Sudan seeks withdrawal of national police from oil regions

A leading member of Sudan People's Liberation Movement has called for immediate withdrawal of Sudan's national police from areas around oil fields in the southern region of the country.

Eric Watkins
OGJ Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 7 -- A leading member of Sudan People's Liberation Movement has called for immediate withdrawal of Sudan's national police from areas around oil fields in the southern region of the country.

Edward Lino, SPLM chairman in Abyei, told members of the group’s liberation council that the presence of Sudanese national police inside Abyei territory violates the so-called Abyei road map and protocols, which aim at securing peace in the region.
Lion said the road map and the protocols state that security of the region will be strictly controlled by joint integrated units [JIU] and joint integrated police units [JIUP] and not by one side alone.

"Why are these police forces still deployed around oil installation areas?" Lino asked.

"In the light of this clear provision, I call upon the central government to immediately consider withdrawal of the national police still in Abyei territory so that security of the oil companies, their personnel and assets remains under the control of the JIUs and JPIUs," he said.

Lino’s call coincided with a renewed announcement by the semiautonomous government of southern Sudan that it plans to construct a 50,000-b/d refinery in Warap state that will serve the needs of other states west of the Nile River.

The facility will require $2 billion of investment and will take 36 months to complete, said southern Sudan’s Energy Minister John Luk, while Minister of Information and Broadcasting Paul Mayom Akech said oil for the refinery will be sourced Block 5A in Unity state.

Luk’s announcement repeats statements he made in October, when the government of southern Sudan approved plans to build a $2 billion refinery in Akon, Warap state that would serve all seven states west of the Nile (OGJ Online, Oct. 19, 2009).

Last month, China National Petroleum Corp., apparently shrugging off environmentalists’ concerns, signed three oil and gas cooperation agreements of its own with the government of Sudan.

The agreements consist of a memorandum of understanding on the second phase expansion of Khartoum refinery, advance payment for crude trading and an agreement to swap equity between CNPC's Block 6 and Malaysia State Oil's Block 5A (OGJ Online, Nov. 20, 2009).

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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