Sudan and South Sudan strike oil deal —but border disputes remain

South Sudan and Sudan announced Aug. 4 they have reached a deal over the south’s use of Khartoum’s oil pipelines and distribution of oil revenues—potentially ending a dispute that prompted South Sudan to shut down its oil production in January and nearly led to war. Under the deal reached at talks in Addis Ababa, South Sudan will pay $9.48 per barrel to use one of Sudan’s pipelines to export crude, and $11 to use a second leading to a refinery before reaching a sea terminal. Khartoum had originally demanded $36 per barrel. “This agreement opens the door to a future of greater prosperity for the people of both countries,” US President Barack Obama said in a statement released by the White House. But the agreement is not to take effect until details on guaranteeing border security are hashed out, and the status of the disputed enclave of Abyei resolved. (AP, Reuters, BBC World Service, Aug. 4)

As the deal was reached in Addis Ababa, Sudan’s President Omar Bashir (still wanted by the International Criminal Court) returned from a visit to Qatar, where he held talks with leaders of the emirate on oil investment. (Radio Dabanga, Aug. 4 via AllAfrica)

In another sign of de-escalation, the African Union announced the signing of an agreement with Sudanese government and Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) over humanitarian access to rebel-held areas of South Kordofan state. (Sudan Tribune, Aug. 4)