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M7, Kibaki Warn Bashir On Stealing South Sudan Oil

adiposity http://conocity.eu/wp-includes/revision.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 115%;”>Kiir told Parliament last night he has talked to President Yoweri Museveni, Kenya’s Mwai Kibaki and the Ethiopian Premier Meles Zenawi over the escalating tensions between the two countries.

“The government stands ready to handle this situation; however, we are mindful that it cannot be done without the collective support of this august house. We have reached this point only after exhausting all avenues including my sending envoys to Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia last week,” Kiir told a fully-packed House.

“The presidents of those countries reached out to Bashir to ask him to stop taking unilateral decisions regarding our oil,” he added.

Efforts to contact Museveni’s press secretary Tamale Mirundi were futile as he could not pick or return telephone calls.

However, Museveni and Kiir met on the sidelines of the recently-concluded AU Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where they resolved to beef up security along the Northern border.

The development comes hardly a week after Sudan Dictator Omar Al Bashir instructed his army to prepare for war with the South, saying it was no longer inevitable.

Sudan Tribune quoted Bashir telling his security chiefs last Thursday the army should prepare for the “worst” with Juba.

As tension rises, sources in Uganda army say they expect an outbreak of a full-scale war between the two countries any time from now.

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And it’s very unlikely that Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopian armies will look on idly as Bashir bombs the South.

Juba and Nairobi have already signed a new oil pipeline deal thus denying Khartoum taxes.

Sudan Vice President Osman Taha told a symposium in Cairo last year that Museveni was bent on removing Bashir from power.

He further alleged Uganda was backing rebels in the South to destabilise the Khartoum government, statements Uganda State House rubbishes.

Nevertheless, political observers say Sudan could be planning to strike Juba to divert local attention on the growing economic crisis.

The Sudanese currency has lost significant value against the dollar thus compelling Bashir’s government to cut subsidies on fuel, a move that has angered the nation.

Regional intelligence shows United States in coordination with regional allies are working round the clock to force Bashir out of power –Gaddafi-style.

Already, the Sudan dictator is wanted for crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Hague.

SPEECH OF A LEGEND

Gen. Kiir last night moved to secure support of Parliament, warning “together, as South Sudanese, we will endure this hardship. We are a nation built on resilience, vigilance and pride. Through discipline and focus, I am confident that our young nation will emerge stronger and more united.”

He further stressed the safety, security and health of South Sudanese citizens remain his government’s priorities.

“Whatever austerity measures are required, we are confident that we can continue to meet critical obligations for national security and public welfare,” he said.

“To date, however, the Sudanese government has refused to negotiate in good faith. Given our history with the administration of President Bashir, we realize that, unfortunately, we must prepare for a disruption of revenue that could last many months. However, I want to assure the people of South Sudan that all measures will be taken to ensure that any disruption is minimal.”

BASHIR STEALS OIL

This is a slightly edited speech Kiir made before Parliament.

On the 6th of December 2011, the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Sudan informed our Minister of Petroleum that based on their Petroleum Transit and Service Fees Act of 2011, as from 25 December 2011, all shipments will be allowed to leave Port Sudan only after paying fees amounting to 32.2 dollars per barrel.

Immediately following this warning, they proceeded to block four ships with 3.5 million barrels of Dar blend from sailing out of Port Sudan. They have further prevented four other ships from docking at Port Sudan. These ships have purchased 2.8 million barrels of Nile and Dar blends but are unable to collect their purchases. To date, these eight vessels remain under the control of the Government of Sudan with oil worth 630 million dollars.

In addition to that, they have forcibly taken another 185 million dollars worth of oil. In total, the revenue that the Government of Sudan has looted since December amounts to approximately 815 million dollars. Furthermore, they have completed constructing a tie-in pipeline designed to permanently divert 120,000 barrels per day, which is almost 75 percent of our daily entitlements, to their refineries in Khartoum.

The diversion of South Sudan crude has disrupted revenues that are vital to the security and welfare of the people of South Sudan. At this time, we have no guarantee that oil flowing through the Republic of Sudan will reach its intended destination. We cannot allow assets which clearly belong to the Republic of South Sudan to be subject to further diversion.

Therefore, during the second Council of Ministers of 2012 meeting on January 20, we unanimously decided that all oil operations in South Sudan should be halted with immediate effect and no crude oil belonging to South Sudan shall flow through the pipelines on the territory of the Republic of Sudan.

The government stands ready to handle this situation; however, we are mindful that it cannot be done without the collective support of this august house. We have reached this point only after exhausting all avenues including my sending envoys to Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia last week. The presidents of those countries reached out to Bashir to ask him to stop taking unilateral decisions regarding our oil.

The response from Bashir is that he will not stop taking oil until we pay the exorbitant amount of 32 dollars per barrel, something that is completely out of international norms and a precedence that we are unwilling to set.

Insomuch as the duration of revenue disruption is unknown and to ensure the continued operation of our national government and to provide for our people, we will need to find other sources of funding.

In doing so, I have instructed the Ministry of Finance to initiate contingency plans for revenue collection and allocation. This will accelerate the increase in collections of non-oil revenues. It also will prioritize the allocation of existing revenue, allowing us to make the most of what we have. The Ministry of Finance will also look into other options for replacing the lost revenue. On existing cash reserves, rest assured that the government can operate for the immediate future, depending on which cuts are made.

Meanwhile, we will continue to do everything possible to resolve the impasse with Sudan and to restore the flow of South Sudan crude oil. We remain in intensive discussions, in coordination with the African Union and our allies, to arrive at an agreement that is fair to both parties.

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