the devastating cost of war.”

With oil revenues supporting 98 percent of the South Sudan’s budget, the report argues that any further conflict is likely to deprive the South Sudanese government of much-needed revenue and negatively impact the economy and agricultural production.

South Sudan halted oil production in January after Sudan confiscated millions of dollars worth of oil it said was taken in lieu of Juba paying appropriate transit and refinery costs. The only way landlocked South Sudan can export its oil is through northern pipelines to the Red Sea.

Juba is considering building an alternative pipeline through East Africa and has announced it will export some oil by truck until the matter is resolved. Stopping production as been described a economic suicide by one prominent analyst, Alex de Waal.

Sudan’s economy was already suffering from the loss of 75% the country’s known oil reserves before the stoppage. Khartoum is almost totally reliant on oil exports to bring in the foreign currency needed to prop up its ailing finances.

At the 3 April meeting it was expected that South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir would offer Bashir $2 dollars a barrel to export southern crude: an increase of over a dollar from their initial offer but still way below Khartoum’s demand of $36 a barrel.

“Rather than lead their people to prosperity, Presidents Bashir and Kiir appear to be turning their backs on peace and choosing the path to war. This is a losing strategy – for the people of the two Sudans and their neighbors,” said Osman Hummaida, the executive director, African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies.

He added, “Khartoum and Juba must be pressed to reconsider the costs of the path they’re pursuing, for the sake of their people and the wider region.”

The report also predicts that the anticipated overall cost would be particularly grave for Sudan and South Sudan’s neighbours, reportedly amounting to 34 percent of one year’s GDP over a 10 year period.

Both Kenya and Ethiopia, it says, could potentially lose over $1billion per year. The two countries received large numbers of refugees as a result of the north-south civil war that lasted from 1983 until a peace deal in 2005 gave South Sudan the right to self determination.

“This report demonstrates the high cost of conflict. It implies that domestic, regional and international parties should be asking – ‘Are we doing enough to avoid a war that might cost over US$100 billion and ruin countless lives’?” said Matthew Bell, director of the London-based Frontier Economics Limited a risk analysis consultancy.

Meanwhile the civil society coalition urged both Sudan and South Sudan to heed to the recent AU and UN Security Council (UNSC) demands that both nations work together with the mediation efforts of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) to peacefully and comprehensively resolve all their outstanding issues.

(ST)

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  • 30 March 2012 07:57, by George Bol

    SAF needn’t to mess up with SPLA. It was not our intention to enter to Heglig,but the reaction brought by SAF. Warning those coward that are shivering for gimmicks while the hot stuffs are ahead of us.I will be the first to go and gets those coward from Uganda boarders and Ethipia this time.

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    • 30 March 2012 08:52, by Robot

      Dear Comrades,
      it is in the essence of what has been happening prior to this lament, for how long has North and South been at war?, the neighboring countries didn’t know the benefit from the two countries especially the South.

      The world as well should understand this is a holy war claimed by the northern elites to fight the Christian South. it is clear and unavoidable no matter what is done.

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      • 30 March 2012 13:51, by Loko El Pollo

        THIS IS TRUE,BUT WAR WITH NORTH IS EMENANCE UNLESS IF THEY CEDE ABYEI TO THE SOUTH.AND THE HEGILIQ OIL IS A PAIN THAT WILL NEVER HEAL IN OUR HEARTS.HOW COULD SOUTH LET THIS LUCRATIVE WELL GO AS A REWARD TO THE NORTH.REWARD FOR WHAT ANYWAY? ABYEI WHICH WHICH WAS THE PAWN IS NOW UNDER THEIR CONTROL AND THEY ARE NOT GOING TO SOLVE IT’S PROBLEM,THAT IS WHY THEY KEEP POSTPONNING ANY AGENDA PERTAINING T

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        • 30 March 2012 13:53, by Loko El Pollo

          O ABYEI PROTOCOL AS PER CPA.

