Sudan, South Sudan Agree on Key Oil Dispute

Posted August 4th, 2012 at 12:55 pm (UTC-5)
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Sudan and South Sudan have reached an oil agreement, resolving one of the bitter disputes that pushed the two countries to the brink of war earlier this year.

South Sudan said Saturday it had agreed to pay a transit fee of less than $10 per barrel. Sudan's initial transit fee demand was $36 per barrel.

U.S. President Barack Obama welcomed the deal and thanked the African Union for helping to bring about the agreement. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who visited South Sudan's capital on Friday, praised the agreement as one that “reflects leadership and a new spirit of compromise.”

Speaking in Nairobi Saturday, Clinton said Kenyans must work together to hold free and fair elections and be a role model for Africa and the world. She urged leaders to avoid the post-election bloodshed that Kenya suffered five years ago.

A general election next March will be the first in Kenya since a disputed 2007 poll set off a politically based ethnic slaughter in which more than 1,200 people were killed.

In Nairobi Saturday, Clinton told reporters the United States has pledged to assist Kenya in ensuring that its upcoming elections are “free, fair and transparent.''

She met with President Mwai Kibaki, who is barred by law from seeking a third term, and Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who leads in opinion polls in the race to replace him. The two men were the main rivals in the disputed 2007 election, in which opposition leader Odinga said he was the victim of vote fraud.

Clinton also was meeting with leaders from neighboring Somalia, to urge them to complete a political transition to a new government on schedule. The transitional government is set to end August 20 when its U.N. mandate expires.

Following her stop in Kenya, Clinton is due to visit Malawi and South Africa.