Arusha. Oil production in South Sudan can revert to its former levels of 350,000 barrels a day following the recent peace deal.
Oil, the major source of export revenue, fell to between 130,000 and 150,000 barrels after the country was plunged into bloody chaos in December 2013.
“The war is over and the winner should be our economy,” said Mr Kim Gai, South Sudan member of the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala).
Up to 70 per cent of oil production was shut down after intense fighting which followed alleged coup attempt by Riek Machar against the government of President Salva Kiir end of 2013.
“The economy went down terribly, but after the peace deal, we hope oil production will revert to 350,000 barrels or even half a million a day,” he told The Citizen in an interview.
Until December 2013 when fighting between the two sides and subsequent atrocities erupted, oil used to account for 98 per cent of export revenue for the world’s newest nation.
Mr. Gai said despite doubts expressed by some international observers on the peace accord signed by President Kiir and Dr. Machar in Juba recently, South Sudanese are optimistic.
Another Eala member from South Sudan Gabriel Alaak Garang said the people of his country would this time around consolidate the peace agreement reached.
“People are tired of fighting, the region is tired so is the international community,” he said at the end of the House session over the weekend. He added; “We will implement the agreement (signed on October 31st) so that the economy recovers and bring development to our people.”
Their remarks followed a Resolution passed by the Assembly at the end of its session which called upon the signatories of the peace deal to respect the agreement.
The resolution, moved by an Eala MP from Uganda, Mr George Odongo, reiterated strong support and solidarity to the South Sudanese in their resolve to end the violent conflict.
South Sudan became independent from Sudan in July 2011 and joined the East African Community (EAC) as the sixth member in 2016.