South Sudan hails Khartoum's decision to revise oil transit fees
Khartoum - Arab Today
South Sudan has welcomed Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir's decision to revise the transit fees of Juba's oil transport through Sudan's territories, local media reported Saturday.
"South Sudan appreciates and welcomes this stance which constitutes a good step towards responding to Juba's request presented by its Foreign Minister Barnaba Benjamin during his recent visit to Sudan," Khartoum's Al Ray Al Am daily quoted South Sudanese Ambassador Mayan Dot as saying.
During a recent visit to Khartoum, Benjamin revealed that his country asked Sudan's government to reduce the oil transit fees due to the drop in the global oil prices.
"We were forced to request reduction of the oil transit fees because of the drop in the international oil prices," the diplomat noted.
He further disclosed that joint technical committees would hold meetings in the coming days to revise the oil deal between the two countries and come out with consensual decisions regarding the oil file.
On Thursday, the official SUNA news agency reported an official source as saying that "President Omer Hassan al-Bashir has directed to revise the interim economic measures with the Republic of South Sudan."
Juba seems to have found itself forced to cut on its financial expenditure under the declining global oil prices and dropping of the South's oil production to about 160,000 barrels a day due to the ongoing civil war in the new-born state since 2013.
The oil deal, signed between Sudan and South Sudan in September 2012, stipulates that Juba would pay three billion dollars as assistance to Sudan in a period of three years besides that South Sudan's government would pay about 20 dollars as oil transit fees per barrel.
South Sudan plunged into violence in December 2013, when fighting erupted between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir Mayardit and defectors led by his former deputy Riek Machar.
The conflict soon turned into an all-out war, with the violence taking on an ethnic dimension that pitted the president's Dinka tribe against Machar's Nuer ethnic group.
The clashes have left thousands of South Sudanese dead and forced around 1.9 million people to flee their homes.