Home | News    Monday 26 September 2011

Sudanese president warns of other options if no deal reached on oil with Juba


September 25, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir issued a veiled threat to the newly established Republic of South Sudan (RoSS) that an agreement on oil transit fees must be reached by the end of October.

Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir (AFP)

In an interview with the London-based al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper, Bashir stressed that the main purpose of the fees charged for transporting oil produced in RoSS is to shore up the budget shortfall in Sudan after the south’s secession.

“For oil, the reality says that there are two neighboring countries that have to coexist together. Oil which was part of the north must be compensated in the transitional period if a [budget] gap happens within the coming four years due to loss of oil,” Bashir said.

Following South Sudan’s official independence last July, Sudan lost 75% of the oil reserves that existed under the united country. Prior to the country’s breakup, Sudan produced close to 500,000 barrels per day.

But the landlocked south needs the pipelines in the north that transport the oil for exportation through Port Sudan.

Sudan has been hoping that fees assessed on using its oil infrastructure will help recover part of the revenue lost with the south’s independence. But the two neighbors have yet to agree on what the fair fee should be per barrel.

Sudanese officials have reportedly asked RoSS for $32 per barrel which was swiftly rejected by Juba and described as "daylight robbery".

But Bashir suggested that this rate was agreed for in principle by South Sudan which would help shore up the funding shortfall he estimated at $10 billion.

“[I]t was agreed to cover the [budget] gap is by taking $32 for each barrel of the south’s oil which is exported through Sudan,” the Sudanese president said.

“We have given the Government of South Sudan a transitional period during which an agreement would be reached by the end of the month of October,” he added.

“If we don’t reach a solution we have our options to resolve this issue,” Bashir warned without elaborating.

In August, Khartoum blocked an oil shipment in Port Sudan belonging to RoSS over non-payment of custom duties before releasing it later. It was not clear on what terms Sudan agreed to let the shipment sail to its destination.

RoSS officials said that any payment will be put on hold until a deal is reached through negotiations in Addis Ababa under the auspices of an African Union panel chaired by former South African president Thabo Mbeki.

The worsening economic situation in Sudan in the form of soaring inflation and acute shortage of hard currency is adding to pressure on policymakers in Khartoum who want a quick resolution of this item.

The Sudanese finance minister Ali Mahmood Hassanein this month said that the country needs no less than $1.3 billion to cover the budget deficit.

Furthermore, the Bank of Sudan (BoS) governor Mohamed Khair al-Zubeir said he asked Arab countries to deposit funds into his institution and commercial banks.

"I have requested the governors to deposit some reserves in the central bank and also in Sudanese commercial banks," al-Zubeir told Reuters in an interview after a meeting of Arab central bankers in Qatar’s capital this month.

Zubeir said he did not ask for a precise amount, but said: "We of course need about $4 billion for this year”.


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  • 26 September 2011 07:59, by Isaac Khamis

    Dear Bashir, South Sudan has been without oil for 22 years of the war and we have survives so your options are threat to us. We can built our piplines and refinery for less than three years and we can still go up with development without oil money because we have many friends which can gave us for mentioned.

    • 1 October 2011 13:21, by Northern supporter

      not a thread to you but for south sudan.and yes before there was oil south sudan survived but how? they moved to the north and on that time it was united.there is no unity were will you go?you said you can survive for 3years till you make your own pipe its like saying’stay hungry people till we have a pipe’90% of the the budget is from oil.you even dont have enough money for a pipeline.

  • 26 September 2011 08:03

    The fugitives’ ring leader must understand that the time of threats, divide-and-rule and intimidation from the North aganist the South in Sudan has passed onto history and will never help the North anymore.

    It is up to the sons and daughters of North Sudan to leave their affairs in the hands of NIF criminals lead by Al-Bashir to destroy the reamaining part of Old Sudan, or remove the thugs.

  • 26 September 2011 08:06, by Ahmed Chol

    “If we don’t reach a solution we have our options to resolve this issue,” Bashir warned without elaborating

    Is Madut Biar still thinking of sending 90,000 SPLA homes according to what the UN told the GOSS.

    I see a future where we will experience multiple invasions from North. They can just come and destroy what they waand go back untouched.
    Ahmed Chol, whatever begins in anger, ends in sham

  • 26 September 2011 08:10, by Ahmed Chol

    “If we don’t reach a solution we have our options to resolve this issue,” Bashir said.

    I see a future where we will experience multiple invasions from the north. They will use these kinds of invasions as scare tactics to get what they want. South Should be equipped and prepared for the Abyei style invasion.

    Ahmed Chol, whatever begins in anger ends in shame

  • 26 September 2011 08:14

    Thanks Sudan Tribune website master for introducing the rules of the game. Make sure you filter all those unwelcome comments of racism, tribalism and so forth and allow only reasonable arguments.

    Now to the topic. Bashir should not pollute the negotiations by issuing such threats. It doesn’t help in the good spirit of negotiations with South Sudann.

  • 26 September 2011 08:17

    Congratulations to Sudantribune for its internal regulations on comments. I thought "No Fake Names should be amongst the rules". Comments writers need to clearly identify themselves if the editor wants to see bad comments disappear and replace by responsible comments. But should I praise the Northerners who insult Southerners in their comments in Rayaam Arabic Newspapers?

