Jonglei state in southern Sudan has been the scene of numerous tribal battles. Between 2,500 and 3,000 people were killed in this way last year. Jonglei also faces what the aid community calls a food insecurity situation. That means starvation or acute malnutrition. Food shortages result in either refugees fleeing to relief centers, or battles over resources. Actually, the result is usually both. The state is already in a near civil war. This is not a good sign for many reasons, but the impending 2011 plebiscite on southern independence makes the trouble in Jonglei even more significant.
June 23, 2010: The Greek Cypriot government seized a ship bound for Sudan, while the vessel was in Cypriot waters. The ship was loaded with military equipment, and the Cypriots insisted that the cargo violated prohibitions on the shipment of explosive and military equipment to Sudan. This is a sensitive issue. The UN has a stiff weapons sanctions regimen imposed on Sudan, though the evidence that it has been violated (repeatedly) is solid. Moreover, in September 2008 a group of Somali pirates hijacked a ship loaded with weapons, including tanks. The shipment was likely headed for the Government of South Sudan (GOSS).
June 22, 2010: Two German aid workers were kidnapped in Darfur.
June 16, 2010: Two rebel leaders in the Darfur region surrendered to the International Criminal Court (ICC). The two men, Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain and Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus, faced war crime indictments related to the murders of 12 peacekeepers.
June 12, 2010: The president of the South Sudan autonomous region, Salva Kiir, began forming a new government. Critics in northern Sudan have accused Kiir of preparing to secede from Sudan.
June 11. 2010: Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir appointed a new slate of officers to lead Sudan's military. Bashir is under indictment form the ICC for war crimes. A number of Sudanese military officers also face sanctions, including the freezing of foreign bank accounts. Sudanese commentators argue that Bashir is solidifying control over the military.
June 10, 2010: The Government of South Sudan (GOSS) accused a militia commander of kidnapping four government guards. The militia commander is operating in Jonglei state, which is already in upheaval. The GOSS dispatched an army battalion (from the SPLA) to confront the militia.