By Julius Gale JUBA South Sudan
(Xinhua) -- South Sudan said
military escorts would be provided to oil workers in the
Upper Nile oil fields following the abduction of six oil
workers in about two weeks.
journalists at Adar and Gumry oil fields in northern
Upper Nile region, Petroleum Minister Ezekiel Lol
Gatkuoth said on Tuesday evening the recent kidnapping
cases would not impede oil production in the area,
assuring oil operators that security will immediately be
reinforced to protect oil workers.
president has instructed all the security forces to
provide maximum security for the protection of oil
workers. So we will make sure that even if it one person
is going out for operation, they will be escorted,”
“We ask the
oil workers both South Sudanese and foreigners to
cooperate with us to ensure that protection is given to
all of them,” he added.
On March 8,
rebels allied to former deputy president Riek Machar
abducted two Indian nationals working for the Dar
Petroleum Operating Company (DPOC) in Adar oil field,
northern Upper Nile.
kidnapping of four oil workers also took place on March
18 in Gumry oil field, just few kilometers from Adar.
Among the abductees were three South Sudanese and a
said negotiations are underway for the release of the
abducted oil workers, but warned that the government
would not listen to any demand for ransom payment.
South Sudan relies on oil revenue to finance 98 percent
of its annual budget. But production has been affected
by civil war that broke out in December 2013.
country’s oil output is currently estimated at 130,000
barrels per day, down from 350,000 bpd in 2011.
First batch of regional
protection force to arrive in South Sudan soon: UN
By Denis Elamu JUBASouth Sudan
(Xinhua) -- The first batch of
the much awaited African peacekeeping force with mandate
to restore peace in South Sudan will arrive in the
country soon, the United Nations peacekeeping chief
Secretary-General for Peacekeeping operations Herve
Ladsous told journalists in Juba that the delayed
deployment of the protection force was due to hiccups in
getting clearance from the government.
sparing no effort to speed up (deployment of protection
force). I think I can say that in the next few weeks you
will see the first vanguard of the protection force
being deployed here in Juba,” Ladsous said.
deployment of the regional protection force, we are
working actively on it. We did lose time because there
was a delay in getting clearances and authorization here
(in South Sudan),” he added.
Nations Security Council (UNSC) issued Resolution 2304
in August last year, allowing deployment of more than
4,000 troops to beef up the existing 13,000 UN Mission
in South Sudan (UNMISS) force.
accepted the deployment of the protection force in
November 2016 but later reneged in January this year
following renewed clashes in the capital between forces
loyal to President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek
Machar who is in exile in South Africa.
that left about 300 soldiers dead, also spread near to
the UN Juba base in which thousands of internally
displaced persons are seeking shelter resulting in the
death of some three Chinese peacekeepers.
spread to once peaceful Equatorial region with the UN
warning of ethnic cleansing leading to genocide in the
aftermath of heinous atrocities being visited on largely
civilians in the remote town of Yei Southwest of the
situation in this country remains a source of many
concerns an issue that the Secretary General since he
came in the UN in January has put among his chief
concerns,” Ladsous said.
He added the
volatile situation remains under the close scrutiny of
the UNSC which failed in it’s attempts to impose arms
embargo on South Sudan.
peacekeepers chief said they were very alarmed by the
very serious humanitarian situation, and worrisome
security issues of fighting that takes place in many
parts of the country.
context it’s clear that there can’t be military solution
but political solution,” he said.
revealed that President Kiir vowed after the two held
meeting in Juba to support the protection force and
protect aid workers that have increasingly suffered from
restricted movements while reaching out to those faced
February, the UN declared famine in some parts of the
country with 100,000 people starving, and 1 million on
the brink of starvation and a further 5.5 million in
dire need of food assistance caused by more than three
years of fighting since December 2013.
faced a number of impediments in terms of freedom of
movement, getting clearances, very importantly the
humanitarian actors have been severely impeded in their
actions on the ground,” he said.
South Sudan is one of the countries in the world where
we have had humanitarian workers being prevented from
doing their work, being killed or injured on their job,”