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Sudan orders civil servants to 'donate' pay to war effort

Sudan's government has ordered its civil servants to donate a portion of their salaries to support the army in its fight against neighboring South Sudan, and has also announced plans to slash the petrol rations of government departments by 50 percent

South sudan withdraws heglig sudan 2012 4 20Enlarge
A South Sudan People's Liberation Army soldier in Heglig, on April 17, 2012. The South Sudan government eased tensions on Friday by beginning the withdrawal of all its troops from Heglig. (Adriane Ohanesian /AFP/Getty Images)

The government of Sudan has ordered its civil servants to donate a portion of their salaries to support the army in its fight against neighboring South Sudan.

Finance Minister Ali Mahmud al-Rasul has also slashed the petrol rations of government departments by 50 percent, following weeks of border clashes and the ten-day occupation by South Sudanese forces of Heglig oilfield, during which production facilities were damaged, the Agence France Presse reports.

Both sides have blamed the other for the damage.

Read more from GlobalPost on Sudan

State employees have been told they must donate two days’ worth of pay to make up for the loss of oil supplies and revenue from Heglig, which normally produces around 50,000 barrels of oil a day – all used for domestic consumption, according to the BBC.

Last Friday South Sudan announced it was withdrawing its forces from Heglig, which it had occupied since April 9. It soldiers had pulled out completely by Sunday, when the US-funded Satellite Sentinel Project released images of the disputed area, suggesting that key oil installations had been badly damaged during the occupation.

Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir visited the town the following day, promising that there would be no more talks with South Sudan over border demarcation and disputed oil revenues and claiming that Sudanese soldiers had driven the South out of the area by force.

South Sudan secured its independence from the North last July as part of a 2005 peace deal which ended a two-decade-long civil conflict in which about 1.5 million people died.

More from GlobalPost: Sudan and South Sudan fighting ends, for now

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/120426/sudan-orders-civil-servants-donate-pay-war-effort