Standoff quite myopic

Thursday December 20 2012

The economies of both Sudan and South Sudan are in dire straits, yet it does not seem to have occurred to the two countries that only lasting peace can guarantee prosperity, which is not possible without the resumption of oil production.

According to media reports, security talks between negotiation teams between Khartoum and Juba have almost collapsed, leading to a continued deadlock that may lead to a resumption of war.

Common sense would dictate that self-interest would take centre-stage for both countries. South Sudan’s economy depends almost entirely on its oil. It is land-locked and cannot transport the oil to markets without the consent of Khartoum.

Therefore, it appears that Khartoum wants to keep that oil in the ground, and thus cripple the nascent state. On the other hand, Juba will not yield on issues that are not crucial to its existence.

That is myopic. Should the South be pushed into a corner, it may be forced to revive its formidable war machine to keep a restive populace in check. That may only be of comfort to a few diehards in the north.

It is time the international community and the regional blocs sought ways to revive the stalled security talks that are vital for lasting peace and prosperity.