Sudan and South Sudan, the world’s newest state which gained independence last year from the former, have continued to bicker over oil payments, with South Sudan accusing its northern neighbour of holding on to its oil shipments, which it sends through Sudan’s pipeline for loading at Port Sudan.
Claiming that it does not intend to “produce oil for the Republic of Sudan,” South Sudan government spokesperson, Barnaba Marial, told Reuters on Friday: “The ministry of petroleum and mining will sit down to start a technical process that will lead to a decision that will lead to a complete shutdown,” .
“That will be in a week or two weeks. We have taken this decision because South Sudan is not benefiting from oil. It is being taken by force by the Republic of Sudan, and the oil that is going through the pipeline is being looted.”
The news wire quoted the official as positing: “Why would the Republic of South Sudan produce oil for the Republic of Sudan?”
South Sudan claimed on 10 January that Khartoum had diverted its oil to their own (Sudan’s) refineries and storage facilities and prevented the loading or departure of five tankers meant to carry 3.4 million barrels of crude out of Port Sudan.
The north said it had not stolen the oil but is taking its share in kind until a transit deal is agreed.