Conflict

Sudan & South Sudan oil concessions

Sudan, South Sudan Claim Oil Production Boon, But How Much?

South Sudan’s oil output is up 40% in the past year to 165,000 b/d as a cooperation agreement with Sudan comes to fruition, Juba claims. The figures may be inflated, but any increase in revenue is a welcome boost to two struggling economies. MEES, 8 February 2019 A resumption of production from fields in former [...]

Libya oil infrastructure map

Libya: Fractured Institutions Fail To Distribute Oil Revenue Gains

MEES, 24 August 2018 Libya’s oil production recovered to more than 1mn b/d in mid-August following a collapse to just 400,000 b/d early in July. The reopening of key export terminals in the east of the country has enabled a resumption of production from oil fields in the Sirte basin ( MEES, 13 July ). [...]

Libya government budget and finances H1 2018

Libya’s Financial Black Hole

MEES, 17 August 2018 Libya near-balanced its budget in 1H 2018. But this was ‘thanks’ to chronic state weakness that left spending 21% under budget. Revenues were up with higher oil prices, but non-oil revenue remains abysmal. The UN plans an audit of Libya’s finances in a bid to help tackle corruption. But, if the [...]


UN Special Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salamé

Libya Election Timetable To Slip Further Amid Factional Divisions

MEES, 27 July 2018 Libya’s parliament, the House of Representatives (HOR) is poised to vote on the terms of a planned referendum on constitutional changes, with a timetable in place for elections by the end of the year. But after another round of damaging politicking in recent weeks, there is little chance that the plans [...]

US has imposed sanctions on 15 oil-related companies in South Sudan

US imposes South Sudan oil sanctions

African Energy, 5 April 2018 The US government has imposed licensing restrictions on South Sudan’s Ministry of Petroleum, Ministry of Mining, state-owned Nile Petroleum Corporation (Nilepet) and 12 other oil-related organisations. The restrictions were issued on 21 March by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) at the US Department of Commerce “as part of [...]

Burial site of victims of ethnic violence in Wau South Sudan in 2016

Wau displaced tell of death and horrifying escapes

UN warns of ethnic cleansing under way in South Sudan, survivors recount how they escaped as violence erupted in Wau. Al Jazeera, 21 December 2016 Wau, South Sudan - Looting, killing, beatings and sexual assault were the hallmarks of ethnically motivated attacks against civilians by South Sudanese government forces in the town of Wau earlier this [...]


Frontlines in Yemen conflict October 2016

No Winners In Yemen As Untenable War Drags On

MEES, 28 October 2016 War in Yemen is becoming increasingly intolerable for almost all the players involved, but still there is no sign of a negotiated way out of the conflict, making a de facto partition of the country a possibility. The current phase of a long-running war in Yemen has endured since September 2015 [...]

Civilians displaced from Wau by government violence in 2016 subsist on fruit

South Sudan: An ever-deepening cycle of violence

Al Jazeera, 9 July 2016  Thousands of civilians have been forcefully displaced from their homes by government soldiers and militiamen. IN PICTURES /AFRICA On the fifth anniversary of its independence from Khartoum, South Sudan finds itself plunged into an ever-deepening cycle of violence. Despite a peace agreement in August and the formation of a transitional [...]

Victim of government attacks against civilians in Wau, South Sudan, in June 2016

South Sudan: The 3-year-old victim of renewed fighting

Al Jazeera, 6 July 2016 There were 15 children inside, hiding under the bed. The soldiers started shooting indiscriminately. Wau, South Sudan – On the evening before her three-year-old granddaughter was killed by government soldiers, Mariana was adamant that she didn’t want to run. Her friends were contacting her to say that people were fleeing her [...]


In a now almost deserted part of town where security concerns are acute, the Holy Family Church in the Nazareth district is providing refuge to more than 5,000 people, according to the parish priest, Father Archangel. Locals buried about 17 people killed by government soldiers and militia in the grounds of family houses near the church. RICHARD NIELD/AL JAZEERA

South Sudan: Dozens killed as violence flares in Wau

Al Jazeera, 3 July 2016 Gangs of ethnic Dinka youths accused of targeting Fertit tribe in northwest city as tens of thousands flee their homes. Juba, South Sudan – Dozens of people have been killed and more than 120,000 displaced from their homes in a wave of fighting in Wau, one of South Sudan’s largest [...]

