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South Sudan balks on oil transparency

April 9, 2012 at 8:41 AM

JUBA, South Sudan, April 9 (UPI) -- South Sudanese officials said they considered oil transparency a matter of national security though some information may be shared with contractors.

Nearly all of South Sudan's government revenue was derived from oil until disputes with Sudan prompted Juba government to halt crude oil production in January. South Sudan's government accused the north of stealing oil.

George Bureng, a South Sudanese lawmaker from the ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement, was quoted as saying to lawmakers that some of the information regarding oil was sensitive and therefore not available for the public.

"We must be careful with the way we need to use it, especially when it is sensitive information," he was quoted by the independent Sudan Tribune as saying. "It can also bring a disaster if it is not used properly."

Disputes between the Sudan and South Sudan governments over oil were left unresolved when South Sudan became an independent country in July. South Sudan controls most of the oil fields in the region, though Sudan governs most of the export infrastructure.

Bureng's counterparts said some information could be made available to potential contractors under certain circumstances.

"It is good to allow (the) public (to) access any information but sometimes there is sensitive information which cannot be made available to the general public," said Bureng.

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