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Vol 53 No 20

Published 5th October 2012

South Sudan

The grand corruption trap

The nine agreements signed between the Khartoum and Juba governments on 27 September will throw the focus back on to the appalling living conditions in both states. The agreements include a deal on resuming oil production in South Sudan. Economic conditions in both countries worsened sharply after Juba halted oil production in January in protest at what it said was massive cheating by the Khartoum regime on arrangements to share oil revenue and the charges that Juba paid to export its oil via Port Sudan

Expectations are high that restarting oil production in South Sudan will provide an economic boost to both Sudans. How much of a boost depends on how far governance standards are improved, especially those related to grand corruption on contracts and diversion of oil revenues for personal gain. It also depends on security. Both countries are on a war footing. The latest security accord stipulates a demilitarised buffer zone along the still undefined border. No agreement was reached, though, on the disputed border areas, including Heglig/Pan Thou and Abyei, where the National Congress Party (NCP) regime held out against implementing the agreement it signed in 2005.

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