Sudan: Catch Me If You Can


December 18,2008: Sudanese president, and indicted war criminal, Omer Hassan Al-Bashir has made it clear that he will not cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC). Sudan will not extradite any of increasing number of war criminals the ICC is seeking. Sudan is playing the "come and get me if you can."

December 17, 2008: The south Sudan government has denied sending troops to help hunt down remaining Ugandan LRA rebels in Congo. But the south Sudan borders have been closed to the LRA, as much as that is possible. Ugandan and Congolese troops in adjacent Congo are trying to destroy the LRA once and for all.

December 16, 2008: The tribal fighting in south Darfur has spread. Clashes between the Falatta and Habaniya tribes involved 500 fighters from the Fallata (likely reinforced by fighters from the Salamat tribe), who launched an attack on the Habaniya tribe town of Wad Hajam (which is near the town of Buram). The attack by the Falatta was retaliation for a Habaniya militia attack on December 4. The death toll among Sudanese police has now risen to six. There is also intra-tribal fight among members of the Gimir tribe in south Darfur.

December 15, 2008: The north-south joint security unit in Abyei has decided to pull out of Abyei and move to a headquarters north of the town. An official investigation into the incident is underway.

December 14, 2008: Another shoot-out erupted in the sensitive Abyei region. This one involved members of a north-south "joint security unit" – as in the southerners and northerners firing at one another. One person was killed in the incident and nine wounded, so this appears to be a rather less-violent incident than those earlier in the year. That noted, the big lesson here is the obvious: political attempts to defuse the tension in Abyei aren't succeeding.

December 13, 2008: Tribal fighting broke out in South Darfur's Buram region. The government reported at least 15 members of the Falatta and Habaniya tribes died in a clash over "resources." One tribe was supposedly caught stealing cattle, but clashes over resources also means fighting over water holes and pasturage. Three Sudanese policemen also died in the fighting.

December 7, 2008: The government is reinforcing its troop units in South Kordofan state. Where they believe Darfur rebel groups intend to launch more attacks into South Kordofan. Why? Oil fields and oil facilities, which also means foreign workers whose capture creates headlines. The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), however, says that the government is lying. JEM issued a statement that said it has no intention of attacking South Kordofan. The government points to The Great Raid on Khartoum engineered last summer by the JEM (who wanted to demonstrate nation-wide reach and did). The move into South Kordofan has implications for Sudan's other civil war-- the one between the north and the south. The Goverment of South Sudan (GOSS) objected to the troop movement and claimed it violated the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). A spokesman for the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM, which runs the GOSS) said that the government (Khartoum, as in the northern government) had put six new battalions into South Kordofan. The SPLM has its own troops in the region.




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