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The South Sudan government’s desperation to rescue a tanking economy and its desire to distract attention from its own problems resulted in a bizarre threat in late March that it would terminate oil exploration contracts if developers failed to start surveys by the end of April. “You cannot hold my block for 30 years and think that I will be celebrating and dancing with you,” petroleum minister Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth was quoted as saying on 21 March.