JUBA, March 26 (Reuters) – South Sudan’s economy is buckling
under the strain of an oil industry shutdown that followed a row
with Sudan, hitting its currency and sending officials
scrambling for ways to make up for lost revenues.
Some firms granted trade exemptions are suddenly being
billed for customs duties, and tax increases are looming,
weighing on confidence, executives attending an investment
conference in the new African nation’s capital Juba said.
JUBA (Reuters) – South Sudan plans to mark its emergence onto the world stage as an independent oil producer by completing a new airport terminal in June as a showcase for business visitors to the capital Juba, a government official said on Thursday.
“It is our highest priority,” Deputy Transport Minister Mayom Kuoc Malek told Reuters. Money for the prestige project has now been secured, after funding problems and other snags prevented its completion in time for independence celebrations last July, he said.
KHARTOUM (Reuters) – The United Nations has made progress in talks with Sudan to deliver more aid to South Kordofan, a border state where hundreds of thousands of people have fled fighting, a top U.N. official said in an interview.
Clashes broke out between Sudan’s armed forces and rebels of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) in South Kordofan last June, then spread to Blue Nile state in September. Both areas border newly-independent South Sudan.
KHARTOUM, March 14 (Reuters) – In Sudan’s only
shopping mall, in the capital Khartoum, customers need to walk
up to the shops from the underground car park because the
escalators have broken down. It is unclear when they might be
“The escalators are out of order and we are trying to find
spare parts that are not available on the local market,” a
notice at the entrance of the Turkish-funded Afra Mall says.
KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Sudan and South Sudan are locked in an escalating row over oil payments which is threatening to undermine stability in both countries and risks a return to armed conflict.
Sudan’s south became independent last July after a referendum agreed under a 2005 peace deal with its former civil war foe.
JUBA (Reuters) – In an air-conditioned Toyota showroom packed with half a dozen off-road vehicles in South Sudan’s capital, dealer Desmond McCue is wondering whether the shutdown of the country’s oil production industry means the bonanza is over.
The cars on sale range from a basic $50,000 pick-up truck to the lavish GXR V8 model that costs $84,000 — plus an extra $10,000 to have it flown in.
KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Rebels in Sudan’s Darfur region said they released 49 international peacekeepers on Monday, hours after detaining them, but kept hold of three civilian staff they accused of working for the country’s security service.
The joint U.N./African Union UNAMID peacekeeping force has been repeatedly caught in the crossfire during almost 10 years of fighting between government troops and insurgents in Sudan’s remote west.
JUBA (Reuters) – South Sudan has started legal steps to track down oil seized and sold by Sudan in a row between the two countries over oil payments, a government spokesman said on Friday.
The landlocked African nation needs to export its crude through Sudan but both nations have failed to agree on a transit fee, prompting Khartoum to seize some southern oil. Sudan has sold at least one oil cargo, industry sources have told Reuters.
KHARTOUM (Reuters) – A few weeks ago, a leading opposition activist sat down in a downtown Khartoum office to talk to a journalist. The young man immediately removed the battery from his cellphone.
“It’s so they can’t trace you,” he said, placing the battery and the phone on the table. “Any one of the security agencies spread throughout the country can arrest you.”
KHARTOUM/BEIJING (Reuters) – Sudanese rebel forces released 29 Chinese workers kidnapped ten days ago in the main oil-producing state of South Kordofan, where the army has been fighting insurgents for seven months, Sudan’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday.
The incident had been an embarrassment for the Sudanese government, which is trying to boost investment from China, its main political and trade ally, as it seeks to overcome a severe economic crisis.