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عربي

South Sudan’s crisis sends shockwaves through Sudan

Adam Mohamed
South Sudan’s downward spiral of violence is rattling its neighbour Sudan, hurting its supply of fuel and stirring fears of insecurity.
2.01.2014  |  Khartoum
Tayeb Mustafa (to the right) and Moaz Farouk (in the middle) during the seminar of ‘Consequences of South Sudan’s Crisis’, December 22, 2013.
Tayeb Mustafa (to the right) and Moaz Farouk (in the middle) during the seminar of ‘Consequences of South Sudan’s Crisis’, December 22, 2013.

Sudan is closely watching the turmoil across the border in its young neighbour South Sudan. Escalating violence in the south has already triggered a fuel shortage in the north while fears of widening insecurity are running high, experts say.

These events will greatly affect the stability in Sudan in particular and the region in general,” said Moaz Farouk, member of the government delegation for the dialogue with South Sudan.

These events will greatly affect the stability in Sudan in particular and the region in general.”
Moaz Farouk
Speaking at a seminar in December on ‘Consequences of South Sudan’s Crisis’, he warned that the fallout of the crisis would affect the politics, security and economy of its northern neighbour.

Events may mean we lose control of borders where rebels may take hostile action,” he said.

Khartoum has been rattled by two weeks of violence in South Sudan where more than 1,000 people are estimated to have been killed during an abrupt outburst of fighting.

Meanwhile, recent fuel scarcity in Sudan suggests that Sudan’s already weak economy will be increasingly crippled by insecurity in South Sudan, which has seen its oil exports to Sudan hit during the clashes.

Among those estimating the economic impact, Omar Adam Rahmah, Head of the Sudanese Parliament Energy Commission, said on December 22: The current fuel problem suggests that the companies did not receive their share of fuel, rather they received only 30 percent.”

Rahmah confirmed however, that some oil was still flowing from South Sudanese oil wells.

While experts fear continued economic pressure from Sudan, they are also braced for divisions from the recent conflicts in the neighbouring country, just two years after it gained independence.

Tayeb Mustafa, Chairman of the Just Peace Platform, said that South Sudanese President Salva Kiir had worked to boost ties with the north, while his political rival and rebel leader Riek Machar represented the anti-Khartoum face”.

That feeds divisions within Sudan, Mustafa said, with the Revolutionary Front, a Sudanese umbrella organisation which seeks to topple President Omar al-Bashir, backing Machar.

These events will have a serious impact on security in Sudan.”
Tayeb Mustafa
The Revolutionary Front may have a role in the occupation of oil areas, especially in Unity State. These events will have a serious impact on security in Sudan,” he explained.

Many local commentators urge Sudan to boost diplomatic efforts to ease the southern violence. Sudan has to support some existing initiatives such as (East African Regional Bloc) IGAD […]. Sudan has a historic legacy dealing with tribal matters which could be relevant to the South,” Farouk said.

Sudanese government leaders have been cautious when commenting on the South Sudanese conflicts, which onlookers fear could degenerate into full-blown civil war.

Some officials considered the violence an internal affair and armed forces said they had not intervened in the violence.

Dialogue is the best solution to this crisis and is the fruit of the African mechanism efforts,” said the ruling National Congress Party’s Deputy Secretary of Information Qubais Ahmad Mustafa.

Stability in the south is a key requirement based on history and geography,” he said, adding that he hoped a solution could be found as soon as possible.