Monday, 29 April 2013

New publication “Oil Investment and Conflict in Upper Nile State”

BICC brief 48 “Oil Investment and Conflict in Upper Nile State, South Sudan” aims to contribute to the study of the relationship between government, oil corporations, and local communities in South Sudan. Its area of study are the oil fields of Blocks 3 and 7 in Melut and Maban Counties, Upper Nile State, the largest oil producing area in the country, which has been less well studied than the older oil areas in neighboring Unity State. The authors Dr. Elke Grawert and Christine Andrä focus on the impact of oil investment on local livelihoods and its potential for provoking conflict.

Based on field research in Juba and Melut County in late 2011 and the outcomes of a stakeholder workshop conducted in late 2012, this publication attempts to answer two questions:

  • Has the relationship between the oil company under review operating in Upper Nile State and the local communities changed after independence of South Sudan, and if so how?, and 
  • Which initiatives have local inhabitants taken to improve their living conditions in the oil field?

 In analyzing the local conflict, the publication reveals the development of different social orders and their ways of accessing resources, providing security, and internal relations of power as a war legacy. The study ends with recommendations to political decision-makers, investors, and community representatives on how to tackle structural causes of exclusion and their inherent potentials for conflict. The main proposition is to expand and diversify the local livelihood options which rely mainly on oil revenues towards agricultural development and vocational training in technical, mechanic and construction skills required in sectors linked to the requirements of oil production.

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