Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Energy News .




ENERGY TECH
China weighs in as S.Sudan peace talks open
by Staff Writers
Addis Ababa (AFP) Jan 06, 2014


Sudan, South mull joint oil protection force: minister
Khartoum (AFP) Jan 06, 2014 - Sudan and South Sudan agreed Monday during a visit to Juba by President Omar al-Bashir to consider setting up a joint force to protect vital oilfields, his foreign minister said.

"Sudan and South Sudan are in consultations about the deployment of a mixed force to protect the oilfields in the South," Ali Ahmed Karti said, adding that Juba had come up with the idea.

The proposed deployment would cover all oilfields, including those located along the border between the two countries, said Karti.

"At the request of the South Sudanese oil ministry, 900 oil experts from Khartoum will be sent to South Sudan to help the recovery of production" hit by the conflict, he added.

Bashir visited Juba as South Sudan's government and rebels were starting formal peace talks in Addis Ababa aimed at ending more than three weeks of unrest.

South Sudan won independence from Khartoum in 2011 after decades of war, but the north remains a key player -- serving as the export route for the South's oil.

On Sunday, the South's army spokesman Philip Aguer said government forces were on the offensive in the oil-producing Unity and Upper Nile states in the north of the country.

Despite its oil wealth, accounting for about 80 percent of 2012 gross domestic product, South Sudan is one of the continent's least developed countries.

Oil production in South Sudan has slumped by about 15 percent since the fighting erupted.

It began on December 15, pitting army units loyal to President Salva Kiir against a loose alliance of ethnic militia forces and mutinous army commanders nominally headed by Riek Machar, a former vice president who was sacked last July.

The young nation's two major oil-producing states are among the four areas most affected by the fighting.

Since the South's independence, tensions have been high at times between the two former civil war foes, whose forces even clashed in May last year over Sudan's main oilfield at Heglig.

Peace talks between South Sudan's government and rebels started in Ethiopia on Monday, as key power China added its weight to efforts to end weeks of fighting in the world's youngest nation.

Sudan meanwhile said that it and South Sudan had agreed during a visit to Juba by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to consider setting up a joint force to protect vital oilfields.

Ethiopian government spokesman Getachew Reda, whose government has spent days trying to get the two sides into the same room, told AFP that formal negotiations on a possible ceasefire had finally started in an Addis Ababa luxury hotel -- even as fighting continued to rage back in South Sudan.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, speaking at the start of a four-nation Africa visit, said Beijing was also trying to push for peace and was actively engaged in mediation efforts. China has invested heavily in the country's oil sector and buys most of its crude output.

"China is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, so we are paying close attention to the evolving situation in South Sudan," Wang told reporters.

"We have been making mediation efforts, and the Chinese government special representative for African affairs is visiting the region and has had meetings with both sides," he said, offering to personally "directly engage" with the two sides while in Addis Ababa.

A surge in diplomatic efforts also saw Sudan's President Bashir jet into South Sudan's capital Juba for talks with his counterpart Salva Kiir during which he stressed Khartoum's support for "a peaceful resolution to the conflict".

Sudan's foreign minister Ali Ahmed Karti also said the two are "in consultations about the deployment of a mixed force to protect the oilfields in the South."

But fighting has continued to rage, with both sides vowing to step up their offensives across the country -- which has been teetering on the brink of all-out civil war less than three years after gaining independence from Khartoum.

Heavy fighting has been reported in oil-producing Unity and Upper Nile states in the north, and in particular near rebel-held Bor, capital of Jonglei State just north of the capital. Army spokesman Philip Aguer said it was only a "matter of time" before Bor was recaptured.

The conflict in South Sudan erupted on December 15, pitting army units loyal to Kiir against a loose alliance of ethnic militia forces and mutinous army commanders nominally headed by Riek Machar, a former vice president who was sacked last July.

Machar denies allegations that he started the conflict by attempting a coup, and in turn accuses the president of orchestrating a violent purge.

After the opening talks delegates insisted they wanted peace.

"We are here to assure you that we have started the process and we are optimistic that we will end it peacefully," government official Makuei Luoth said, while top rebel delegate Taban Deng said his team has "been working tirelessly to bring back peace."

