Sudan has postponed the shutdown of pipelines carrying oil from South Sudan for two weeks to allow more time to end a row over alleged rebel support, an official said in a last-minute effort to keep vital crude exports flowing.
Sudan, the sole conduit for South Sudan’s oil exports, said last month it would close two cross-border oil pipelines by August 7 unless Juba gave up support for rebels operating across their border. South Sudan denies the claims.
“Sudan has agreed to postpone for two week the deadline at the request of (African Union mediator Thabo) Mbeki,” Rahmatullah Osman, undersecretary in the foreign ministry, told Reuters. The AU had asked for the extension to have more time to investigate complaints about rebel support, he said.
Ethiopia, which is mediating between the former civil war foes with the AU, had initially announced the postponement. Mbeki had met Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.
The African Union has stepped up efforts earlier this week to prevent the production shutdown by naming three generals to investigate Sudanese allegations that South Sudan is supporting anti-Khartoum rebels.
Read more at Reuters.