Nyayang Bol Biel, eight months pregnant, travelled hundreds of miles with her two children to reach the safety of Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya [Richard Nield/Al Jazeera]

Escape from Leer and South Sudan civil war

Al Jazeera, 29 December 2015 One woman’s struggle to survive the South Sudan conflict in leaving behind her homeland to seek refuge in Kenya. Kakuma refugee camp, Kenya Eight months pregnant and fearing for her life, Nyayang Bol Biel gathered up her two young children in the dead of night and prepared to embark on a [...]

ISIS in the Middle East & North Africa, 2015

North Africa Security Special Report: Too Late To Roll Back Islamic State?

MEES, 18 September 2015 The growing presence of terrorist movements across North Africa, particularly in Libya, threatens to destabilize the whole region. Even in the best case scenario, involving a peace deal in Libya, there is no prospect of an end to the threat posed by Islamic State. Overseas investment in the region will continue to [...]


South Sudan's president Salva Kiir Mayardit

South Sudan: Deal or no deal?

Warring parties have signed a peace agreement in South Sudan that paves the way for a transitional government. But key differences between the signatories means there is still no guarantee of a halt in fighting. Blog, 4 September 2015 On 26 August, South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, added his signature to a peace agreement signed [...]

Richard Nield talks on CNBC about South Sudan budget

South Sudan budget sets unrealistic expectations

CNBC – 25 July 2014 This is an interview I did on South Sudan’s unfathomable war budget for CNBC’s Closing Bell Africa programme.

South Sudan finance minister Aggrey Tisa

South Sudan draws up ‘War Budget’, but oil production targets unlikely to be reached

African Arguments – 18 July 2014 By the evidence of South Sudan’s budget, presented to parliament in late June, the country’s finance ministry has lost its mind. This time last year, the Government of South Sudan put forward what it described as a “two-step budget” that would boost social services and economic growth “in a [...]


Top 15 countries by military expenditure 2013 in $bn (SIPRI)

MENA Countries Hike Defense Spending For 2013

MEES, 18 April 2014 MENA military spending has more than doubled since 2004, rising 4% to $150bn for 2013, according to a report released this week by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Saudi Arabia was the world’s fourth biggest spender, and the highest in the region in 2013, spending an estimated $67bn on [...]

South Sudan's foreign minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin

South Sudan talks continue amid violence

The cases of political detainees remain a sticking point in negotiations, says South Sudan’s foreign minister. Al Jazeera – 20 February 2014 Three weeks after a ceasefire agreement was signed on January 23, there are few signs that newly resumed peace talks are likely to bring an end to a conflict in South Sudan that [...]

Salva Kiir agrees deal on South Sudan oil exports

South Sudan officials charged with treason

Seven opposition leaders are accused of plotting a coup to overthrow President Salva Kiir’s government. Al Jazeera – 6 February 2014 An announcement by South Sudan’s government that it plans to charge seven leading opposition politicians with treason threatens to derail a fragile peace process just days after a ceasefire was signed in Addis Ababa. [...]


South Sudan's president Salva Kiir Mayardit

South Sudan ceasefire is only a first step

Under a peace agreement signed in Addis Ababa on 23 January, the government and dissident elements of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army have committed to ceasing “all military actions”, to “freeze their forces at the place they are in” and to “refrain from taking any actions that could lead to military confrontations”. They also agreed [...]

Omar al-Bashir, president of Sudan

South Sudan plays dangerous game of politics with Khartoum

African Energy – 16 January 2014 Reports that both the government of South Sudan and nominal opposition leader Riek Machar have been in talks with Khartoum over securing control of South Sudan’s oilfields have roused fears that the already bloody fight could escalate further. Speaking at Juba airport on 6 January at the conclusion of [...]

Lindsey Hilsum at the Frontline Club, 26 April 2012

Writing Libya’s revolution

Speaking to a packed Frontline Club on 26th April, Channel 4 News’ international editor Lindsey Hilsum shared a fascinating personal insight into the revolution in Libya last year that overthrew the regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi after 42 years in power. In Hilsum’s words, Libya was the “only true revolution of last year – where the [...]


Old tensions fail to disappear in Sudan

As Sudan splits, the issues that caused the bloody civil war will not be easily consigned to history If anybody thought that the success of the January referendum on the secession of South Sudan from the north meant that the hard work was over, recent events will have forced them to reassess. The backdrop to [...]