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The facts are simple but brutal: in response to a dispute over pipeline fees, the world's newest country South Sudan stopped producing oil in February because the only way to take it to market was through the pipeline to the north, through Sudan, the country they had just seceded from. Then there's the interpretation of the known facts, which can be as deep and technical as you want: which of the two government positions, Juba and Khartoum, is closest to any kind of international norm? How come the sums the North demands for transport, $36 per barrel, magically equal the amount of money it was getting before the South's independence, when half the oil produced in the south still belonged to it?