Sudan: January 3, 2003


On January 1 the SPLA accused the government of conducting a major attack in the West Upper Nile area (an oil producing region). A subsequent report said the government used 1500 troops in the operation. The SPLA reported it captured 125 soldiers. Government helicopters also allegedly shot up several villages. The SPLA said the government attack was part of a plan to capture the area so that the Lundin Oil (Sweden), OMV Sudan Exploration (Austria), China National Petroleum Company (Chinese), and Petronas Carigali (Malaysia) oil companies could begin exploring the area. These companies have working agreements with Sudapet, Sudans state petroleum company. The specific areas were identified as the Block 4 field (which lies in part in Kordofan, Unity and Bahr al-Ghazal states) and Block 5A (in Unity and northern Bahr al-Ghazal states).


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