South Sudan and its neighbor to the north signed a series of cooperation agreements in late September, which were – among other things – meant to pave the way for Southern Sudanese crude oil to resume its flow through Sudan and on to Port Sudan for export. Despite seceding from the north in July 2011, South Sudan is still highly dependent on the north, through which the only existing pipeline to the coast runs.

Yet nearly five months on, and with virtually no immediate hope of a resolution to the dispute, it appears the Southern Sudanese are ready to take matters into their own hands. Speaking to the local press on 9 February South Sudan’s Minister of Petroleum and Mining, Stephen Dhieu Dau, said he hoped construction work on an oil pipeline that would free it from its dependence on Sudan would begin later this year. (CONTINUED - 798 WORDS)