The Freeland File
Global Market Data
Tales from the Trail
Lucy P. Marcus
David Cay Johnston
The Great Debate
Jack & Suzy Welch
Macro & Markets
Lipper Awards 2012
Personal Finance Video
Our best photos from the last 24 hours. Full Article
Images of March
Special Report: Tax time pushes some Americans to take a hike
16 Apr 2012
Trayvon Martin's killer showed signs of injury: neighbors
16 Apr 2012
Afghan schoolgirls poisoned in anti-education attack
Argentina moves to seize control of Repsol's YPF
Buffett rule fails Senate vote in tax fight
16 Apr 2012
Obama paid 20.5 pct tax rate in 2011: White House
Trayvon Martin’s killer showed signs of injury: neighbors
North Korea launches rocket amid international condemnation
Shuttle Discovery prepares for final mission ... over U.S. capitol
Mon, Apr 16 2012
Transgender beauty says she wants to compete for Miss Universe
Tue, Apr 3 2012
Flights halted at London airport after emergency landing
Mon, Apr 16 2012
Our day's top images, in-depth photo essays and offbeat slices of life. See the best of Reuters photography. See more | Photo caption
Inside North Korea
Rare scenes from within the reclusive state. Slideshow
Dozens of tornadoes tear through the Plains states. Slideshow
Sudan says cost no bar to recapture of oil region
How Sudan and South Sudan shape up militarily
Analysis & Opinion
Euro zone perspective – nowhere near out of the woods
Tragedies don’t end wars, even in Siachen
United Nations »
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon gestures during a news conference at the United Nations in Geneva April 12, 2012.
Credit: Reuters/Denis Balibouse
By Yara Bayoumy and Alexander Dziadosz
Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:25am EDT
NAIROBI/KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudan said on Tuesday the cost of a full-blown conflict with South Sudan would not deter it from recapturing the disputed Heglig oilfield, and that newly tapped oilfields would help to sustain its struggling economy.
South Sudan took control of the contested oil-producing Heglig region last week, prompting Sudan's parliament to brand its former civil war foe an "enemy" on Monday and to call for a swift recapture of the flat savanna region.
Both countries' faltering economies are likely to be important factors in the conflict's outcome.
"Despite the high cost of the war, despite the destruction that the war can cause ... our options are very limited. We can tolerate some sacrifice, until we can liberate our land," Sudan's ambassador to Kenya, Kamal Ismail Saeed, said.
"So from our side, yes, it is expensive but that doesn't deter us or that doesn't stop us from exerting all effort to liberate our land," he told reporters in Nairobi.
"We have been in war without oil for several years and we survived ... As a matter of fact ... the good news (is) we have developed other sources and fields of oil and that will really compensate our loss."
Fighting over oil payments and territory has withered the combined crude output of both countries.
The Heglig field is vital to Sudan's economy because it accounted for half the 115,000 barrels per day output that remained in its control when South Sudan seceded in July. The field's output has stopped due to the fighting, officials say.
The landlocked South had already closed its 350,000 bpd output after failing to agree how much it should pay to export via Sudan's pipelines, a Red Sea port and other facilities.
The latest clashes have also dampened hopes that Sudan and South Sudan can reach a deal soon on disputed issues such as demarcation of their 1,800-km (1,200-mile) border, division of debt and the status of citizens in each other's territory.
The loss of Heglig, a shock to many Sudanese, has also stirred tensions in the north. Sudan's interior minister said on Tuesday the police college had dismissed its South Sudanese students after "their violation of police regulations and their celebration of the occupation of Heglig".
U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay said she was alarmed by the South's "unwarranted" occupation of Heglig and urged both sides to halt the violence, including the North's bombing campaign against the South.
"I condemn the indiscriminate aerial bombing by Sudanese forces in civilian areas in South Sudan, including in Mayom and Bentiu in Unity State, resulting in the deaths of at least 8 civilians and many injuries since Saturday," she said in a statement.
"In the past week we have seen an intensification of the use of Antonovs as well as jetfighters dropping bombs and launching rocket attacks, including in areas dangerously close to the offices of international organizations. Such deplorable attacks must stop immediately."
South Sudan's military (SPLA) spokesman said its positions were bombed on Monday, but no clashes were reported on Tuesday.
"We are aware they are trying to advance, and the SPLA is ready to receive them," spokesman Philip Aguer said, describing the conflict as a "limited war". Sudan's army spokesman was not immediately available to comment.
Saeed insisted Khartoum could weather the latest conflict, which has sent food prices soaring and hit the currency as officials try to make up for the sudden loss in revenues.
He said production from new fields in the west of the Kordofan region, in Darfur and in the states of White Nile and Blue Nile would offset much of the loss of Heglig's output.
"We used to produce 115,000 barrels a day before the attack, we lost about 40,000, and now we'll get another 30,000."
South Sudan insists Heglig is rightfully part of the South and says it will not withdraw its troops unless the United Nations deploys a neutral force to monitor a ceasefire. Saeed said that was unacceptable.
"They have two options: either to withdraw very quickly or withdraw. We will reserve the right to use all means at our access to kick them out of there, and we will do it," he said.
"They will be thrown out of there very soon."
Pillay and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed alarm over reports of a buildup of militia forces in the disputed Abyei border region.
The U.N. statement did not say where the reports were from or give details but called it a violation of a June agreement in which both sides said they would withdraw forces from the area.
Ban called on Khartoum to "ensure the full and immediate withdrawal of these elements from the area".
Abyei, which is prized for its fertile grazing land and produces some oil, was a major battleground during Sudan's civil war and is symbolically potent for both sides. Both countries lay claim to it.
Khartoum seized Abyei in May last year after a southern attack on an army convoy, triggering an exodus of tens of thousands of civilians. The Security Council authorised the deployment of 3,800 U.N. peacekeepers in Abyei in June.
Some 2 million people died in Sudan's civil war, waged for all but a few years between 1955 and 2005 over conflicts of ideology, ethnicity, oil and religion.
(Additional reporting by Louis Charbonneau at the United Nations and Tom Miles in Geneva; Writing by Yara Bayoumy and Alexander Dziadosz; Editing by Jon Hemming)
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Be the first to comment on reuters.com.
Add yours using the box above.
Back to top
New York Legal
Support & Contact
Connect with Reuters
Our Flagship financial information platform incorporating Reuters Insider
An ultra-low latency infrastructure for electronic trading and data distribution
A connected approach to governance, risk and compliance
Our next generation legal research platform
Our global tax workstation
About Thomson Reuters
Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.
NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.