Sudan and South Sudan, two countries that almost went to war earlier this year, have managed to resolve one of their main conflicts. They agreed on how much money South Sudan will pay Sudan for using its oil refineries and pipelines.
Sudan is a big country, but it used to be even bigger – almost ten times the size of the United Kingdom. Last year in July, part of Sudan became a separate country called South Sudan, creating the newest country in the world. As the name describes, South Sudan is what used to be the southern part of Sudan, and the remainder is still called Sudan. When South Sudan separated, it took with it 75% of Sudan’s oil. Oil is very valuable since selling it brings money to a country. However, the refineries (where the oil is cleaned up and turned into fuel for cars, kerosene, diesel, and more) and the pipelines that transport the oil to other countries were located in what is now called Sudan. It was decided that South Sudan would continue to use Sudan’s refineries and pipelines, but the two countries could not agree on a price. In January, South Sudan stopped pumping out its oil to Sudan. This financially hurt both the countries.
There is another unresolved dispute between the two countries. It is about the exact border between the two. There are some areas which are rich in oil close to where the border between the two countries should be, and both the countries claim the areas to be theirs. A resolution is still needed between the two on this front.
South Sudan’s capital is Juba, and its currency is called the South Sudanese pound. The president of the country is Salva Kiir Mayardit. Sudan’s capital is Khartoum, and its currency is called the Sudanese pound. Omar al-Bashir is the president of the country. He is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of having committed crimes against people in Sudan. The Meroe Pyramids are a landmark of Sudan. They were built around 2000 years ago and are located in north-east Sudan in the ancient city of Meroe. There are more than 200 pyramids. South Sudan has forests, wetlands, and grasslands. The Sudd is a large swampy area in South Sudan and is one of the world’s largest wetlands.
Image Credits: Prince jasim ali for Al Bashir’s image, Jenny Rockett for Mayardit’s image