Home | News    Monday 17 February 2014

S. Sudan acknowledges rebel threat to oilfields


February 16, 2014 (JUBA) - South Sudan’s oil minister said on Sunday that if the current conflict continues it could undermine oil production and its export to international markets through the territory of neighbouring Sudan.

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A worker walks at the power plant of an oil processing facility at an oilfield in Unity State April 22, 2012 (Reuters)

"The oil continues to flow normally in Upper Nile but there is a growing threat around the oil fields. There have been repeated attempts by the rebels to attack some areas in Adar and Paloch but they were repulsed", Stephen Dhieu Dau, South Sudan’s minister of petroleum, told Sudan Tribune on Sunday.

However "the government is capable to provide protection to oil workers and operators", he further added.

The minister’s comments follow threats from the rebels to close down oil production should government forces continue to carry out attacks on areas under the control of their forces in different parts of the country.

Some of South Sudan’s oil fields have been targeted in the fighting leading output dropping to 200,000 barrels per day down from 240,000 bpd. Despite production resuming last year after a 15 month shutdown when Juba and Khartoum could not agree on oil transit fees and other issues related to South Sudan’s separation from Sudan in July 2011.

At independence, South Sudan’s oil production was around 350,000 bpd, before Juba ordered the China National Petroleum Corp, India’s ONGC Videsh and Malaysia’s Petronas to halt production.

Work in some fields has been suspended due to lack of staff to run the facilities, with many foreign nationals evacuated and most South Sudanese having to flee for security reasons.


A ceasefire deal signed at end of January 23 failed to stop the fighting in Jonglei and the oil-producing states of Unity and Upper Nile.

"The government of Salva Kiir doesn’t want peace, nor does it care about the country as a whole", Yien Mathew Chol, a senior rebel official told Sudan Tribune on Sunday.

According to Chol, Kiir’s disregard for the well-being of the nation was illustrated by his decision to invite the Ugandan military, who have been accused of using cluster bombs, to help him fight the rebellion.

"They are paying Ugandan army to use banned weapons in this conflict. The intention is to eliminate our people from the existence, which is unacceptable. Our people have the right to organise and seek any support from anybody to acquire arms to defend themselves" Chol said.

Juba’s admission that it is paying the Ugandan troops who are operating in the country has drawn strong criticism from both the armed and political opposition. Chol said that the government should stop wasting the South Sudan oil revenues on funding foreign forces.

Chol, who is a former spokesperson for the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), accused the government of repeated attacks on the positions of forces allied to the former Vice President Riek Machar in different parts of the country.

"We have continued to receive reports of repeated attacks on the positions of our forces in different parts of the country. They do that every day in Upper Nile and Unity. They killed prominent chiefs in Panyijar County in the attack that was carried out by government forces from Lakes state", he said.

East African observers are due to be deployed to South Sudan to witness whether the two sides a sticking to the cessation of hostilities agreement.


However, the Upper Nile state information minister, Philip Jiben Ogal denied that government forces in the area carried out attacks on areas under the rebel control, claiming that rebels attacked the position of the South Sudanese army (SPLA).

"The SPLA forces in Upper Nile state received [a] briefing from the governor and the sector commander, Lieutenant General Johnson Gony Bilieu, when the cessation of hostilities agreement was signed. They had [a] full briefing about the agreement and so they have never carried out any attack instead it is the rebels who have carried out repeated attacks since the cessation of hostilities agreement was signed", Minister Ogal told Sudan Tribune on Sunday.

Ogal said that a rebel attack on Thur-Gwang in Manyo county a week ago, resulted in the death of at least 17 people and the destruction of many houses belonging predominantly to members of Shilluk community. The attackers, he said, were repulsed by the government troops in the area on Monday 10 February.

"This attack was carried out by a force which rebelled from Wadakona in support of Riek Machar. They are now wandering about in the forests of Manyo County, terrorising [the] innocent civil population", he said.

