South Sudan orders Sudanese oil workers to leave
KHARTOUM – South Sudan has ordered 154 northern Sudanese nationals working for Chinese-led oil consortium, Petrodar, to leave its territories within 3 days, drawing Beijing once again into Juba’s conflict with Khartoum.
The news was announced from Khartoum on Tuesday by the official spokesman of Sudan’s Foreign Ministry, Al-Obaid Adam Marawih, who also revealed they were already engaged in contacts with South Sudan’s foreign ministry to discuss the possibility of sending a plane from Khartoum to take them back home.
Marawih pointed out that the Sudanese staffers were working for Petrodar in Fulug oilfield in South Sudan’s Upper Nile State.
The tension and military confrontations currently dominating relations between Khartoum and Juba can be traced back in part to their failure to agree on terms of using Sudan-based pipelines to export South Sudan’s oil.
China, which is the biggest investor in the oil sector on both sides of the border, was embroiled in the conflict despite its policy of balancing relations between Khartoum and Juba.
In February, as the oil dispute intensified with Juba halting production, South Sudan expelled the head of Petrodar, accusing him of complicity in Khartoum’s confiscation of southern oil.
South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir is currently on a visit to China where he is planning to ask Beijing to fund an alternative pipeline for exporting southern oil.
Sudan’s President Omer Al-Bashir announced following the end of fighting with South Sudan’s army last week around the oil-producing area of Heglig that Khartoum will never allow the south to export its oil via Sudan again.
- S. Sudan Withdraws from Heglig, Damages Revealed (alethonews.wordpress.com)
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