The inauguration of Bursaya Oilfield in the western part of South Kordofan, as a first field that starts production following secession of South Sudan and its devastating impact on the Sudanese economy, may have a positive effect on the conditions in Sudan, in general, and the State, in particular.
The Sudan’s oil production will receive more than 6,000 bpd from the new oilfield that is designed to produce 60,000 bpd. Components of Bursaya oilfield, which cost $70 million, consist of an electric-power generation station with a capacity of six megawatts and a central processing center of a capacity 22,000 bpd.
On a separate issue, the inhabitants of the region shouted applause, shrills and other cries of joy welcoming a declaration by First Vice President Ali Osman Taha of completion of arrangements for reestablishment of West Kordofan State. This was followed by arguments among the people of the State on the capital of the State- will it be Al-Foulah, which is predominantly inhabited by the Missairiya tribe, or Al-Nuhud, which of the mainly Hamar tribe?
The establishment of the State was for security, political and social consideration and one of the repercussions of the secession of South Sudan and the resulting agreement on the three regions, the most important provision of which was the referendum on Abyei region by the Dinka Ngok, Missairiya and other groups of the population of the region.
All this adds another burden to South Kordofan problems, which already faces security threats, of protecting it and securing the resources. Speaking to SUDANOW, South Kordofan Governor Ahmed Haroun made responses to questions being circulated on the developments. He described the reestablishment of West Kordofan State as an electoral right provided for in the programme of the National Congress Party (NCP). He underlined that the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), other regular forces and the community are capable of defending all the starts and their resources.
SUDANOW: The First Vice-President has declared the establishment of West Kordofan State. How do you view the rights of this State and the assets it will demand from your South Kordofan State?
Haroun: The establishment of this State is an electoral right provided for in our NCP election programmes. The declaration by the First Vice-President on reestablishment of West Kordofan State on January 1, 2013 was in fulfillment of this pledge. Several arrangements and procedures will be made for bringing the decision into force as soon as possible.
Q: The Minister of National Defense, Lt. Gen. Abdul Rahim Mohamed Hussein, recently paid a visit to South Kordofan capital Kadogle during which he vowed to defeat the rebellion in the battlefield. Have you taken any steps for bringing this declaration into force?
A: Our armed forces and other regular forces act intrepidly and are determined to destroy the combative capabilities of the enemy. The Sudanese people will very shortly hear good tidings of smashing victories and emptying the State of the rebellion.
Q: Is there any link between the ongoing military operations on the ground and the negotiation in Addis Ababa?
A: The issue currently on hand is militarily conquering and defeating the enemy while the negotiation is a high-level federal policy. No negotiation will be conducted since it has opted for war and the rebel movement will have no chance for it to exploit a military escalation for improving their negotiating position.
Q: The security status in the region is linked with the Government of South Sudan. Do you expect that South Sudan will dissociate itself from elements of the two regions?
A: If the South seeks a lasting peace with the Sudan, it has to dissociate itself from those elements. The South is aware now that any agreement on security arrangements should provide for demobilizing those elements in the SPLA.
Q: How do you view the recent military escalation by the SPLM/A in Abbasiyah, Rashad, Gadir and elsewhere?
A: First of all, we denounce in the strongest terms the rebels’ behavior and attack on innocent, unarmed civilians in all towns, villages and hamlets of the State. Secondly, I believe by this escalation they intended to improve their negotiating position.
Q: The United States accuses you of hindering implementation of the humanitarian tripartite initiative of the United Nations, African Union and Arab League in the region. Do you have any defense?
A: Those accusations were made by US representative to the Security Council Susan Rice. But before responding to those accusations, we have to what has been achieved with regard to the humanitarian operations and the Government position in this connection. What was signed was a memorandum of understanding that contains a general framework of the humanitarian operation that has to be carried out and the mechanisms of implementation.
So long as it is a memorandum of understanding, it has to b discussed by the parties concerned with the tripartite initiative to transform it into an executive agreement and a plan of action. The memorandum of understanding demands of the parties concerned to sit down together to change the general framework into a practical and legal framework that can be carried out. The nine principles agreed upon as governing the humanitarian operation are only principles the parties to the initiative agreed on.
Q: What is the practical method you deem suitable for implementing the humanitarian operation?
A: We have to solve the main problem that is, stopping the war. The humanitarian interventions for removing the symptoms of the war should not lead to aggravation of that war.
Q: Is the humanitarian situation really bad in the rebel-controlled areas to the degree pointed out by the US representative to the UN Security Council?
A: Yes, it is bad; but what is the reason? It is the war that was triggered by the Movement and holding up the civilians by the rebellion as hostages. The Movement faces a problem of providing food supplies to its fighters and intends to obtain those supplies through humanitarian operations.
Q: There is a warning of a humanitarian crisis in some Government-held areas. What is your opinion?
A: The rebels are starving and for this reason they target the quiet villages in search for food and for looting belongings of the villagers! Let’s focus on finding a settlement to the war first and then look into the conditions of the hungry persons, including the fighters of the rebel Movement.
Q: A number of leaders in the State have criticized your way of running the party and government of the State. How do you respond?
A: The decisions are taken by the institutions of the Party, which we are proud of as a leading party. There is no way for a person or persons to take any decision in absence of the Party institutions.
Q: What efforts have you made for securing the petroleum installations in your State?
A: The petroleum is a national wealth; it is one of the basic components of our national economy and for this reason the State exerts a tremendous effort for securing the various petroleum activities. Our regular forces, led by the intrepid armed forces represented by Division 22nd which is basically specialized in securing the various oil activities and operations, are making a great effort through the forces spread in all parts of the State. Moreover, there are the State’s police, petroleum security, the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) and the petroleum police. Those efforts are followed up every month at a meeting of the State’s Security Committee and security committees of the localities, which host oil activities, in addition to the security committee of oilfields.
Q: The security, in its overall concept, depends on cooperation of the people. To what extent is the community involved with maintenance of the security of the petroleum installations?
A: There is a great cooperation by the local community as represented by the native administration leaderships of all levels, including Emirs, Omda, Sheikhs and Nazirs. For this reason there is an appropriate security environment for the oil exploration and pumping as we are now witnessing the inauguration of Bursaya oilfield which is the first one to be opened after the secession of South Sudan, with a capacity of more than 6,000 bpd set to rise up to 60,000 bpd later on. Operations for exploration and development of oilfields are going on smoothly and we positively take care of the security issue by bringing in the local communities for participation in the security effort and through the social services being provided to the people. We have set for ourselves a goal for the satisfaction of all partners of the process –the Government, the companies and the communities.
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