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VENTURES AFRICA – South Sudan’s largest oil investor, China has called for an immediate ceasefire in the war-troubled country, as persistent fighting takes a toll on oil production, decreasing output by 20 percent.
China is seen as more than an investor in the world’s youngest nation, with an $8 billion investment consisting a series of loans, pledges and sector-focused grants – the latest was a $43 million pledge, last month, to enable the country map out mineral resources and offer more mining license – ensuring a sustained business relationship is developed.
However, the recent outbreak of violence between the nation’s armed forces and rebels loyal to vice president Riek Machar, largely motivated by ethnic differences, is threatening China’s investment efforts. And with the Asian giant keen on protecting its investment by ensuring a political stable Sudan, it is advocating an immediate halt of fighting.
“China’s position with regards to the current situation in South Sudan is very clear,” Reuters quoted China’s Foreign Minister, Wang Yi as saying.
“First, we call for an immediate cessation of hostilities and violence.”
The Minister was speaking from Ethiopia, where peace talks between both parties were expected to hold, but such discussions have been delayed repeatedly as fighting persists.