South Sudan and Sudan announced Aug. 4 they have reached a deal over the south's use of Khartoum's oil pipelines and distribution of oil revenues—potentially ending a dispute that prompted South Sudan to shut down its oil production in January and nearly led to war. Under the deal reached at talks in Addis Ababa, South Sudan will pay $9.48 per barrel to use one of Sudan's pipelines to export crude, and $11 to use a second leading to a refinery before reaching a sea terminal. Khartoum had originally demanded $36 per barrel.
The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Aug. 3 urged Sudan to initiate an investigation into allegations of excessive force by government security forces against protesters in Darfur four days earlier resulting in eight deaths and more than 50 injuries. The OHCHR urged the government to "promptly launch an independent and credible investigation into the violence and the apparent excessive use of force by security forces" and noted that international standards must be respected in order to provide civilians the freedom of speech and assembly. During the July 31 protest more than 1,000 people, mostly students, blocked roads in market area of Nyala, the biggest town in Darfur, to express their opposition against fuel price increases. The OHCHR stated that it received eye witness reports that security forces used tear gas as well as live bullets against protesters.