CPGB-ML » Posts for tag 'south sudan'

Escalating tension between North and South Sudan

From the International Report delivered to the CPGB-ML’s central committee on 4 March.

As was widely expected, the two Sudans have been unable to reach agreement on sharing the profits arising from the sale of oil now that the south has seceded.

Seventy percent of Sudan’s oil is in the south, but none of it can reach the market without going through the north’s pipelines. The south has been refusing to pay the north’s charges for use of its pipelines, claiming that they are excessive. Currently some $1bn remain outstanding and unpaid.

The north retaliated by arresting tankers carrying south Sudanese oil. The south has now responded by closing down its oil wells altogether so that neither north nor south can benefit from them at all. As the south’s government derives 98 percent of its income from oil sales, this is an action that hurts the south even more than it hurts its intended target, ie, the Khartoum government.

What the south apparently wants to do is to keep its oil wells closed until a pipeline can be built enabling it to ship out its oil via Kenya, thus avoiding north Sudanese territory altogether. However, such pipelines would have to run uphill for much of the way, necessitating prohibitively expensive pumping – assuming that it would at present be possible to build them at all, since they would have to cross an area of southern Sudan, the Jonglei, which is still effectively a war zone.

There is a strong possibility of a renewed outbreak of war, since northern Sudan desperately needs the oil income of which the southern shut-down is now depriving it. Since the south can afford the closure even less than can the north, it is to be hoped that, notwithstanding its hatred of the north, the South Sudan government can be persuaded to resolve the issue by negotiation.

US military presence ramping up across Africa

From the International Report delivered to the CPGB-ML’s central committee on 5 November

The autocratic government of Museveni is a vassal of US imperialism, serving the latter’s economic, political and military interests.

For instance, it supplies thousands of ‘peacekeepers’ to Somalia to prop up the unpopular US-backed regime in that country, and has opened up Uganda to foreign investment.

Interestingly the New York Times recently claimed that Museveni had stamped out the Lord’s Resistance Army, even as his government was coming under severe pressure from widespread Arab spring-style protests caused by the escalating cost of living. (‘Discontent simmers in a market as Uganda’s economy staggers’ by Josh Kron, 13 October 2011)

Yet the very next day the same newspaper reported that armed US advisers were being sent by Obama to Uganda … to help fight the Lord’s Resistance Army, which it described as “a notorious renegade group that has terrorised villagers in at least four countries with marauding bands that kill, rape, maim and kidnap with impunity … led by Joseph Kony, a self-proclaimed prophet known for ordering village massacres, recruiting prepubescent soldiers, keeping harems of child brides and mutilating opponents”! (‘Armed US advisers help fight African renegade group’ by Thom Shanker and Rick Gladstone)

This is how the imperialist media cover up the fact that the US military is being sent to protect imperialist interests in Africa – and specifically in the case of Uganda, to influence the award of oil exploration and extraction contracts and try to ensure that they do not go to China.

With this in mind, it is also important for them to prevent one of US imperialism’s most loyal puppet governments being dispatched by the mass uprisings that are taking place in Uganda – a subject on which the imperialist media are almost totally silent.

Moreover, the Lord’s Resistance Army is asserted to have been spreading mayhem in neighbouring countries too, so that although the initial deployment of US military ‘advisers’ will be in Uganda, they will also operate in South Sudan, Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo – centres extremely rich in oil or other precious minerals – “subject to the approval of each respective host nation”.