South Sudan has not paid many government workers for over 60 days. The government said that some workers may not get checks for another 120 days – or more. Why? The mortgage is overdue, almost literally. During the long oil production shutdown, South Sudan took out several bridge loans, worth between five and six billion dollars. South Sudan was engaged in an economic war with Sudan, which was charging South Sudan exorbitant oil transport fees for the use of its pipelines. South Sudan finally quit producing oil. Both countries desperately needed, and still need, the revenue from oil exports and, in Sudan’s case, the transport fees. Now the lenders are demanding repayment. The South Sudan government believes it will eventually be able to reimburse its civil servants.
November 23, 2013: Several thousand refugees have fled into South Sudan from Sudan’s Blue Nile state. The refugees came from villages in Blue Nile’s Bau region (centered on the town of Bau). The refugees had walked for 8 days and feared attacks by the Sudanese Army while doing so. Around 200,000 Sudanese from Blue Nile and South Kordofan states are refugees in South Sudan. Another 30,000 to 35,000 are in refugee camps in Ethiopia.
November 22, 2013: The SPLM-N (Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement-North) and JEM (Justice and Equality Movement) rebels attacked a Sudanese Army convoy in South Kordofan state between Abu Zabad and Al Shiffar. The JEM is allied with the SPLM-N in the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF).
November 21, 2013: Five people were killed and 25 wounded in a shootout near the town of Mershing in Sudan’s South Darfur state. The firefight erupted after a business dispute involving a member of the Popular Defense Forces (PDF) militia turned violent. The firefight escalated when Sudanese Army soldiers were fired upon.
Satellite imagery has confirmed a series of firefights during November in and around the Sudanese own of Abu Zabad (West Kordofan and South Kordofan border area). The imagery included craters caused by air-dropped bombs, which means the Sudanese Air Force was involved.
November 19, 2013: Militiamen from the Darfuri Taisha and Salamat tribes fought another battle, this time near the Abuzar refugee camp in Central Darfur state. At least 30 people were killed. The Taisha have allied with the semi-nomadic Misseriya tribe, which claims pasturage rights and citizenship rights in the disputed Abyei region.
There have been at least three attacks, leaving eight dead, along the border between the disputed Abyei region and South Sudan’s Unity state. The South Sudan government is investigating and found residents claiming that the man who organized the attacks lives in Abyei.
November 17, 2013: In South Kordofan state JEM rebels attacked soldiers outside the town of Abu Zabad.
November 16, 2013: Sudanese President Omar al Bashir has forced three senior members of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) to resign. Reformers within the NCP are advocating major economic and political policy changes. The three men Bashir removed had stated publicly that they would form a new political party to push reform. Bashir remains under indictment for war crimes and genocide by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
November 15, 2013: Over 400,000 people have been displaced by fighting in Darfur during the past year. Remember, at one time the UN (and others) said the war in Darfur was over. It isn’t.
November 11, 2013: Sudan said that its military forces were preparing to launch a major offensive against rebels in South Kordofan state.
November 10, 2013: A group of Sudanese reformers in the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) said that the government needs to reinstate payment of fuel subsidies. The price of gasoline in Khartoum has doubled since late September.
Militias from the Taisha and Salamat tribes engaged in a series of battles in South Darfur state. This took place between the city of Nyala and a town (Rahad el Berdi)100 kilometers away. Some of the fighting included vehicles armed with heavy machine guns as well as rocket and artillery fire. The tribes have been fighting over land rights and pasturage.
Several violent anti-government protests erupted in the Sudanese town of Abu-Hamad (Nahr al-Neel state).
November 9, 2013: The UN urged Sudan to end the flogging for women accused of immoral behavior. In Sudan women have been flogged for allegedly having premarital sex, committing adultery, and wearing indecent clothing.
November 7, 2013: South Sudan is sending 500 more soldiers to Western Equatoria state after a series of alleged attacks by the Ugandan rebel Lords Resistance Army (LRA). Raids have occurred in two counties, Ezzo and Tamburo, and an unknown number of people have been abducted. The attackers also looted property.