May 16 - Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir says Sudan will not allow South Sudan to export any oil through its territory unless the two states settle all disputes over border security. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is warning South Sudan that it will not let any of its oil to be exported through its territory unless the two states settle all disputes over border security. Oil, security and frontier disputes ignited border clashes last month and for a while raised fears of full-blown war in one of Africa's most significant oil regions. South Sudan took three quarters of Sudan's oil production when it became independent under a 2005 peace agreement that ended decades of civil war. The landlocked new nation needs to export its oil through Sudan but has failed to agree with Khartoum how much it should pay. Oil is the lifeline for both economies. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir: (SOUNDBITE)(Arabic) SUDAN PRESIDENT OMAR AL BASHIR SAYING: "They said that they will destroy Sudan and bring us to our knees when they shut down the oil pipeline. They shut it down but the key is with us. We are the ones who will determine when it will be opened. We will not allow the pipelines to open unless there is a 100 percent guarantee for our security and that there is no threat to our citizens and our borders." South Sudan shut down its output of 350,000 barrels a day in January after Sudan started seizing oil for what the latter calls unpaid fees. On May 2nd, the U.N. Security Council endorsed an African Union plan demanding that both countries cease hostilities, withdraw troops from disputed areas and resume talks within two weeks on all outstanding disputes. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters.