Sudan’s President Omar al Bashir has ordered the closure of Sudan’s oil pipeline transporting South Sudan oil with effect from Sunday, as political differences between the two countries takes another dip.
The official Sudanese news agency said President Bashir had instructed the Minister for Petroleum, Dr Awad Al Jazz, to close down oil pipelines, which carry oil from South Sudan, as of Sunday, accusing Juba of continuing to provide assistance to renegade and rebel elements fighting Khartoum.
The African Union recently settled a dispute between the two states that led to the resumption of South Sudan oil through Sudan.
President Bashir, who was addressing a public rally at the inauguration of an electricity project in a Khartoum sub-urban area, instructed the oil minister to address concerned oil companies working in South Sudan that the pipeline would be switched off as of Sunday.
The president said his decision came after a careful study of all consequences and repercussions which he had “shrugged off”. Bashir said it was up to South Sudan to choose another route, since it failed to listen to an ultimatum served earlier this month.
It said the Bashir had pointed out that he had already given South Sudan an ultimatum to halt all “ill-conceived practices” in their dealing with Sudan, a reference to their support for rebel movements in Darfur and in South Kordufan states inside the Sudan.
It said the president had explained that his country would not tolerate exporting South Sudanese oil, the proceeds of which would only be used to fuel war and back rebellions inside Sudan.
Bashir said he had hoped to have good neighborhood relations with South Sudan but that country had opted for another choice.
The African Union recently brokered agreements between the Sudan and South Sudan that stipulate, among other things, the resumption of South Sudan oil exports, using Sudan’s oil facilities including the pipeline.
However, Sudan has recently charged that the South had failed to honour these agreements and that it was providing military and other logistic support to rebel elements fighting Khartoum in the Blue Nile, South Kordufan and Darfur regions inside the Sudan.
This includes a recent rebel incursion against a strategic town, Abu Karshoulah, well inside Kordufan region, about 400km southwest of Khartoum.