Civilians suffering

UN officials say they believe thousands of people have already been killed, and both sides are alleged to have committed atrocities. UN peacekeeping bases have also been overwhelmed with tens of thousands civilians seeking shelter, many of them fleeing ethnic violence between Kiir's Dinka community and Machar's Nuer tribe.

"We're very concerned about the effects on the civilian population," the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Peter Maurer, also said on the start of a visit to the country.

He said the Geneva-based organisation was "particularly alarmed by violence directed against civilians and against people no longer taking part in the hostilities" -- signalling that a reported wave of atrocities was ongoing.

British aid group Oxfam also reminded delegates at the Addis Ababa peace talks of their "duty to their citizens to reach a swift and peaceful resolution to the conflict".

"Thousands of families already living in extreme poverty have been pushed from their homes and cut off from what they need to survive," Oxfam's Desire Assogbavi said.

A top rebel delegate at the talks, however, indicated that finding a quick resolution to the conflict would be difficult.

"I am optimistic. Our delegation is going in with an open mind," rebel delegate Mabior Garang said, but added the rebels were "suspicious of the sincerity of the government."

"They keep shifting the goalposts and are adamant on not releasing detainees, but we should first get to the table and discuss a cessation of hostilities," he added.

A key sticking point has been rebel and international demands that the South Sudanese government release 11 officials close to Machar so they can participate in the talks, which diplomats hope will secure a truce as well as viable ceasefire-monitoring mechanisms.

The South Sudanese government, however, has repeated that the rebel suspects would not be freed and should face justice.

Secretary of State John Kerry of the United States, which was instrumental in helping South Sudan win independence, has urged rival southern factions not to use the Addis talks to buy time.

str-burs-sas/cc

.


Related Links
Powering The World in the 21st Century at Energy-Daily.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





ENERGY TECH
Beached Morocco oil tanker to be 'unloaded by Monday'
Rabat (AFP) Jan 04, 2014
A Moroccan tanker carrying 5,000 tonnes of fuel that ran aground during a storm last month will have been pumped dry by Monday without any lasting environmental damage, the environment minister said. The Moroccan-flagged "Silver" hit rocks near the Atlantic port of Tan Tan during a storm on December 23, and there were fears of an ecological disaster. After several unsuccessful attempts t ... read more


ENERGY TECH
US energy secretary delays India trip amid row

Suburban sprawl cancels carbon footprint savings of dense urban cores

The entropy of nations

United Nations Proclaims "International Year Of Light" In 2015

ENERGY TECH
Shell New Zealand to drill in Great South Basin

Lebanon's prospects of gas bonanza slip further away

Abe to offer help in Africa tour as Ethiopia hopes for trade

India urges Asian unity for fair LNG pricing

ENERGY TECH
Researchers Find Ways To Minimize Power Grid Disruptions From Wind Power

Bolivia opens China-built wind power plant

Austria's wind industry laments new zoning restrictions

Wind energy: TUV Rheinland certifies PowerWind wind turbines

ENERGY TECH
Australia's small-scale green energy installations reach 2 million

Solar Biz Helps Floating Doctors Bring Electricity to Indigenous Community

Canadian Solar Connects its Tumushuke 30MW Solar Power Plant to the China State Grid

Yingli Green Energy Supplies 1 MW of Solar Panels to Serbia's Second Largest Solar Project

ENERGY TECH
Czech environment minister cancels nuke waste repository site survey

Greenland and Denmark to agree on uranium in 2014: Danish PM

Japan scientists to create controlled nuclear meltdown

Westinghouse Announces Setting of AP1000 Plant Shield Building Conical Roofs

ENERGY TECH
Inexpensive technique could drive down costs of biofuel production

York scientists' significant step forward in biofuels quest

Seaweed Energy Solutions (SES) acquires wild seaweed operation in Norway

Algae to crude oil: Million-year natural process takes minutes in the lab

ENERGY TECH
China launches communications satellite for Bolivia

China's moon rover continues lunar survey after photographing lander

China's Yutu "naps", awakens and explores

Deep space monitoring station abroad imperative

ENERGY TECH
Methane hydrates and global warming

China starts fifth national desertification monitoring

Australia endures hottest year on record

7,000-year-old footprints give clues to climate of ancient Mexico




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement