Sudan, South Sudan sign oil agreement


US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke during a press conference at Dakar University in Senegal on August 1, 2012, as she began an 11-day trip in Africa focusing on peace, security and development.



South Sudan and Sudan still need to resolve border disputes, but the international community is still hopeful a new agreement on oil pipeline fees signed today can have a positive impact.

After South Sudan seceded last year, the neighboring countries have long argued about oil reserves inside landlocked South Sudan and how to transport them through Sudan to world markets.

Their relationship degraded into violence earlier this year, and each country has accused the other of supporting rebel movements, Reuters reported.

It nearly drove them to war this year, but South Sudan has agreed to pay Sudan more for its pipeline, The New York Times said.

South Sudan produces 350,000 barrels per day, but stopped in January after an agreement with Sudan could not be reached.

Sudan seized oil in retaliation.

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The new agreement announced today could help ease tensions, but work must still be done to mark the new 1,200-mile border.

The two nations have neglected past agreements after years of guerilla warfare.

However, the UN Security Council gave them a Thursday deadline to resolve conflicts and honor a 2005 peace agreement.

The agreement came with help from an African Union moderator and was signed during discussions in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The Times said sources reported South Sudan will pay $10 per barrel to Sudan, but Sudan state media said the nation would receive $26 plus a $3 billion payment.

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited Juba, South Sudan, on Friday and urged the two sides to find middle ground.

President Barack Obama praised today's agreement.

"This agreement opens the door to a future of greater prosperity for the people of both countries," a statement from the president said, according to USA Today.

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