South Sudan blames crisis on Sudan, Red Sea attacks South Sudan blames crisis on Sudan, Red Sea attacks

South Sudan blames crisis on Sudan, Red Sea attacks

South Sudan blames crisis on Sudan, Red Sea attacks

South Sudan's government on Tuesday blamed the country's economic crisis in part on fighting in neighboring Sudan and instability in the Red Sea, where Yemen's Houthi rebels have attacked international shipping.

With most civil servants not paid for five months and the cost of living soaring, Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth told reporters that external factors had impacted South Sudan 's oil exports , which are the country's main source of income.

Lueth's press conference aimed to take stock of South Sudan's sluggish economy since the signing of a peace deal in 2018 that ended the country's internal conflict . Mr. Lueth also said that oil wells , which were clogged by heavy flooding during the last rainy season, are not yet fully operational.

Low productivity levels have been made worse by the fact that the pipeline that carries South Sudan's crude through Sudan to its main hub on the Red Sea , Port Sudan, has been blocked in areas where there are fights, he added.

But even if the crude oil reached Port Sudan , it would still not be possible to ship it due to current threats to shipping in the Red Sea, Leuth said. “So, apart from low production, the oil sector is facing physical challenges. The combination of all these factors has seriously affected South Sudan.”

Neighboring Sudan plunged into chaos in mid-April when clashes broke out in the capital, Khartoum, between rival Sudanese forces – the country's army, led by General Abdel Fattah Burhan , and a paramilitary faction known as the name Rapid Support Forces , under the command of General Mohammed Hamdan Daglo .

The fighting quickly spread across the African country, particularly to urban areas, but also to the restive West Darfur region . To date, they have killed at least 12,000 people and forced more than 8 million people to flee their homes.

South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011 after decades of civil war that cost millions of lives. Soon after independence, South Sudan experienced its own civil war from 2013 to 2018, when rivals President Salva Kiir and Vice President Riek Machar signed a power-sharing agreement and formed a government of coalition .

South Sudan, a landlocked country, produces about 150,000 barrels of fuel per day and uses Sudanese pipelines to transfer its oil to the global market under a deal with Sudan's government. Sudan pockets $23 per barrel as transit fees for South Sudan's oil exports.

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