Sudan: Wars Without End

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December 19, 2011: UN officials are criticizing Sudan and South Sudan for failing to withdraw their troops from the area surrounding the contested Abyei region. Sudan has told the UN that it will withdraw its forces when the UNISFA (the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei) peacekeeping force reaches full-strength (4,200 troops). At the moment the troop contingent has 3,430 soldiers. Ethiopia is providing the troops for the current force. UN officials are indicating the full force will be on the ground by December 31, 2011. Will Sudan begin its withdrawal then? No one knows. South Sudan contends that even if UNISFA’s contingent were doubled in size Sudan would not withdraw its forces. On December 14 the UN Security Council extended UNISFA’s mandate for another six months.

December 16, 2011: South Sudan denied accusations by Sudan that it is arming Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) rebels in Blue Nile and South Kordofan states. The South Sudan government has asked the northern rebel organization to change its name. The Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) is the dominant political organization in South Sudan.

The U.S. accused Sudan of bombing civilian areas inside South Sudan as well as striking civilians in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states. A U.S. spokesman said the attacks must stop immediately.

December 15, 211: A prosecutor with the International Criminal Court (ICC) claimed that Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir will eventually be arrested and face charges of genocide and crimes against humanity charges in Darfur.

December 11, 2011: South Sudan reported that 11,000 people have been displaced by recent attacks in Jonglei state. The attacks left several villages in ruins. The government claimed that renegade militia commander George Athor was behind the attacks.

December 9, 2011: The UN reported that military confrontations along the Sudan-South Sudan border (Jau area) directly threaten some 20,000 refugees living in temporary camps on the South Sudan side of the border. The threat of violence is hindering humanitarian aid efforts in the area. One refugee assistance group reported finding landmines on the roads from the border. There are also reports of intermittent exchanges of gunfire between Sudanese and South Sudanese security forces.

December 8, 2011: UN officials reported that the security situation in Abyei is deteriorating. Neither Sudan nor South Sudan has met the security force withdrawal requirements agreed to in June 2011. South Sudanese police are reported to be inside Abyei, which UN observers call a violation of the spirit of the agreement. Sudanese military forces are in what is supposed to be a demilitarized zone.

December 6, 2011: Officials with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) are trying to involve the government and several tribes in a political reconciliation process designed to end ethnic violence. Violent confrontations broke out over the weekend in Jonglei state. A cattle raid was apparently the cause of one clash. UNMISS estimated that at least 40 people died in the various clashes. UNMISS and several church groups have begun preparing for a peace and reconciliation conference between the Luo Nuer and Murle tribes. That conference is scheduled to start in January. During the last two years several hundred people have died in battles between the Luo Nuer and Murle.

December 5, 2011: Sudan said its armed forces had captured several SPLM-N rebel camps in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states. The Sudanese Army has also blocked supply routes to SPLM-N forces from the south (Jau area).

December 4, 2011: The government of Sudan objected to an order by a Kenyan court to arrest Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir should he ever enter Kenya. Bashir is wanted on genocide and other criminal charges by the ICC. The government of Sudan gave the government of Kenya two weeks to overrule the court order, otherwise Sudan will impose political and economic sanctions on Kenya.

December 2, 2011: Sudan claimed its army had taken the Taruje area (near Kadugli) in South Kordofan state from an SPLM-N rebel force. Sudan reportedly deployed artillery and armor in the attack on the area.

 

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