Rebels hold Chinese workers as two Sudans clash over oil

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Rebels hold Chinese workers as two Sudans clash over oil

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Sudan has agreed to free tankers exporting oil from neighbouring South Sudan.

The two recently divided countries have been arguing over how much transit fee landlocked South Sudan should pay Sudan in the north – which has the port and part of the pipeline.

South Sudan is accusing Sudan of seizing oil worth more than 600 million euros, though freeing the tankers could help relations.

As delegates from the two nations met in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, spokesman for the Sudanese government Said al-Khatib said: “As far as the government of Sudan is going to say, the decision has already been conveyed immediately, and the vessels are going to know as soon as possible that they are free to leave.”

However, With no transit agreement reached yet, South Sudan shut down oil production on Saturday.

Meanwhile, 29 Chinese construction workers in the Sudanese border state of South Kordofan are being held by rebels, who also claim to have captured nine soldiers, after a battle with the armed forces.

The group called the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) is believed to have attacked the camp of a Chinese company, but the group claims none of the Chinese workers have been kidnapped or wounded – but are being held for their own safety.