"There was also a fighting on Friday south of Malakal town. It was in Pigi County in Jonglei state but which is not very far from Malakal. It was within the area of Canal, just north of Jonglei state", he added.

Ogal repeated the claims of the oil minister that there was an attempt by the rebels - known as the SPLM-in-Opposition - to move to areas which host oil fields in Adar and Paloch on Monday 10 February "but they were defeated by the SPLA forces".

The rebel’s attacks on Makal and Panyikang counties were also repulsed, he said.

"The intention for attacking these two areas was to divert the attention of the SPLA forces from the attack on the oil fields but this tactic was discovered already and the SPLA forces were deployed in an advance because we have the information they would attack these places", he explained.

Hussein Mar, a key rebel official taking part in the talks with the government’s delegation in Addis Ababa said their forces control 90% of the areas where oil is produced in the states of Upper Nile and Unity.

"We do not want to close down the oil because other parties would be hurt. Closing the oil fields has not been one of our objectives otherwise our forces would have closed them down long time ago because we control 90% of the areas where oil is produced in both Unity and Upper Nile state", Mar said on Sunday.

The SPLM-in-Opposition official said government forces have only dug themselves into trenches in towns but that much of the rest of the greater Upper Nile region was under their control.

"Do your assessment and you will find that the Salva Kiir’s forces and their Ugandan mercenaries and Sudanese rebels have only dug themselves in trenches in towns but much of the area is under our control. This is a clear reality. No single county in Jonglei, Upper Nile or Unity is under complete control of the president Kiir’s forces”, Mar claimed on Sunday.

Juba has denied that Sudanese rebels have fought with South Sudanese army against the SPLM-in-Opposition and refused the rebel’s demand that the Ugandan army be withdrawn.

Mar was reacting to reports alleging that the rebels have drawn their support based on ethnic allegiances. Machar is an Nuer while President Kiir is a Dinka, however both sides have supporters from a variety of South Sudan’s many tribes.

The destruction of most of Bor town and the mass killing of civilians has led many South Sudanese to draw parallels with the 1991 split in the SPLA when Machar’s forces attacked the Jonglei state capital killing around 2,000 people.

"The current conflict has nothing to do with the past which some people seem dwell on it but it is a war by people who are fighting to survive and rescue their own family members and relatives because the government of Salva Kiir has become a tribal government”, Mar commented.

During the first days of the conflict in the capital Juba, Nuer civilians were targetted by members of the security services, 100 of whom of been arrested according the government.

At least 10,000 people have been killed according to some estimates, while over 700,000 people have been displaced inside South Sudan and around 150,000 have fled to nearby countries.

Lawmakers in South Sudan’s national parliament told Sudan Tribune on Sunday that four counties in Upper Nile state are controlled by forces allied to the former vice president, Riek Machar.

"Unless there is a new development to the information I know. The government now controls Malakal town and few others but the four counties of Nasir, Ulang, Longichuk and Maiwut are under [the] rebels" an Upper Nile MP who did not want to be named said on Sunday.

"The rebels also seem to control most areas in Jonglei and Unity. This is a big security challenge. It is also a threat to stability and peace”, the legislator told Sudan Tribune.


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South Sudan oil exports have to go through its northern neighbour (...)
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  • 17 February 2014 05:29, by Mi diit

    We will capture all the oilfields soon, control its revenues and share it with Khartoum, and see where you corrupt regime will pay your Ugandan husbands. You will suffocate by March or April. Juba will be found empty because there will be no volunteers without the money. Ahahahaaaaaaaaa........

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    • 17 February 2014 05:33, by Mi diit

      Oil workers in Paluj are now fleeing for their lives. Soon it will be closed. Yes it is better to close it because it is not benefiting the people of South Sudan any way. It is benefitting only cohorts allied to Kiir and Museveni. The money is going to Kampala to pay for Uganda army. We will not allow this to continue. Soon rebels will control the oil fields. It is already besieged...

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      • 17 February 2014 05:34, by Mi diit

        We will soon squeeze your throat, suffocate you and see you dying slowly by March or April.

