Sudan Approves Oil Deal with South Sudan

Posted October 17th, 2012 at 11:55 am (UTC-5)
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Sudan's parliament has voted to approve an agreement with South Sudan designed to end hostilities and restart southern oil exports through the north.

The vote Wednesday comes a day after South Sudan's parliament also approved the deal, which was signed by the two countries' presidents last month in Ethiopia.

Sudan's parliament speaker said all but two of the lawmakers present voted in favor of the agreement.

The agreement will establish a set of fees for South Sudan using Sudanese oil pipelines, and set up a 10-kilometer demilitarized border zone from which both countries' armies must withdraw.

The deal also provides Khartoum with about $3 billion in compensation for South Sudan's secession.

The two Sudans have yet to decide who will control some border areas, including the oil-producing Abyei region.

The countries nearly went to war in April after South Sudanese forces occupied an oilfield near the border.

Three months earlier, South Sudan halted oil production to protest high fees levied by Sudan for use of their oil facilities.

The shutdown dealt a severe blow to both countries' economies. Oil revenues account for more than 90 percent of revenues for South Sudan's government.