Civil war in Sudan could cost $100 bn
Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir delivers a speech during a rally in Al Fasher, northern Darfur March 8, 2009. (FILE) REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

A reignited civil war after the Southern Sudan referendum on independence could cost the International community and the country at least $100 billion, a think-thank report said. The January 9 vote is likely to go in the favor of the oil-rich South Sudan's demand of secession from the North. Tensions have been escalating in the region with reports of a fresh wave of attacks led by the government troops on South Sudan regions.

A report by Frontier Economics released on Thursday stated that the outbreak of a war could cost Sudan at approximately $50 bn. The findings also suggested that an estimated of $25 bn loss to neighboring countries and an expenditure $30 bn for peacekeeping and humanitarian aid could be inflicted as a result of the war. Sudan's neighboring countries of Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda could sustain a loss of at least 35 per cent in their GDP over the period of ten years, it said.

The think-tank report also outlined the possible losses that could be incurred by Sudan if the oil production is disrupted in the region.

Between 10-20 per cent of Sudan's GDP comes from oil. If the flow of oil were to be shut down with the outbreak of civil war then Sudan will immediately lose an equivalent of $6.5 bn - $13 bn (per year), it stated.

The report added that the pipeline used to transport oil from the fields in the south runs through the Northern Sudan to Port Sudan on the Red Sea. Therefore the ability of Southern Sudan to export oil is dependent on the agreement of Khartoum. China, India, Japan and Malaysia are the biggest investors in Sudan's oil industry.

The 2005 comprehensive peace agreement between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Front (SPLM) has brought an end to the 22-year-long civil war. An estimated two million people have been killed in the conflict while about four million remain displaced.