KARACHI, Pakistan – The status of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, the octogenarian chieftain of a tribe in the restive southwestern province of Balochistan, almost reached the mythical this summer when a late-August operation by the Pakistani military resulted in his death in a cave in the mountains of Dera Bugti. Government officials moved swiftly to bury him quietly and suppress any news of the follies committed during the military operation, which occurred amid nationwide protests and deadly violence in Balochistan. Ten people had already died in bomb blasts, attacks and clashes with police during August, following a year of pitched [...]
TIRANA, Albania — With the price of crude oil having recently hit $70 a barrel and energy markets staying hungry, two trans-Balkan pipeline projects are competing to bring Caspian oil to the West. Russia, Greece and Bulgaria signed an agreement for the construction of a Bourgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline on Sept. 4, and a rival Albania-Macedonia-Bulgaria pipeline is on the drawing board. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, oil companies have devoted vast amounts of capital to developing the oil and gas reserves of the Caspian Sea region. The total oil reserve of the region, estimated at above 200 billion barrels, [...]
A simmering conflict is threatening to start another war in Sudan. This time, it is as much about oil as it is ethnicity. Unequal distribution of oil revenues, bungled oil contracts, and differences in ethnic power sharing are creating new fault lines in an already divided country. The South Sudan Defense Front (SSDF), a former ally of the Khartoum government in its battle against the rebel Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), has threatened to attack SPLA positions once again. The group, formed by Riek Marchar, now vice president of the Government of South Sudan, or GOSS, complains that its people [...]
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