Despite the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the north and the south, both Southern Sudan and Sudan have beefed up military forces in the Abyei region. Last month, the Sudan government moved some tanks within quick response distance of Abyei. Now multiple rocket launchers and wheeled vehicles with heavy machine guns (like Somali technical vehicles) are seen headed for Abyei. Sudan and South Sudan appear headed for some major fighting over disputed oil fields.
April 24, 2011: A series of firefights in Jonglei state, between the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA, the army of Southern Sudan) and various tribal militias, have left over 50 people dead. There appear to be more armed confrontations in Unity state.
April 21, 2011: Rebel militias in Unity state (Southern Sudan) attacked SPLA positions near the town of Mankien. Several critical oil pumping stations are located near Mankien. A renegade southern militia, the South Sudan Liberation Army (SSLA) was responsible. Several other clashes have occurred in Unity state. A pro-north militia from the Misseriya tribe participated in at least one of the firefights, though the Sudan government denied that Misseriya tribesmen were involved in any armed incidents. The Misseriya are an Arabized tribe and many are semi-nomadic cattle-herders. The national government wants the Misseriya to participate in a plebiscite to decide if Abyei will join Southern Sudan or remain part of the north. The south says the Misseriya are nomads and only claimed Abyei after pro-south Dinka Ngok tribespeople fled the area during the north-south civil war.
Sudan president Omar al-Bashir now says he takes full responsibility for Darfur war. This is quite a reversal, especially since Bashir has been ducking International Criminal Court (ICC) warrants for war crimes in Darfur. However, Bashirs mea culpa sounded anything but contrite. Bashir accused Great Britain of trying to remove him from power (he accused Britain of attempted regime change). He also said the ICC was guilty of promulgating lies. Then Bashir said that the Darfur conflict was a traditional conflict which had been occurring since colonial days. That is true, to a limited extent. Nomads have been fighting sedentary farmers since well before colonial days. However, the national government ignited the war because a Darfur liberation group formed that demanded the national government (Khartoum) quit neglecting the region.
April 20, 2011: Darfuris staged protests in Khartoum to protest the national government. There were also anti-government protests in South Kordofan state. The protestors called for the removal of President Omar al-Bashir from power.
April 19, 2011: Analysis of civilian satellite data has revealed more trouble in the Nuba Mountains (Southern Sudan). The town of el-Feid (South Kordofan state) was attacke and over 350 buildings (many were thatch and mud) were burned.
April 17, 2011: The government of Southern Sudan said that it will continue to crack down on cattle rustlers. Inter-tribal fighting in the south has been exacerbated by cattle raids. Cattle are wealth in Southern Sudan and throughout the Sahel region. International agencies estimate that between 700 and 900 people have died recently because of the raids.
April 14, 2011: Pro-north militias killed 17 people in South Kordofan state. The claim is that the north (Khartoum) wants to destabilize the area before state elections which are scheduled for May 2.
April 12, 2011: The Sudanese Army engaged armed rebels in North Darfur state. The national government claimed that rebels from the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Minnawi faction of the Sudan Liberation army (SLA, a rebel group) attacked a convoy of Sudanese troops.
April 11, 2011: UN and international agencies estimate that the war in Darfur (2003-present) has left 300,000 people dead. The national government claims that the death toll is only 10,0000