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A War between Sudan, South Sudan is bane for all sides

By Wang Haiqing (Xinhua)

14:11, April 20, 2012

BEIJING, April 20 (Xinhua) -- The very recent development of escalating tensions between Sudan and its newly-independent neighbor South Sudan has aggravated concerns among members of the international community, as it's clear a full-scale war between the two sides is a bane for all parties.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir said late Wednesday that his country is "determined to bring down the government of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement in Juba" and "fighting is the only way to resolve differences with South Sudan."

The statement, interpreted as a quasi "declaration of war" by many Western analysts, comes as the fighting between the two sides has intensified surrounding the oil-rich Heglig area.

Oil revenue has been a vital part of the national income for Sudan for many years and a large number of oil companies have aggregated there long before July 2011 when South Sudan officially became an independent state.

However, the two sides bitterly disagree on how to split the huge oil wealth, and negotiations over the issues have so far failed to produce any breakthrough.

South Sudan shut down oil production late January after Khartoum started holding part of its oil as compensation for what it calls the south's arrears for using transit pipelines in the north.

The stoppage has proven damaging for both countries, and the global economy as well.

Since most of the oil infrastructure of the region are in the north while over 70 percent of its oil reserves are in the landlocked south, oil interests of the two countries are heavily intertwined and any unilateral action in this regard would finally boomerang and at the same time impact the sensitive global oil market.

As a friendly partner for both Sudan and South Sudan, China has done a lot of work to ease disagreements between the two sides, and China is expected to continue to work with the international community to push for reconciliation and talks.

The two sides should keep both the long-term and general situations in mind and maintain maximum restraint, and actively cooperate with the international community so as to ease the situation at an early date.

And first of all, the two sides should wind down conflicts to avoid inflicting toll on civilians or creating further havoc on their already-strained oil sector.

For many in China, the tensions in the region are particularly worrisome as many Chinese companies are operating in and around the volatile region.

In over a decade, China has successfully built a vast commercial relationship with the two sides, which has brought development and jobs to local communities.

Both Sudan the South Sudan should do everything possible to ensure the legitimate properties and rights of Chinese companies and workers are fully respected


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