The UN will investigate the series of violent incidents between the
Sudanese Army and the SPLA in and around the town of Abyei. Over ten days of
fights have left two dozen dead and at least 80,000 refugees. This is where the
oil is, and even the Arab League is getting involved to try and mediate a peace
deal. The SPLA is not easy to placate, because they know the only way to really
get the government's attention is to threaten the oil revenue.
2008: UN efforts to arrange meetings between Sudan government military leaders
and generals in the SPLA (Sudan Peoples Liberation Army, the military forces of
South Sudan) have been frustrated. 22 Sudan government troops reportedly have
died in a firefight with SPLA soldiers in Abyei. How to distribute oil income
is one of the main disputes, but so is repatriation of Dinka tribespoeple in
the region. The Dinka tend to be "pro-south" in their political preferences.
May 21, 2008:
Heavy fighting had broken out in the town of Abyei. The situation is deteriorating
and that the ceasefire in the area was broken. Abyei sits on two fault lines; the North-South border region and on a pool of
oil. The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which both the North and South
signed, calls for a special referendum in Abyei in 2011. The UN statement said
that approximately 50,000 refugees had collected in a holding area near Abyei.
2008: Humanitarian aid groups have asked the UN to impose economic sanctions on
Sudan for conducting "scorched earth" destruction of villages in West Darfur
during the government's February offensive. The government is accused of
destroying several towns in West Darfur state in attacks on February 8, 18, 19,
and 22. The towns were in the Jebel Moun area.
2008: Participants in the UNAMID operation are expressing concern that war in
Darfur could expand because of May 11 JEM raid on Omdurman (across the Nile
from Khartoum). The raid involved a Justice and Equality Movement force of
1,200, in nearly 200 vehicles, that moved at least 400 kilometers to strike
several targets near the capital. The fear is that the whole of Sudan could
erupt in civil war. With tensions increasing between the Sudan government in
Khartoum and South Sudan, that fear has merit.