Sudan: Tribal Massacres Proliferate

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August 22, 2009: The national government and the Government of South Sudan (GOSS) maintain a peculiar relationship. The south has representatives in the north, and the north ostensibly runs national policy. But the GOSS is, well, almost like a separate country. The brief wars along the north-south border region exemplify that. The constant tug of war over interpretations and implementation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) are another indicator. The new US special envoy to Sudan recently said that the north and south are discussing implementing “other elements” of the CPA, specifically agreeing on a permanent border demarcation. Negotiations have been going on in Washington between the national government (represented by the National Congress Party) and the GOSS (which is really the old Sudan Peoples Liberation Army/Movement) as to how to proceed on the border issue and to prepare for the 2011 plebiscite where the south could decide to separate totally. The south, however, still rejects the “official” census results.

August 19, 2009: Jordan is in the process of deploying two 140-man police units to Darfur to serve with UNAMID. In Darfur, the UN uses the term Formed Police Units (FPU) to describe the paramilitary police. Both Jordanian police units will be stationed in North Darfur state.

August 18, 2009: A recent UN official said that the internal trouble in South Sudan amounts to a tribal war. Land disputes and cattle theft are playing central roles in many of the violent incidents.

August 17, 2009: The National Congress Party (NCP) is asking for an investigation into the murder of an NCP official murdered in South Sudan. The NCP alleges she was killed by soldiers in the SPLA. The official was slain in West Equatoria. A spokesman for the GOSS denied the allegation and blamed the murder on thieves. Interestingly enough, the GOSS spokesman suggested the NCP official was involved in a vote buying scheme. The big story is that small incidents like this suddenly become north-south political confrontations.

August 16, 2009: Darfur peace groups are accusing the US special envoy to Sudan of “thwarting” efforts to end the war in Darfur. This is a ridiculous charge. The US favors sanctions on the national government, but also wants to encourage the peace process between the north and south. The peace groups are frustrated that the Darfur dirty war is still going on. That is understandable, but stopping it means replacing the people who run the national government. Most of the peace groups criticized the Bush Administration for toppling Saddam Hussein's dictatorship in Iraq – ie, replacing the people who run the national government.. The peace groups confront a dilemma.

August 13, 2009: The national government is denying allegations that it has armed militias in South Sudan and helped spur ethnic violence in the region.

A court in the capital commuted the death sentences of four Sudanese men convicted of killing an American diplomat and his driver. The court said the driver's family had asked it to pardon the murderers. The court said Sudanese law cannot let a death sentence stand if the victim's family asks for a pardon. Apparently the American victim's family was not consulted.

August 12, 2009: Thirty people died and at least a dozen were kidnapped in another incident of tribal violence in Warrap state (southern Sudan). This time two Dinka clans fought, the Luach and the Awan. A government official said a disagreement over cattle grazing rights escalated into a fight.

August 3, 2009: The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) said its fighters fought with the Sudanese Army in south Kordofan state. The JEM statement said the Sudanese military attempted to ambush a JEM unit near the town of Babanusa.

August 2, 2009: A major fight broke out between the Lo Nuer and the Murele ethnic group in southern Sudan. At least 185 died in the incident. Another 30 were wounded. According to UN officials, over 1000 people have died in ethnic violence in southern Sudan since the spring. Jonglei state has been the scene of the worst violence. A subsequent government report said the Murele initiated the incident.

 

Article Archive

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