Sudan: The War In The South Is Revived


September 28, 2009: The Government of South Sudan (GOSS) is threatening to declare independence, if the national government doesn't stop stealing oil and secretly sponsoring violence against GOSS security forces. The national government seems unlikely to change their ways, which means the bulk of the violence in Sudan will shift from the west (Darfur) to the south (GOSS).

September 27, 2009: The Lords Resistance Army fighters may be filtering back into Sudan from the Congo and the Central African Republic (CAR). The Government of South Sudan (GOSS) is once again complaining that the LRA is receiving help from the Sudan government. People fleeing LRA attacks in southern Sudan have reported seeing LRA camps there. Western Equatoria state has been the site of several alleged LRA raids. LRA fighters are using two languages, Acholi (from northern Uganda's Acholi tribe) and Arabic. The use of Arabic dovetails with the GOSS claim that the Sudanese government (dominated by Sudanese who consider themselves Arabs) are supporting the reviving LRA. For years the national government did support the LRA, using the rebel outfit as a tool against Uganda and the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA), which was the key southern guerrilla organization during the Sudan civil war. The Ugandan government claimed that the LRA was a tool in a “proxy war” waged by Khartoum. The Sudan government countered that Uganda supported the southern rebels in the SPLA (and it did).

September 26, 2009: The split between north and south Sudan grows more evident. Official statements by the GOSS (run by the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement, the political arm of the SPLA) increasingly refer to the national government in Khartoum as the National Congress Party (NCP).

September 24, 2009: The Sudan government claims that the Sudanese Army (SAF, Sudan Armed Forces) was no longer fighting with elements of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) rebel group. This was in response to reports of firefights between the army and the SLM and an SLM claim made on September 18 (later supported by the UN) that the army had attacked its positions in Korma and at Jebel Marra. The SLM said that the national government forces used ground units supported by airstrikes. The Sudan military has been operating in the Korma region. On September 20 the Sudanese Army announced that it had recaptured an area in Korma that was once under “rebel control.” Korma is northwest of the state capital of El Fasher, where UNAMID headquarters is located. The North Darfur state government statement sounds more than a little like the statement made by UNAMID's former military commander (made in August) that “the war is over” in Darfur – but ground units and airstrikes hitting rebel positions sounds a lot like warfare.

September 23, 2009: The GOSS said that southern military units are being sent into tribal areas where an increasing number of ethnic attacks have occurred. The government intends to stop the attacks, particularly in Jonglei. The government said a battalion of 500 troops was already in the area and it would be reinforced. More weapons have been turning up in the area

September 20, 2009: Some 76 people were killed and another 46 wounded in a series of armed incidents in Jonglei (south Sudan). At least 11 of the dead were SPLA soldiers. The incidents took place over a three-day period. A senior GOSS military officer described the attacks as being “a militia attack against security forces” (ie, it was not a cattle raid or a fight over grazing rights). The bloodiest incident was an attack on the town of Duk Padiet by a militia forces of Lou Nuer tribesmen.

September 16, 2009: Gunmen from a splinter faction of the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) killed three national policemen in an ambush in South Darfur. The incident took place approximately 30 kilometers north of Nyala, the capital of South Darfur. Sudanese police responded by attacking a rebel camp and taking 34 prisoners.

September 8, 2009: The national government denied accusations that it has been cheating the GOSS of oil revenues. The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) guaranteed a fair split of oil income between the national government and the semi-autonomous GOSS. An aid NGO operating in Sudan said that the national government reported less production from the oilfields than the Chinese oil company operating the fields reported. The discrepancies ran from nine percent to 25 percent. Over time that becomes a lot of money. Does it become a reason for renewed civil war? Not by itself, but the troubles are mounting. The list of troubles dividing the north and south includes the inability to agree on census figures, the tribal warfare, firefights between northern and southern security forces, waves of refugees, and LRA raids.




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