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Sudan: Slaving, Grand Theft Oil And So Much More
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March 15, 2012: South Sudan announced that citizens of the disputed territory of Abyei may participate in upcoming South Sudan elections. The government said that citizens of Abyei, many of them currently living in refugee camps, have full voting rights. They will be able to vote for the governor of Warrap state. Abyei may get its own representative in parliament. This is a political shot at Sudan, which invaded Abyei in May 2011. The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement stipulated that Abyei would hold its own referendum to decide if it would become part of the north or the south. Abyei is traditionally a Dinka Ngok tribal area and the Dinka Ngok favors the south.

March 12, 2012: Another series of cattle raids and revenge killings has broken out in South Sudan’s Jonglei state. Some of the fighting has spilled into the Upper Nile state. Over 100 people have been killed, largely because Murle tribesmen attacked several villages. The Murle have been fighting with the Lou Nuer tribe for some time.

March 10, 2012: South Sudan continues to accuse the north of fomenting trouble along the border and forcing tribes to flee northern attacks and seek shelter in the south. South Sudan also reported that it had more evidence of bombing raids on southern territory by Sudanese (north) aircraft. The UN reported that at least 100,000 northerners became refugees during the second half of 2011. Some 35,000 to 50,000 are in the south. Other sources put the figure at 70,000.

March 9, 2012: The Sudan Liberation Army-Abdul Wahid faction and the Sudan Liberation Army-Minni Minawi faction have joined the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF). The Darfur rebel group Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) also belong to the SRF. The SRF intends to function as an umbrella group for the main resistance organizations in Sudan. The SRF also gives the SPLM-N some political wiggle room. The Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM) is the ruling party in the south and it swears it does not provide aid to the SPLM-N.

March 8, 2012: Sudan and South Sudan continue to meet in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The two nations are trying to address the dispute over oil revenues and reach a permanent border settlement. At the moment South Sudan is supposedly telling the north that it will pay around 70 cents per barrel of oil in transit fees. The north wants to charge $36 per barrel. The south also wants the north to admit that slaving operations (i.e., enslavement of southerners by the north) have occurred in the past and continue to occur.

March 7, 2012: South Sudan announced that it may build a temporary pipeline running from its oil fields to its capital, Juba. Tanker trucks will then ship the crude oil by road to seaports in Djibouti and Kenya.

March 6, 2012: Sudan is increasingly accused of committing crimes against humanity in the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan state. The Sudanese Air Force has been seen, many times, bombing schools and water wells. Churches have also been targeted by air attacks and artillery bombardment.

South Sudan accused Sudan of launching a February 29 air attack on an oil field in South Sudan’s Unity state. The oil field is near the north-south border. Two Sudanese Air Force aircraft participated in the attack, one bomb struck a pipeline. However, South Sudan had shut down oil production so damage was minimized.

March 5, 2012: South Sudan announced that it will begin to disarm several cattle-herding groups in Jonglei state. The government intends to stop the tribal violence that is plaguing the area. 12,000 southern soldiers and police will be involved in the operation. The government intends to disarm several of the groups (or at least take their automatic weapons).

The SPLM-N (now a member of the SRF) claimed that it launched a successful attack on a Sudanese Army base in the town of Al Dilling. The town is near Kadugli, the capital of South Kordofan state.

March 1, 2012: The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued a warrant for the arrest of Abdelrahim Mohamed Hussein, Sudan’s defense minister. He is charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes which include rape, torture, and murder in Sudan’s Darfur region.

February 29, 2012: Gunmen killed one UN peacekeeper serving with the UNAMID peacekeeping mission in Darfur. The attack occurred in South Darfur state. Three other people were wounded in the attack.

February 28, 2012: South Sudan said that it had signed a peace agreement with the South Sudan Democratic Movement (SSDM). The SSDM is a rebel group which operates in Jonglei state.

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