April 25 - Ambassadors for Sudan and South Sudan blame each other for violence in Heglig; South Sudan President visits Beijing. Julie Noce reports.
The burnt out oil fields of a border region between Sudan and South Sudan are bringing both countries closer to the brink of war. Tuesday, representatives from both countries blamed each other for the fires in the Heglig region after a UN Security Council meeting. South Sudan Ambassador Agnes Oswaha. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AGNES OSWAHA, SOUTH SUDAN'S AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS, SAYING: "I would like to bring to your attention that the damage that has been caused in Heglig, specifically the oil fields, it happened as a result of armed forces aerial bombardment. So I'm wondering why the Sudan is seeking reparations from the Republic of the South Sudan while they are the one that caused damage in Heglig. Heglig belongs to South Sudan and for us the people of South Sudan and the government of South Sudan, we will not and shall not inflict pain on our population and will not spoil our resources. Instead we will preserve it for our country and for the next generation to come." Meanwhile, Sudan's ambassador said they have a recorded phone conversation which proves the South burned the fields. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DAFFA-ALLA ELHAG ALI OSMAN, SUDAN'S AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS SAYING: "The allegation that their army which occupied Heglig didn't burn Heglig and the oil facilities there, I just want to remind you and tell you that we have provided the Security Council with a recorded evidence of a telephone conversation between the Governor of Unity General Taban Deng and the Commander of the SPLA in Heglig when he instructed him burn all the oil facilities because the Sudanese armed forces have entered Heglig. Burn them, don't hand them in tact to the enemy. This is exactly the telephone conversation and we have a recorded evidence about this." Oil production from the Heglig fields are key to both countries' economies.... as well as for foreign countries with infrastructure and facilities there. One foreign investor's facilities hit by the recent border violence is China's National Petroleum Corporation. South Sudanese President Salva Kiir, who is in Beijing this week, met with company officials on Tuesday to shore up support. China has investments in the oil sectors of both nations. Julie Noce, Reuters