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Sudan vs. South Sudan - Is it really all about oil and military strength?

Updated on July 17, 2013

Oil or Oil

After a referendum in 2011, South Sudan became the youngest independent internationally recognized nation after splitting of from Sudan. Both nations were to begin with satisfied until the question of two areas arose - Heglig and Abyei - both very rich with oil. Both nations have claims on these areas and have used force in the past. The UN are present with task forces in both areas but have not been received well by the population. Is this conflict only fueled by the want from oil or are there other hidden reasons?

After a very long and costly civil war, a peace agreement was signed in 2005, which led to the referendum in 2011. Since then what was a civil war, is now a "passive" conflict between to nations. This conflict has led to a huge refugee crisis in the area, adding on to the issues of refugees in Somalia. Oil is meant to be at the heart of this conflict, and this is most probably true. The Abyei and Heglig areas combined allegedly can produce up to 100,00 barrels per day or 30% of the oil produced in Sudan. But in the past there has been another reason for conflict - ethnic differences. The South Sudanese people recognize themselves as completely different to the Sudanese population due to cultural, social and traditional reasons. However only few people believe that the conflict is not only about oil.

With such an amount of oil waiting to be "produced", foreign nations are not hesitating to offer intervention. But until now only the United Nations and the African Union have been present in Somalia, no independent force. But the conflict must be solved, not so the oil can be bought, but so the reckless and needless loss of life can cease.


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