  • 26 September 2011 08:21

    Please Mr. Bashir,
    If it were not for greed or ill-intentions for RoSS, isn’t better to get 0.5$ or anything that does not exceed 5$ per barrel other than get nothing after shutting down the pipes? Please you should stop eyeing for big things out of blue at the expenses of others. Better revise your fashion of handling critical issues otherwise you will crumble.

  • 26 September 2011 08:32

    Al Basher,

    To Hell with your threat coz Southerners are used to any situation before Oil comes,so what about you who were not used to what will happen to you Basher. Test the sweetness of the hardship and let us know please.

  • 26 September 2011 08:34, by whatsayyou

    RoSS! see in to it clearly,Bashir want to replace the gap of his bedget with our oil ,this is not exceptible.
    His warning is not doing anything to scar us ,i know Beny KIIR, Barnabas, and the rest of senior officials in RoSS will not except another robbery again for ever and ever. If it means shuting down of pipelines by Murderer Bashir let it be, we shall use another machanism for survible.

  • 26 September 2011 09:35, by agutthon

    The SPLM led government must stop transporting oil through insatiable Sudan of El Bashir. think of other options.

  • 26 September 2011 09:36, by wanibuluk ciciliba

    This is a turff moment; I do not know how far the RoSS has gone in dealing with the options to eliminate such un pleasant warnings. I hear people talking about transfer of a City to another location leaving the Idea of the construction of pipelines to an alternative Country which is the most paramount issue or did you think the oil which was sold once by chance was enough?
    See the option of Bashi

  • 26 September 2011 10:20

    The RoSS,should be very carefully with NCP on the Oil agreement into the price, or let us forget about the pipeline from the north sudan to Port sudan, and to the main world market.
    By lossing 75% is very great amount,what we can see now , the war aircraft use against our brothers in S Kordofan & Blue Nile states are our oil which brought all these


  • 26 September 2011 11:29

    Dear South Sudan.
    Why are we not having another alternative to export our oil.For example borrow money to construct pipeline to East African port. it will need just two years of sacrifice. it is not good to agree on 32 dollar per Barrel Khartoum is demanding suppose price of oil fall then we will be loosing while Khartoum will gain.

  • 26 September 2011 11:35, by Abugua

    Dear South Sudanese leaders,
    Why are we not having an alternative other than Khartoum to export our oil. Let us borrow money and construct a pipeline to east Africa. it just need sacrifice for two years suffering

  • 26 September 2011 11:52

    Mr. President,

    Don’t waste your time with RoSS, these people cannot make any decision, you never know how they take a decision (if any), everyone will point his finger to the other person because they have no vision or mission, they oil that they are enjoying now saw the light and became real because of the north, ...

    • 27 September 2011 00:02, by Runrach

      Dear Unknown ’

      I thought you had already acknowledged how visionary the southerners are especially during the post referundum period until referundum gave birth to our independence.Without our entire collective visions therefore we would have not divided the united Sudan into two State.as your president lying to you by saying it was because of peace that is why we badly lost dear south.

  • 26 September 2011 13:11

    Pipe fees is not a big issue given conventional way of fixing rates.We in the Republic of South Sudan need money to run our government,the Republic of Sudan needs money too to run its government.The issue is dependency on oil by both countries,both countries should cut back on their spendings immidiately to allow their economy to function normally

  • 26 September 2011 13:30, by Force 1

    South Sudan stands on less than $ 0.40 a barrels transit fee, Sudan need no threats to South Sudan, just shut the pipeline down. The ball is rolling on your side, kick it or leave it.

  • 26 September 2011 14:23, by Acuil

    Inflation is just beginning, north need to ask for fees reasonable so that they can help their inflation.

    Asking for something you were getting during the unity is a bad dream. Be reasonable on your wishes instead of asking for unthinkable or giving threats.

  • 26 September 2011 14:24, by Acuil

    Inflation is just beginning, north need to ask for fees reasonable so that they can help their inflation.

    Asking for something you were getting during the unity is a bad dream. Be reasonable on your wishes instead of asking for unthinkable or giving threats.

  • 26 September 2011 18:30, by Acuil Deng

    Mr."Omar Mubarak Kaddafi El Bashir", when one door is closed another is open. Go a head with your options if you think that you are eternal, and when you are done the ROSS will still be there.

  • 26 September 2011 21:44, by Acuil Deng

    When one door is closed, another is always open, but Bashir does not see that, because he is looking inside the box.

  • 27 September 2011 07:49

    Ross is so slow in even getting refinery in place.
    Bashir threat need to be neutral with concrete step that will deny north every penny. instead of building pipeline to east african, i reckon it would be easier to build refineries such that we can refine crude oil into finished product and sell it to neighboring coutries.

  • 27 September 2011 08:43, by Aluck Khamis

    Both Presidents must be courageous to solve pending issues. Oil is only one. Time is critical for both Sudans. Emotional people have to be eliminated from talks. We need reasoning, fairness and respect. Please stop all media metaphors and negative campaigns. Remember! people are dying everywhere in the big Sudan because of the malpractices of the NCP and the SPLM. Reason or people of Sudan will (?

  • 27 September 2011 15:52, by lokeji

    Mr. president the time of threads have gone and you are now dealing with an independent country, there is a need of changing your language of threads. your economical situation is know by the government in south sudan that was why they previously suggested to offer some assistances to the government in the north but unfortunately you guys rejected that initiative, due to your usual pride.

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