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South Sudan Urges Warring Parties in Sudan to Protect Oil Infrastructure

An oil processing facility is seen at an oilfield in Unity State April 22, 2012. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

 South Sudan has urged warring parties in Sudan to preserve and protect oil infrastructure, amid concerns over a possible halt in the oil flow.

“South Sudan and its leadership are always dedicated to finding solutions and promoting peace in Sudan and for this reason, it is wise for the parties to the conflict to preserve and protect oil infrastructure. In case we are talking of pipelines and refineries, which are critical to the storage and delivery of the oil to the main terminal at Port Sudan”, said the undersecretary at South Sudan’s Petroleum Ministry, Mayen Wol Jong.

He said revenues from oil would boost rebuilding efforts after the conflict has ended.

“One day, the war in Sudan will stop. And when that happens, the focus will turn to the important question of where will resources come to rebuild the country. This begets preserving key economic infrastructure at the movement because these are important resources to protect. Economic facilities are like children. If you destroy them, you destroy the economy, just the same way if you kill children, you have tempted with the future of the whole society and its existence and continuity”, explained Wol.

The statement follows reports that an oil refinery in Al-Jaili, north of Khartoum was hit by explosives on Tuesday. It was not immediately clear if some casualties resulted from it.

A South Sudanese diplomat confirmed to Sudan Tribune on Tuesday evening that they had received reports the oil facility was hit by an explosive, thus causing it to catch fire.

”We are still establishing the circumstances under which it happened but we are getting reports from different sources on the ground in Khartoum that the facility had caught fire. We are still establishing how it happened. Was it targeting a force on the ground or what actually happened remains a cause for verification? The challenge now is that it happened in an active military zone”, said the diplomat who preferred anonymity.

The fighting in Sudan’s capital has left several key landmark towers destroyed by fire.

Sudan has been rocked by violence since mid-April, when tensions between the country’s military under  General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the Rapid Support Force, commanded by his former deputy, General Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, reached a boiling point and escalated into open fighting. The conflict has turned  Khartoum into an urban war zone, with each side controlled by the other. 

Once a civilian administrative capital, Khartoum is now a scene of daily military activities.

Source: Sudan Tribune