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At UN Sudan Analogies of Skeletons & Siblings, Oil at the Root, Engineering Nobel?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 27 -- After US Ambassador Susan Rice circulated a draft resolution on Sudan midday on Thursday, a process not only of review but also snarking started at the UN.

  The most contentious portion of the draft is Operative Paragraph 9, which

"Expresses its intention to review compliance by Sudan and South Sudan with the decisions contained in this resolution, and expresses its determination, in the event that one or both of the parties have not complied, to take appropriate additional measures under Article 41 of the Charter."

  As more than one diplomat wondered, how can the Council threaten sanctions if a country doesn't engage in mediation, or engage in ways that others want?

  Alongside a first read-through session Thursday afternoon, one Security Council member told Inner City Press the fight between Sudan and South Sudan is a like "a battle of skeletons," in which neither side really has the force to push the fight through.

  Another analogy offered analogized South Sudan to a younger brother who attacks his older sibling, counting on the parent - in this case mostly the United States - to step in to break it up.

But Sudanese diplomats have complained to Inner City Press that the South Sudanese army is equipped with weapons "never seen in this conflict for decades," and not old or used Gaddafi weapons.

  Sudan's other complaint, of course, is that the goalposts keep being moved, and the country is now $7 billion a year poorer due to the loss of South Sudan, which now stopped pumping oil. It's said that Thabo Mbeki and his panel are supposed to try to raise a third of that from other countries, without so far much success.

  The draft resolution would have the Council "strongly condemning... the damage to economic infrastructure, in particular oil installations."

  With the serious damage to the Heglig oil facilities, the problem is more intractable. Even if the gap in oil transfer fees, between $36 and 50 cents per barrel, were bridge the pipeline to take oil from South Sudan's Unity State to Port Sudan is now broken in Heglig.

  Here's an idea: whoever sends enough engineers and construction workers to fix the damage in Heglig, to ease the financial problems that fuel this conflict, should be considered for a Nobel Peace Prize. Watch this site.

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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