Sudan: The Gift of Lies

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December 25, 2007: The January 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the national Sudanese government (Khartoum) and South Sudan requires that the north and south implement almost 1100 different tasks. Determining the political boundary between north and south is the biggest issue, since that directly involves both security and economic issues. However, the political boundary issue is only the beginning of it. Even if part of an oil field is determined to be within the jurisdiction of either region, in many cases the north and south will be required to divide revenues. Even when (if?) the boundary issue is resolved then the two regions must still agree to exchange security information and cooperate to maintain "joint security forces" in several areas. Ultimately there is the issue of how to conduct the plebiscite in 2011 that will determine if the south becomes a separate country (a genuine South Sudan). The national government is, as with Darfur, not cooperating in solving all the problems that arise. In effect, the national government is keeping the situation vague and ambiguous, which makes it easier to avoid doing what you promised to do.

December 20, 2007: One of the founders of the Darfur Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM), Abdelwahid Mohamed al-Nur, has issued a statement condemning the use of the name SLM by a ground commanded by Ahmed Abdelshafi. Apparently Abdelshafi agreed to form a new "Darfur rebel coalition" after meeting with the leaders of South Sudan. Several Darfur rebel leaders have accused the government of South Sudan of "collaborating" with the national government. What collaboration consists of isn't quite clear, though al-Nur accused the south of helping the national government "fabricate" rebel groups that would conduct peace negotiations with the national government. The South Sudan government has repeatedly said it would like to serve as a mediator in the Darfur conflict.

December 18, 2007: The government of South Sudan said that its political group, the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM) has agreed to re-enter the national Sudanese government. What this means is that the SPLM will once again permit its members to serve in the national coalition government. South Sudan withdrew its ministers from the government in October 2007 after a disagreement over troops withdrawals and oil revenue sharing.

December 16, 2007: Darfur rebels belonging to the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) claimed they attacked two Sudanese Army battalions near the Sudan-Chad border and inflicted a major defeat. The Sudan government denied the JEM's claim. The rebels claimed they destroyed or captured over 30 Sudanese government vehicles.

 

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