Sudan and South Sudan are on the brink, again

NAIROBI, Kenya — The leaders of the two Sudans are meeting at a regional summit in Addis Ababa today amid growing tensions between the neighbors over oil.

Salva Kiir, the president of South Sudan, and Omar al-Bashir, the leader of Sudan, were bitter civil-war enemies. Although the outright fighting is over, the suspicion and enmity are very much alive.

This week, South Sudan began shutting down its oil installations in protest over Khartoum confiscating southern oil, a move it says was to reclaim funds owed by Juba.

More from GlobalPost: South Sudan charges that Sudan steals oil

In the run up to the South's official independence last July, most analysts guessed that Sudan's shared oil would bind them together. Most of the oil lies in the south, but all the pipelines and refineries are in the north.

The two need each other, so the argument went. Instead it has proved increasingly divisive.

Earlier this week South Sudan struck a deal with Kenya to build a new pipeline to export the oil southwards, a move that might offer the south a way around the north. That has angered Khartoum. It's not quite make-or-break at the Addis talks, but fears of a return to conflict are growing.

More from GlobalPost: South Sudan, Kenya agree to oil pipeline


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