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        • 17 February 2014 15:10, by Rommel

          Mi diit:
          Ah, I see... you will ’share’ the oil revenue with Khartoum. Pray tell, how in any way is this actually a departure from the symbiotic relationship that Riek sought, established and nurtured with Khartoum during the 90s!? It was Riek and Matip that enabled Khartoum to clear our oilfields, exploit its resources and wage war on our people.

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          • 17 February 2014 15:14, by Rommel

            When the oilfields were cleared by Matip, the Arab supremacist, genocidal regime in Khartoum was then able to execute its war on our people with devastating weaponry acquired through the exploitation of our oil. Your Arab ’husbands’ used you like dogs.

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            • 17 February 2014 15:15, by Rommel

              Do you recall the decades in which you defended oilfields on behalf of the Arab oligarchy? Do you recall how you were so desperately reliant upon their weapons, ammunition, supplies, logistical support and food relief? Do you recall the military engagements that you executed in tandem with Khartoum?

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              • 17 February 2014 15:40, by Rommel

                The Ugandans have only thus far provided and deployed three [3] to four [4] battalions in South Sudan. That’s a drop in the ocean when contrasted with what Khartoum did for you. The Dinka had to contend with an enemy [your erstwhile ally], that was well furnished with a palette of destructive weaponry and over 100, 000 men, accompanied by bombers, jets, and helicopter gunships...

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                • 17 February 2014 15:45, by Rommel

                  ...And tens of thousands of aligned militiamen — the PDF and the Murahaleen, and tens of thousands of Khartoum compliant Nuer militiamen. I don’t want foreign intervention of any kind, but if you’re going to condemn people and bespatter them with smug charges of cowardice... know that we too can dredge up your documented history of forming alliances with Khartoum.

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                  • 17 February 2014 15:46, by Rommel

                    Allow me to cite for you the work of a historian:
                    Throughout the fighting, not one war casualty was admitted to the Nasir hospital. Riek’s troops sat idle as Khartoum pushed back the Dinka. The results of Riek’’s sell-out to Khartoum could not have been more glaring. The Dinka suffered mightily. (Me Against My Brother: At War in Somalia, Sudan and Rwanda, Scott Peterson)

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                    • 17 February 2014 15:48, by Rommel

                      You see this is what happens when you speak the truth — there will always be evidence upon evidence to back you up. Isn’t it grand? Your post appeals to emotion, bias, ethnocentrism and the distrust of established facts. Your ’arguments’ are already dead, you just don’t know it, yet.

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                      • 17 February 2014 15:51, by Rommel

                        When Khartoum’s aircraft bombed the Dinka for thirteen [13] years following your defection, operating in tandem with your militias on the ground... Was that not cowardice!? Or do you suppose that you are entitled to an exemption from the demands of a moral code that you don’t actually prescribe to!?

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                        • 17 February 2014 16:12, by Rommel

                          You had an alliance with Khartoum that absolutely devastated the Dinka population, and so you’re in no position to complain. The Arabs bought entire divisions to fight the Dinka. The Arabs fought beside you. The Arabs fed you. The Arabs gave you weapons, ammunition and logistical support. Why are you people unwilling to discuss your previous alliance with Khartoum!? You people are hypocrites!

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      • 17 February 2014 05:46, by chol

        Idiots Mi Diit waging war on internet is not the same as in battlefield there is difference,but you will never understand.Nuers will finish for good just as Ngundeng predicted.

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        • 17 February 2014 06:38, by Mi diit

          Ahahaaa...so you also believe in Ngundeng’s prophecy? Well, let me tell you what Ngundeng prophesied about this war. He said the Dinka will first strike hard against the Nuer, but the Nuer’s response will be disastrous on the Dinka and score a final victory in this tribal war. My friend, Kiir has started a war with bad ending for you. Terrible!!!

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    • 17 February 2014 05:34, by Lotodo Awino Odug

      Let them fight, they will stop when they feel the heat. spla is no match to hungry militias.

