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Sudan to shut down oil pipeline from South Sudan

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(CNN) — The president of Sudan ordered the shutdown of an oil pipeline running from South Sudan, his country’s state-run Sudan News Agency reported late Saturday.

The closure ordered by President Omar al-Bashir goes into effect Sunday, the SUNA story said.

He made the announcement to a crowd of people attending the opening of a power station, saying his decision “came after thoughtful considerations of all the consequences and expected impacts,” the report said. The story did not elaborate further on his rationale.

South Sudan became independent from Sudan in July 2011, following a popular referendum and a war that left nearly 2 million people dead. But the two nations have remained at odds on some issues, including defining their borders and oil exports.

When they separated, South Sudan acquired three quarters of Sudan’s oil reserves. The two countries have been at odds about how much the landlocked South Sudan should pay to use a pipeline and processing facilities in the north.

Al-Bashir directed his nation’s military to open up camps by Sunday, urging young people to join their ranks.

In April 2012, Sudan and South Sudan slipped close to all-out war in a series of air and ground exchanges.

The two African countries’ leaders had agreed in September 2012 to resume oil exports, but failed to address other issues such as the fate of the disputed region of Abyei.

Yet they appeared to reach a significant breakthrough in March, with the signing of a deal to withdraw their respective military forces from a 14-mile-wide demilitarized zone between them.

The withdrawals were to be monitored by the commander of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei.

That agreement followed international pressure from the African Union and U.N. Security Council to resolve that and other disputes peacefully.

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