UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon commended the governments of Sudan and South Sudan Monday for accepting a new oil sharing agreement after tensions over the failure to secure a deal had pushed both countries to the brink of war just a few months ago.
“It is an important milestone for building good neighborly relations between the two states,” Ban Ki Moon said in a statement about the deal.
South Sudan shut down oil production in January after disagreeing with Sudan over how much it should pay to export crude over northern pipelines and ports. The South also accused Khartoum of stealing nearly a billion dollars worth of crude.
This new deal requires South Sudan to pay a pipeline transit fee of $9.48 per oil barrel for three and a half years to transport its crude through Sudan and to make a “one-off payment” to Khartoum of around $3 billion to cover the financial gap created by South Sudan’s independence.
Other unresolved issues include the status of the disputed border region of Abyei, which will be discussed by leaders next month, and accusations of violating peace plans, supporting insurgents and rebels on the other’s territory.
The Secretary General urged Sudanese and South Sudanese leaders “to muster the necessary political will to resolve all outstanding issues.”
The UN Security Council will hold a meeting August 9 to discuss the progress made in Sudan and South Sudan and to determine subsequent steps to be taken.