South Sudan calls on US to lift sanctions

June 29, 2011 20:48

JUBA - South Sudan urged the United States on Wednesday to lift sanctions on Sudan ahead of the southern region's independence on July 9 to avoid hitting the new nation's oil-based economy.

The south voted to separate from the north, dividing Africa's largest nation in two, in a January referendum promised under a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war.

Oil is the lifeblood of both economies, especially in the underdeveloped south where petroleum revenues account for 98 percent of the annual budget. Around 75 percent of Sudan's 500,000 barrels per day production comes from the south but only the north has the port and refineries to sell the oil.

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