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Sudan and South Sudan agreement to address oil flow constraints

JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) -- South Sudan and Sudan have agreed to jointly address issues limiting the export of Juba’s oil through Khartoum ports, South Sudan’s local media reported citing petroleum minister as saying on Monday.

Awow Daniel Chuang, South Sudan’s minister of petroleum and mining told state owned-radio South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SBBC) that the two countries agreed to set up a coordination unit in Port Sudan to ease movement of oil production equipment coming to South Sudan through Sudanese territory.

Chuang said the new arrangements would ease oil export and also help South Sudan to further increase its daily oil output from the current 170,000 barrels per day.

"We are going to monitor all the petroleum production materials that are coming into the country because oil producing companies are currently facing some challenges," Chuang said, adding that South Sudan and Sudan are trying to solve these issues to increase production.

Landlocked South Sudan relies on Sudan’s oil infrastructure to transport its crude oil for export.

South Sudan last week dispatched a high-level delegation headed by finance minister Salvatore Garang Mabiordit to Khartoum to discuss ways of strengthening oil production in the conflict-torn east Africa country.

According to the World Bank, South Sudan is the most oil-dependent nation in the world, with oil accounting for around 60 percent of its gross domestic product.

But after the young nation descended into civil war in late 2013, oil production declined from 350,000 barrels per day in 2011 to less than 130,000 barrels per day in 2014 amid soaring inflation.

Following the signing of a new peace deal in September 2018, conflict has reduced and previously closed oilfields have re-opened, with the country’s current daily output estimated at 170,000 barrels per day.

In June 2018, Juba and neighboring Khartoum agreed to deploy a joint security force to secure oil installations and jointly repair oil infrastructure damaged during South Sudan’s civil war.


South Sudan collects 36 mln USD tax from non-oil sources

JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) -- South Sudan said on Friday that it collected over 7 billion South Sudanese Pounds (36 million U.S. dollars) in the last six months from non-oil sources.

Olympio Attipoe, commissioner general of the National Revenue Authority (NRA), said the establishment of harmonized tax collection system has recorded success.

"Since we have the duty to collect money in a very transparent manner, the money the commission has collected and remitted to the government since January to June is over 7 billion South Sudanese pounds (36 million U.S. dollars)," said Attipoe.

The commissioner said in January that the revenue authority earned 14.2 million U.S dollars in non-oil revenue for the first time under the Non-oil Revenue Mobilization and Accountability project supported by the African Development Bank (AfDB).

South Sudan depends on oil revenue to finance its fiscal budget, but oil production was disrupted following outbreak of conflict in December 2013.

The government has mandated the NRA to assess, collect, control and enforce laws relating to taxation and revenues in the country.

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir recently appreciated the National Revenue Authority’s work, saying there has been a significant improvement reported in non-oil revenue collection.

"These are the kind of positive changes we must undertake to improve our economy so that government is able to cater for its obligations," Kiir said during his televized speech to mark the eighth independence anniversary.

South Sudan is struggling to increase production of crude oil, months after the signing of the peace deal in September 2018.

Currently it pumps about 175,000 barrels of crude oil daily.


East African security experts and policymakers
urge concerted efforts in conflict resolution

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- East African security experts and policymakers on Monday stressed the need to spur mediation efforts to consolidate post-agreement gains towards peaceful resolution of conflicts in the region.

They made the call during an ongoing three-day regional meeting that brought together security experts and policymakers of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) member countries, which kicked off on Monday on the significance of dialogue and mediation in post-agreement phases as a constructive tool for conflict resolution.

IGAD’s Peace and Security Division Director, Siraj Fegessa, addressing the three-day security-themed regional meeting reiterated the East African bloc’s resolve towards strengthening constructive conflict resolution initiatives across the region.

"IGAD has played a vital role in many regional developments," Fegessa said, adding "key mediation interventions have brought renewed efforts and stability towards sustainable peace and development in the region."

"It is evident that peace processes can be achieved through dialogue and negotiation as an apparatus to resolve conflicts and bring sustainable peace," the director stressed.

Fegessa’s call was also echoed by Ethiopia’s envoy to IGAD, Koang Tutlam, who underscored the need to strengthen mediators’ role in the IGAD region towards peaceful resolution of conflicts.

"Mediators in the IGAD region must continue supporting to see through the implementation of agreements signed by parties because this is the only alternative for peace and stability to prevail in the region," Tutlam said.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of South Sudan, Nhial Deng Nhial, also urged the need to spur dialogues, saying that "fruitful dialogues are not only important but should be coupled with logistical facilitation."

South Sudan says appointment of ex-Kenya VP as envoy will boost ties

JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) -- South Sudan on Friday hailed the appointment of Kenya’s former vice-president Kalonzo Musyoka as President Uhuru Kenyatta’s special envoy to Juba, saying the move will boost ties between two neighboring countries.

Mawien Makol, foreign affairs’ ministry spokesman, lauded Musyoka’s contribution towards successful implementation of the 2005 comprehensive peace agreement and the 2011 referendum that paved way for creation of the republic of South Sudan.

Makol said that Musyoka has a better understanding of the ongoing efforts to restore peace and stability in South Sudan.

"The government welcomes his appointment and his addition to the effort that is being exerted here by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the region," Makol told Xinhua.

"Kalonzo is a very diligent leader who is well informed about South Sudan issues and the problem the young country is facing, so he is a perfect diplomat," he added.

Kenya on Tuesday announced the appointment of Musyoka as Kenyatta’s special envoy to Juba to help shore up efforts to achieve durable peace and stability in the world’s youngest republic.

The appointment was made shortly after South Sudan President Salva Kiir made a two day state visit to Kenya.

"The envoy is not new to South Sudan, he has been engaged in South Sudanese and Sudanese issues from his time as a foreign affairs minister during the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signing in 2005 before his vice-president role in Kenya, so he is fully aware of the issues of our country," said Makol.

South Sudan leader apologizes for failing to deliver services

JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) -- South Sudanese President Salva Kiir on Tuesday openly expressed frustration and apologized for his administration’s "failure" to deliver essential services including paying salaries for servants.

In his televised speech to mark the eighth independence anniversary, Kiir also apologized to the people of South Sudan for the pain and suffering caused by years of conflict.

"I want to sincerely apologize to you (citizens), my people, on my own behalf and on behalf of the government over the failure of my government to pay salaries of our civil servants on time," Kiir said and vowed to personally follow up on the matter.

Kiir however observed that through the revitalized peace deal, the country will thrive and stability will be restored, adding that the national pre-transitional period committee is doing its best to effect the implementation of the September 2018 deal.

The president cautioned against war over political differences, saying "any matter can be resolved round a conference table".

"I am fully aware that our people are angry because of the difficult living conditions imposed upon them by insecurity and economic hardship," he said.

"I recognize that from the time we earned our independence in July 2011, our desire to develop credible good governance system for the management of our institutions has been interrupted particularly by the internal war that erupted in December 2013," he said.

Kiir said the full implementation of peace agreement would result in a thriving economy and better delivery of services to the people.

South Sudan is struggling to increase production of crude oil, months after the signing of the peace deal in September 2018. Currently it pumps about 175,000 barrels per day of crude oil.

The country depends heavily on oil revenue to finance its fiscal budget, but oil production was disrupted following outbreak of conflict in December 2013.

The oil-rich nation in January earned 14.2 million U.S. dollars in non-oil revenue for the first time under the non-oil revenue mobilization and accountability project supported by the African Development Bank (AfDB).


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