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      • 17 February 2014 05:46, by Mi diit

        Poor Lotodo hiding far away not knowing what is happening on the ground. SPLA is dying of hunger because the money is going to Uganda army. Also poor citizens are dying. Only Kiir and his officials are feeding themselves. But soon they will have no money for their big bellies. They will join the hunger and run away to look for their stolen, hidden money in foreign countries. You will be left alone

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        • 17 February 2014 06:23, by Majongdit

          The rebels continue to break the cessation of hostilities agreement. Dr Riek has not calculated the implication of this war. He will surely one day get what he has been asking for: death. We the Dinka did not take this war the way we took up arm the war against Arabs. Riek Juba 15 Dec coup plans failed. He does not know that his plan to temper with oilfields may cause him a terrible damage.

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          • 17 February 2014 07:09, by Paul Chadrack

            the rebel should have make closing down of oil fields their first target and wait to see where mr bhar el gazel president will pay the UPDF and his corrupt militias. then we would have been in peace since last month.now rebel should close down those upper nile oil fields within this week because s sudanese are not going to benefit from it,let will remain under ground for future generation to come.

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            • 17 February 2014 08:00, by michael coma

              This dirty war will end soon but people like Hussein Maar and Duop Lam will never fart again in Bor town.Hussein Maar was enjoying Jonglei govt more than Kuol Manyang.Maar used to leaved his office to freedom hotel just to go and defecated only so that people will know him as deputy governor.His disable leg was having budget within govt but now nothing like that.

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              • 17 February 2014 08:06, by Mi diit

                Hussein Maar is your next governor of Jonglei state. We will not allow another shit to rule Jonglei again. You were lucky that we allowed minorities to rule it. This time will not happen again.

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    • 17 February 2014 08:11, by Konkooc

      nuer before closed part of thier nuer oil in unity state and that of Dinka in Pariang not. now the richest Dinka oil field in Maluth County Paloch payam will be protected by whole Dinka till the hungry nuer come to it knees. the oil of Upper Nile state Maluth County does not belong to nuer it Belong to Dinka.

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      • 17 February 2014 08:15, by Konkooc

        In Upper Nile only nuer counties in rebel control eg nasir, ulang, maiwut and longechuk and the rebel are now dying of hunger there they lazy nuer do not have a food in that counties that is why are now roaming to loot for something to eat.

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        • 17 February 2014 08:21, by Konkooc

          nuer will never rule Dinka till Jesus come.
          this how South Sudan will be governed
          Dinka Regions
          nuer region
          Latuko region
          Bari region
          Shilluk region etc
          am afriad that nuer will rule themselves

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          • 17 February 2014 09:10, by Bentiu son

            Konkooc,son of bastard brought up with our Greater Upper Nile oil money by thievery uncles/mums/dads.Dinka thugs keep on this impossible illusion that Nuer will never rule South Sudan till Jesus Christ return.Well,unless we shall have two South Sudans one nation for Dinka Kingdom and another ones for Nuer or non Dinkas.Otherwise your statement is childish ones.How comes slaves threat their masters

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            • 17 February 2014 09:46, by Konkooc

              son of bentiu
              You destroyed nuer oil in Tharjath. The Dinka Oil in Northern Uppper county Maluth belong to Dinka. do your stupid thing in bentiu and stay there. we will soon attack the nuer of ulang,longechuk,maiwut and nasir soon. Dinka offensive forces are on their way to all these counties to capture these counties and make it a battle field. all will ran and jion the gajaak nuer in gambela.

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              • 17 February 2014 09:52, by Konkooc

                No more Konkooc from Dinka. the game is tit for tat till hungry nuer come to it knees. now nuer with their stupid phd looter riek turn themselves to be last class citizen becuase of their devilish behavior.

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              • 17 February 2014 09:57, by Konkooc

                mind you son
                am from Dinka of greater upper nile you said and brought up with Dinka resources.

