South Sudan: Rebels vow to stop oil production
South Sudan’s main rebel group is threatening to end oil production in the country, after releasing three foreign oil workers who were kidnapped earlier this month.
The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) says the government is using oil revenue to buy weapons and kill civilians, insisting it will do what it can to disrupt production.
Government funding war with oil money
Dak Duop Bichok, the head of the SPLM IO’s committee for energy and mining, called out the government last week for spending oil money on weapons as South Sudan’s civil conflict continues.
“People in South Sudan are not receiving their money (from oil revenue). This money is going to their pocket (of government officials) and for buying arms for killing our people. If we have chance to stop the oil production, we will do it,” he said.
The rebel group also repeated its warning to national and international oil companies to abandon South Sudan’s oil fields.
“You please, evacuate the place. The government is producing oil, and is getting money and is buying (arms),” Duop said.
Oil workers released
The SPLM-IO’s comments came just a day after three international oil workers were released by the rebel group. Muthu Vijaya Boopathy and Ayaz Hussein Jamali – both Indian employees working for a Chinese company – and Ambrose Edward, a Pakistani employee for a South Sudanese firm, were all released.
According to Duop, they were let go after officials from their countries spoke to rebel leader Riek Machar. The three men were flown to their countries’ embassies in Khartoum on Thursday.
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