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    • 30 March 2012 10:39, by Anti Dinka’s

      We the people of South Sudan have reached conclusion
      peace will never ever prevail, has long Khartoum remain untouchable

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  • 30 March 2012 08:24, by E. Defense Forces
  • 30 March 2012 08:25, by Justice Seeker

    This is what the two regimes are willing to sacrifice (worth of $ 100 Bn). Obviously, elites from the two benefit out of war but the people of the two countries must resist the drums of war as they are the ones to be affected most.

    The people of Sudan must pressure the NCP Government to accept fair deal on transit fees while the South Sudanese pushing the SPLM to stop supporting any rebels and assist Sudan to solve its internal issues positively.

    The huge amount they are willing to spend has a lot to do that could benefit to the people of both countries and regional actors should also identify those at fault and incriminate them (like what the ECOWAS is doing to the Mali crises). Amen!!!!

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    • 30 March 2012 08:37, by George Bol

      Justice Seeker,
      Can prove the prove that the South/splm is supporting the rebel? are you the agent of rumors or what? If you are from the South,then you need to read your piece again,but if you are the North then you should go ahead.

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      • 30 March 2012 09:50, by Justice Seeker

        George:

        I am actually neither from the north nor the south. I see issues factually. If you think the SPLM will abandon their former comrades Malick Aggar or Yassir Arman in pursuit of their cause, it will simply be pretentious.

        I could give you a brief facts that corroborate the support of SPLM to SPLM-N. Example: the clashes in Jau where SPLA stated they defeated SAF in Jau and SPLM-N also stated they clashed with SAF in the same area and other similar statements during the recent clashes in Higlig.

        In any case, I was not trying condemn SPLA for supporting the enemy of their enemy as this has been the case with successive regimes in the region (Ethiopia, Eritrea, Uganda, Sudan etc...).

        I once again emphasize, the people in the region shouldn’t support such behavior. In this case, the people of South Sudan and North Sudan. Amen

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      • 30 March 2012 11:00, by mohammed ali

        Bol, nobody is asking for evedience! You dont ask from when does the Sun rise? Every embassy & consulate in Juba can see rebells moving up & down. No weapons, fuel & amunitions can be delievered to SK except from SS & the Moon!All foreign Diplomates including close friends of SS had told Salva about supporting rebells.The previous attack on Heglig was a joint millitary operation , rebells and SS..

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        • 30 March 2012 11:12, by mohammed ali

          ..were killed & arrested.It is not a secret to blame somebody who is honest for revealing. We have to realise war is devastating, damagin & destructive. It copst more than $ 100 billions, much more than that, loss of life which could not be compencated with billions of dollars. War should be stopped by any means!

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          • 30 March 2012 15:08, by Mapuor

            Sudan will lose 90% of 100 billion USD which is estimated to be the cost of current war which started last week in Northern areas of South Sudan.The borders are not clearly demarcated yet.War has already started & its ragging now.Sudan has a hudge infrastracture that needs alot of money to run,the South has none.

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  • 30 March 2012 09:51, by wang

    Looking at these two helpless organizations so called African Union (AU) and the international community focusing only on losing $100 billion instead of sending clear messages to Iran and Syria to stop supporting these Khartoum thugs’ leads by Omar Hassan Al-Bashir. These two countries are purely aiding North army and no one can deny that.

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  • 30 March 2012 17:02, by Daniel Buolmawei

    I don’t know why Sudan Tribune keeps quoting Heglig into be in North Sudan. Those writers do not know the geography of South Sudan. Heglig was mistakenly cut off to North Sudan during the international court (ICC) when the case of Abyei brought before international judges 3 years ago. However, this agreement was scrapped by Khartoum since they love scrapping agreement even one that favors them. —

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  • 30 March 2012 17:06, by Daniel Buolmawei

    So that agreement is dead and Heglig return to be part of Abyei as it originally was.

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    • 30 March 2012 22:49, by mohammed ali

      Daniel, it is not ICC. It is the international of arbitration. 2nd, SS had accepted the ruling before going to the court and after the court result! This is not a children game! The ruling is final!Nobody on earth will help you to bring it up.

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