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    • 17 February 2014 14:48, by Johndumo14

      Dr Riek Machar,has nice homes around the World,has stollen millions of dollars ,he was Vice president for the last 8 years,despite all the crimes he commited during the 1991.
      People forgave him,and gave him the job of Vice President,he is not satisfied ,Again he is a rebel leader in the hjungle,what does he realy want?? Thousands have already been killed,will he be the president of grave yard??

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    • 17 February 2014 23:04, by San Manyuon

      I hope u’re a sound minded person and if so, then are u so far from SS that u don’t see the impacts of war on citizens? 2nd, so many Southern Sudanese including some Nuer could not find any reason(s) for you guys uprising, can u elaborate some of those. I believe many Southern Sudanese acknowledged the mistake that Kiir gov’t did, weather he ordered the killing or not. Waiting 4 u list.

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    • 17 February 2014 23:20, by San Manyuon

      I believe u’re away from SS, but I bet SS is not sharing Oil revenue with Sudan. Sudan instead is getting commission for us running the oil through them. U just mentioned that "u will share the revenue with Sudan", u’re not a spokesman, but do the rebel really believe what u just wrote? Let me tell u this, Riek is using fellow Nuer for his personal aspiration for presidency seek, think.

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  • 17 February 2014 12:31, by Ross

    What a shame from Minister of information for Upper Nile State, why don’t you tell the truth about attacks being done by Government forces. First you are not on ground at Malakal you already ran to Rank in which you just only hear what is being said by civilians when your forces are being chase away.

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  • 17 February 2014 12:39, by Jalaby

    "S. Sudan acknowledges rebel threat to oilfields"
    So what does that mean? You need Sudan to intervene and fight rebel inside S Sudan territory in the excuse of securing the oil fields?
    Sudan responsibility is to secure the pipeline and refineries inside its land but not inside foreign country land hence S Sudan should secure their oil fields in their land!

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    • 17 February 2014 12:49, by Jalaby

      I believe this is another desperate attempt by Dinka to drag Sudan army foot by toning song that may attract Sudan and then dance with them!
      No, Sudan and S Sudan do not have an agreement that allows SAF to fight rebels inside the south!
      Sudanese people can understand why they died before in the south but for what reason should they die now after the south separated?

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      • 17 February 2014 12:54, by Jalaby

        Sorry Dinka,as Arab/Jalaba,we are not cheap people that you give us few oil and then we come and fight the rebel in the south and die for few money,we’re not mercenaries,go to Ugandans and bribe them and for sure they will come and fight with you Nuer as what they are doing now!
        Why should we fight in the south and die whether the south united or separated from north?

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        • 17 February 2014 18:22, by michael coma

          later you will cry if rebels shut down oilfields.We will clear out our own rebels not you idiots to come and help us while your rebels are digging holes in your asses.Will defect this cockroaches simple like the way we did to both of you during two decades of war.

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        • 18 February 2014 00:24, by Gordon

          Hallo Jalaby, didn’t you recognize that "South Sudan" doesn’t exist any longer? Has been a short chapter in the history of your country. More than 300 people are leaving daily, (Al Jazeera). The remaining are killing themselves. Tell Bashir to send a note to UN that the southern provinces now will be part of Sudan again. Kind regards!

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          • 18 February 2014 01:29, by Gordon

            People of "South Sudan" have given evidence that they are not able to run a country. What could you await from these bush fighters, who took over by chance the rule of this country? They just filled their private pockets, didn’t care a shit for the welfare of the people. I can’t see anybody or institution who can help. So it is up to Al Bashir to take over the responsibily of the old country, SUDA

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            • 18 February 2014 02:18, by Gordon

              Cont.: A SUDAN, UNDIVIDED! There is a chance, if he could understand that he is ruling in a country with so many different tribes, which just doesn’t want anything else than to be recognized as being equal to the law, no second class people, and gettting an equal share of the wealth of your country. Most neccesary: Al Bashir should forget about Islam ruling this country! But that’s your problem!

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