Some Wikileaks Explanation?
Sudan made headlines once again. It will be the hard hit country economically seeing the heaviest contraction this year that is expected to reach (-) 8 percent, followed by Greece (-) 7 percent and Portugal (-) 4 percent. On the other hand Libya will be the fastest growing economy this year growing some 23 percent according to the just released Economist Intelligence Unit.
The contraction in Sudanese economy is attributed mainly to the separation of the South Sudan that took with it 75 percent of oil reserve and more than 90 percent of hard currency earning.
However, academically speaking that is justifiable given the fact that Sudan is the only country that saw separation of its part last year, while economic woes of Greece and Portugal are to do with their policies and handling of their economies. Moreover, they were in a better condition given the involvement of the European Union to bail them out though they may be subjected to some tough austerity measures with dire political and social implications.
Yet the impact of the loss of oil and the flare-up of violence in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile provinces brings back the issue to the world of politics. According to a Wikileaks cable that dates back to November 2007 that issue was brought up.
The cable spoke of a meeting between US Special Envoy then Andrew Natsios and the Norwegian Petroleum Envoy to Sudan Anders Hannevik, who shared his calculations of northern and southern percentages of both production and revenue. He predicted that the North could lose significant oil revenues if South Sudan secedes in 2011. Hannevik urged all parties to start planning for the future of the oil industry post-2011 and warned that an agreement needs to be reached sooner rather than later, or disagreements over oil could potentially lead to war.
According to him, South Sudan was producing between 66-77 percent of Sudan's oil. The revenue sharing between the North and the South based on CPA; however, what happened in reality is the exact inverse, with the North taking two-thirds of total oil revenue. Hannevik estimated that oil production in Sudan is near or past peak production unless there are significant new discoveries.
He added that the South's oil revenue could rise after 2011 from $1.5 billion a year to $5-7 billion a year if the South secedes. He noted that a reciprocal fall in northern revenues could lead to great instability, increased tension, and potentially "disastrous consequences."
Hannevik stated that a post-2011 sharing mechanism needs to be agreed upon before the North and South view war as the final arbiter. He added that when Pagan Amum was briefed about the 2011 decline in oil revenues for the North, Amum said "This means war”.
Does this give some explanation to what is going on in Southern Kordofan, Blue Nile states and incessant statement from South Sudan that Sudan wants to invade the South to get back its oil fields? In that case it looks reasonable to initiate war than wait for it.
By Alsir Sidahmed, 09/01/2012