Nov. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Sudan is demanding $15 billion in compensation for lost oil revenues after South Sudan’s independence and doesn’t want the African Union to mediate negotiations with the south, said Pagan Amum, South Sudan’s chief negotiator.
“They want the south to shoulder the responsibility to compensate them for all the consequences of secession,” Amum, secretary-general of the south’s ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Front, told reporters today in Juba, the capital.
While Sudan says it needs $15 billion over seven years to make up for the lost revenue, the International Monetary Fund, the African Union and South Sudan have agreed on a figure of $5.4 billion, he said. Sudan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Al- Obaid Murawih, said by phone in Khartoum that he couldn’t immediately comment on Amum’s statement.
When it gained independence on July 9, South Sudan assumed control of about 75 percent of Sudan’s previous daily oil output of 490,000 barrels, pumped mainly by China National Petroleum Corp., Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Bhd. and India’s Oil & Natural Gas Corp.
President Umar al-Bashir’s government no longer wants the African Union to mediate negotiations with the south and says that the talks should be bilateral, Amum said.
The latest round of talks on oil fees South Sudan should pay the north for the use of its export facilities and the disputed region of Abyei were postponed from their scheduled start yesterday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The African Union-appointed mediator for the talks, former South African President Thabo Mbeki, left Juba today after meeting with South Sudanese officials.
Al-Bashir’s government has informed the parties that it will contact South Sudan about the start of bilateral negotiations, Amum said.
South Sudan gained its independence following a two-decade civil war with the north that ended in 2005.
--Editors: Karl Maier, Heather Langan
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