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Khartoum, Juba deploy joint forces to protect oil fields

July 19, 2018 (JUBA) - South Sudan and Sudan have effectively deployed a joint border joint force to protect oil fields, said South Sudan’s Minister of Petroleum Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth.

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South Sudan’s petroleum minister Ezekiel Gatkouth makes opening remarks at the Oil and Power conference in Juba, October 16, 2017 (APO)

"The government authorities in Sudan and South Sudan have deployed a military force on the borders of the two countries to secure the oil fields and pipeline from any criminal activity," said Minister Gatkuoth in statements to the Arabic service of the Turkish news agency Anatolia.

South Sudanese warring parties signed a permanent ceasefire on June 27 and pledged to finalize a deal on the pending issues in the governance chapter of the 2015 peace agreement.

The Khartoum Declaration of Agreement, also, provided to resume immediately the rehabilitation of the damaged oil installations in the Unity region, Blocks 1,2, 4 and 5 in collaboration with the Sudanese government

He added that his country will resume oil production from the Unity region in September, after the completion of technical works with the assistance of the Sudanese oil ministry.

"Within two months from now, we will produce oil from the fields of Unity region, and export it through the port of Port Sudan," the minister said.

In a bid to increase pressures on the government of President Salva Kiir to end the civil war, on 21 March 2018 Washington imposed sanctions on 15 South Sudanese oil companies which were seen as important sources of cash for the government.

The U.S. Department of Commerce didn’t freeze assets but requires that U.S. and foreign companies doing business with the listed South Sudanese operators first obtain a license.

The South Sudan Ministry of Mining, the South Sudan Ministry of Petroleum, and state oil firm Nile Petroleum and associated companies have been blacklisted.

(ST)