Oil fans flames of South Sudan War | AFP
Conflict over oil in South Sudan is prolonging a war predicted to spiral into famine if fighting does not end and risks dragging in regional nations, analysts warn.
Despite heavy international pressure, a second cease-fire this month for the world’s youngest nation has crumbled, in a war that has already claimed thousands — possibly tens of thousands — of lives. With the war entering its sixth month, oil fields that once generated hundreds of millions of dollars providing 98 percent of government revenue are “key strategic objectives,” the International Crisis Group (ICG) said.
“There are clear and mutually reinforcing military and political reasons for the parties to continue fighting,” the ICG’s Casie Copeland and Jerome Tubiana said in a report. “Both sides believe they can capture or retake territory, including key towns and oil installations, and thereby strengthen their negotiating positions.” Less than three years old, grossly underdeveloped South Sudan was the most oil-dependent nation in the world at independence. “Oil is a significant driver of the conflict,” said Emma Vickers of Global Witness, a campaign group focusing on resource conflicts.
FULL ARTICLE (Agence France-Presse)
Photo: United Nations Photo/flickr