Home | News    Thursday 22 January 2015

S. Sudan accuses rebels of setting fire to oil facilities

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January 21, 2015 (JUBA) – The South Sudanese government has accused rebels of burning an oil facility under their control in restive Unity state.

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South Sudanese soldiers guard an oil refining facility (AFP)

The latest incident comes after the South Sudanese army (SPLA) downplayed threats from rebel forces earlier this month, saying it remains in full control of oil fields in both Unity and Upper Nile states.

South Sudan’s minister of information, Michael Makuei Lueth, told reporters in the capital, Juba, on Wednesday that oppositions forces are on the offensive in both Upper Nile and Unity states.

“The rebels have been on offensive in the whole of last week in Renk area (in Upper Nile) and we managed to repulse [them] and we captured two stores from them,” said Lueth.

The minister reported that oppositions forces had been shelling Renk town on Wednesday.

Lueth, who also doubles as the government’s official spokesman, said rebel forces loyal to former vice-president Riek Machar in neighbouring Unity state, had begun destroying infrastructure under their control, including oil installations in Pariang county, which were reportedly set alight on Monday.

“This area is an area where the production of some many oil wells are pooled and directed to the processing centre in Helgili. They (rebels) set this place on fire. It was not operational of course since that is under the rebels [control],” he told reporters at the information ministry headquarters.

“The fire was burning up to yesterday (Tuesday), but we don’t how far have it [has] gone now. Of course, if oil starts to burn, the fire follows the oil wherever it is up to the wells,” he added.

South Sudan’s oil production has decreased to one quarter of its usual output since conflict broke out in mid-December 2013 following an internal political dispute in the ruling SPLM party.

Production has ceased in Unity state and only barrels in Upper Nile are functional, according to officials.

The latest incident violates an agreement brokered by China in Khartoum on 12 January in which both government and rebel forces committed to protecting oil facilities and foreign workers.

“I think it is a very, very important thing – that they (the Chinese) wanted the assurance that these institutions are properly protected and not to be destroyed in any form,” South Sudan’s foreign affairs minister, Barnaba Marial Benjamin, said following the meeting.

China is the largest investor in South Sudan’s oil industry, the country’s main source of revenue.

However, Lueth says recent developments have already out those commitments to the test.

“Before the ink from [the] Khartoum [agreement] could dry, they (rebels) decided to make this attack,” he said.

Efforts by Sudan Tribune to contact the country’s rebel faction for comment on the recent allegations were unsuccessful.

Thousands have been killed and about 1.9 million displaced from their homes since the conflict broke out.

Peace talks between the warring parties, which are being mediated by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) have so far failed to yield a lasting political settlement to the crisis, despite growing international pressure for both sides to set aside their differences.

The government insists that the rebel faction’s leadership is not interested in reaching a peaceful settlement to end the conflict.

“Meanwhile, we are talking in Arusha for the unification of the party and stopping this war, [and] the rebels on the other side are attacking our positions and destroying the most important facility that we have in South Sudan and that is the oil facility,” said Lueth, referring to intra-SPLM party dialogue currently underway in Tanzania.

(ST)

- South Sudan army says oil fields under full protection
- S. Sudan provides assurances for safety of Chinese oil workers

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  • 22 January 2015 06:30, by Michael Miyom Minyiel

    This area where rebels set on fire was not under the rebels but set it on fire as they were advancing to the county head quarter but were defeated.
    Why not setting tharjath on fire if this is not tribally motivated?

    repondre message

    • 22 January 2015 07:20, by Lotodo Awino Odug

      That is what happen when you follow hopeless people to the last destination.They tend to destroy everything because they are militias who do know the meaning of value,they do not care because they are bastards with nothing to lose in life.

      repondre message

    • 23 January 2015 05:32, by Nyachebe

      Makuei AKA ‘KACKE’, when are you gonna be able to one day admit truth? Let’s study the logical understanding here for those who have brains except Makuei AKA ‘KACKE’: If rebels have been controlling this place as Makuei mentioned, how come they never set this facility on fire before, just to set it on fire today? Bizarre bustard! This is a white lie which is concocted to accuse rebels to foreign o

      repondre message

      • 23 January 2015 05:35, by Nyachebe

        il company specifically Chinese for your failed government to earn more foreign support. What I learned from ground is that while rebels were advancing towards Pariang yesterday, the government pee or urinated in their pants and started setting this facility on fire to gain Chinese sympathy. The whole of Pariang County has been under government

        repondre message

        • 23 January 2015 05:36, by Nyachebe

          pee or urinated in their pants and started setting this facility on fire to gain Chinese sympathy. The whole of Pariang County has been under government control for very long duration, so Mr. Minister AKA Makuei ‘KACKE’ never allows your fool mouth always to fool you!

          repondre message

  • 22 January 2015 07:19, by Junta

    Dear Opposition and Government. Can both of you be civilised enough to desist from plunder of the country’s important installations. Whatever the reason, non of you should not tamper with the important oil infrastructure. Don Not bite the fingers that feed you!

    repondre message

    • 22 January 2015 11:05, by Mr Point

      Why is the oil so important?

      Where are the services that the oil should have provided? Oil has been the fuel of government corruption.

      Why does the Juba faction care more for the oil than for the hundreds who were tortured, raped, murdered in Kiir’s fake coup in December 2013?

      repondre message

      • 22 January 2015 14:19, by Hardlinner

        Mr point, set ur nuer mentality aside and think like rational human being. Oil installations do not belong to opposion or government but they belong to whole nation. What kind leadership does rebels want to implement if they can’t respect national infrastructures. U hv right to shut oil flow but u have no right in burning installations. Nuer are surely attacking the nation not kiir government.

        repondre message

        • 22 January 2015 17:17, by Mr Point

          @Hardlinner

          What kind of government kills its own citizens?
          What kind of government has achieved massive levels of corruption since independence?
          What kind of government failed to deliver any services to its citizens.

          Kiir’s government started a war on the people and on the constitution.

          repondre message

  • 22 January 2015 07:20, by Junta

    Dear Opposition and Government. Can both of you be civilised enough to desist from plunder of the country’s important installations. Whatever the reason, non of you should not tamper with the important oil infrastructure. Don Not bite the fingers that feed you!

    repondre message

  • 22 January 2015 16:45, by Kim Deng

    It’s better for this Jungle (South Sudan) to be destroyed and burn down to ashes rather than being called "Dinka Kingdom."

    repondre message

  • 22 January 2015 23:46, by Kim Deng

    The Mighty Nuer Warriors (MNW) are more than ready to face Coward Jaang/Slaves and their allies not matter how long this war may last.

    http://nyamile.com/2015/01/22/spla-juba-tanks-destroyed-in-failed-attempts-to-recapture-oil-fields/

    repondre message

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