Sudan masses troops on border to secure oil facilities

South Sudan’s Upper Nile and Unity states have both seen heavy fighting near oilfields in the area

Sudan masses troops on border to secure oil facilities

World Bulletin / News Desk

Sudan has begun massing troops on its border with South Sudan after warning of possible attacks on the facilities that carry oil from its southern neighbor.  

Abu Algasim Imam Baraka, governor of Sudan’s West Darfur State, told the Sudanese Media Center (which is linked to the country’s security agencies) that the process of reinforcing Sudan’s border with South Sudan’s oil-rich Upper Nile and Unity states would take a “few days.”

“We have deployed reinforcements along the border with South Sudan to protect our territories,” Baraka said without specifying the number of troops involved.

Sudanese military spokesmen, for their part, were unavailable to comment on the issue.

The South Sudanese government, meanwhile, has yet to officially react to the move.  

South Sudan’s oil-rich Upper Nile and Unity states, both of which lie on the border with Sudan, have recently seen heavy fighting near oilfields located in the area.

South Sudanese forces recently retook the city of Malakal, capital of Upper Nile State, following intense fighting with rebel forces led by former South Sudanese Vice-President Riek Machar.

Since South Sudan seceded from its northern neighbor in 2011, the two countries have continued to disagree over the sharing of outstanding foreign debts, the disputed Abyei region and border demarcation. 

According to an agreement signed in September 2012, Juba should pay $32 to Khartoum for each barrel of oil that crosses its border for a three-year period ending in 2016. 

While oil revenue remains vital to both cash-strapped countries, oil production in South Sudan has fallen dramatically due to repeated attacks by Machar’s rebels on oilfields in Unity and Upper Nile states.

Sudan’s SPLM-N and Justice and Equality rebel groups, for their part, have both vowed to target Sudanese oil facilities.

The war between Juba and Khartoum – which began in late 2013 – was ratcheted up in April 2012, when the South Sudanese army captured the oil-rich Heglig area.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 13 Temmuz 2015, 17:20