Sudan: Deathmatch In South Sudan

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April 26, 2018: Aid organizations report that continued fighting in South Sudan is hindering the delivery of humanitarian aid. In northeast South Sudan (Upper Nile state) this continues to be a serious problem. Since January fighting in Upper Nile between government and rebel forces has been quite heavy. Combat and refugee movements have disrupted convoy and delivery operations. At the moment aid organizations estimate 4.8 million people in South Sudan are food insecure -- which means the people do not have consistent access to food required to survive.

April 25, 2018: President Kir of South Sudan refused to consider demands that he, and he main rebel leader Riek Machar, no longer participate in the peace negotiations. That would mean Kir resigning as president. The rivalry between Kir and Machar triggered the civil war and to a large extent kept it going. While Kir is still in power Machar is more of a figurehead among the many rebel factions. Foreign observers agree that real peace would probably be more likely without Kir and Machar involved. Kir refuses to leave office.

April 23, 2018: The government of South Sudan has rejected demands by opposition parties to "overhaul" the country's security forces and reorganize the government. The government says it has already agreed to make institutional reforms. If the civil war ends, rebel fighters will be able to re-integrate into society. One demand by the political opposition and the armed rebel (SPLM-IO) does seem to have significant support. The opposition parties want the government to disband the 32 states that now exist and return to the previous ten state structure.

April 22, 2018: Sudan and Ethiopia have refused an Egyptian request to resume discussions about the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project. Egypt fears the dam will reduce the amount of Nile River water it receives.

April 21, 2018: In western Sudan, the Darfur rebel Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-AW) claimed government forces attacked its fighters in the northern Jebel Marra. There have been at least three "fierce" firefights in the area. One firefight occurred in Katti. The SLM-AW also claimed that on April 20 government militiamen burned four villages in the area: Sankara, Hilla Hajja Madina, Loki Warrro, and Gharab Waffir.

April 20, 2018: Sudan accused Egypt of letting people living in a disputed border area vote in the March Egyptian presidential elections. Sudan lodged an official protest with the UN Security Council. The voting was held in the Halayeb triangle, a border zone claimed by both Sudan and Egypt.

In South Sudan, the American embassy announced increased security measures because of renewed fighting between soldiers and rebels outside the capital.

April 19, 2018: In South Sudan army the army and rebel forces are fighting in at least two areas. A major battle is occurring in the town of Gezira (100 kilometers southeast of the capital). The government claims the rebels are trying to seize it before a new ceasefire is implemented.

April 18, 2018: The ambassadors to Sudan and South Sudan from the EU and five "donor" European nations have ended a two-day long visit to the disputed (between Sudan and South Sudan) Abyei region. Ambassadors from Britain, France, Italy, Norway and Sweden met with leaders from the Ngok Dinka, Dinka Agok and Misseriya tribes as well as officials from the peacekeepers and border monitoring force. The ambassadors showed their support for a peaceful resolution of the Abyei dispute. Both Sudan and South Sudan claim the area.

The East African IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development) announced another postponement of South Sudan's "peace implementation" talks. The ceasefire signed in December 2017 is the basis for the talks. The ceasefire, however, was violated by both sides in the ceasefire's first 12 hours.

Sudan accused the Darfur JEM rebels of failing to agree to reasonable compromises proposed by international mediators. The government, the JEM and the SLMMM (Sudan Liberation Movement-Minnni Minnawi) rebels met for two days in Berlin to discuss a framework for future negotiations to end the war in western Sudan (Darfur). The war began in 2003 and Sudan wants to use the DDPD (Doha Document for Peace in Darfur) as a basis for negotiation. Neither rebel faction agrees. They demand a new approach. The Doha agreement was made in July 2011 with several other Darfur rebel organizations. The African Union is sponsoring the talks. Diplomats thought a "pre-negotiation agreement" was possible.

April 14, 2018: In Sudan RSF (Rapid Support Forces) leaders asked the EU to pay them for guarding the Sudan-Libya border and preventing migrants from reaching the Mediterranean Sea. An RSF commander said his units are defending the EU. The RSF has been accused of committing atrocities and now they are trying export some money from the EU for preventing illegal migrants from reaching Europe.

April 13, 2018: In northern South Sudan (Northern Liech state) government forces were accused of attacking rebels for no reason. Several attacks were launched on April 4 on rebel positions in Boaw and Nhialdiu. Other government forces struck rebel positions in Rukuai. Fighting continued through today. In southern South Sudan, there was a similar battle in Yei state.

April 10, 2018: Sudan promised to continue to participate in the Arab coalition fighting Yemeni rebels. Saudi Arabia leads the coalition. Sudan made the pledge after a rebel ambush killed "several dozen" Sudanese soldiers recently.

April 9, 2018: In northeast South Sudan (Bieh state) rebels claim the captured of 61 South Sudan soldiers who promptly went over to the rebels. The soldiers were preparing to attack a rebel position in Bieh state and were armed with new AK-47 type rifles.

In South Sudan Paul Malong, former chief of staff of the army announced that he is forming SS-UF (South Sudan United Front) a rebel movement that will stop the fighting in South Sudan. Malong accused the current government leaders of "looting" the country. Malong said his new organization will join forces with SSOA (South Sudan Opposition Alliance), a rebel group formed in late December 2017.

April 6, 2018: South Sudan rejected accusations Sudan made yesterday that South Sudan was supporting Sudanese rebel groups and letting the rebel groups use bases in South Sudan. South Sudan pointed out that it was trying to eliminate all rebels in South Sudan.

In Yemen Arab coalition troops from Sudan were ambushed by rebels who opened fire on several trucks loaded with Sudanese soldiers, killing over 30 of them. These were the heaviest losses suffered by the Sudanese troops since they arrived in 2o15. The ambushed Sudanese troops were part of the reinforcements being sent north, from quieter areas in the south, to push the rebels away from the Red Sea.

April 4, 2018: In northeast Congo, a search is on for who has supplied warring ethnic groups with light weapons. The weapons may have come from South Sudan, a side effect of the civil war there. South Sudan has become a major market for blackmarket arms dealers as well as a transshipment point for new weapons headed for other customers in central Africa.

At a meeting in Niger Libya agreed with its three southern neighbors (Sudan, Niger and Chad) to reestablish joint border controls so the Libya will cease being a lawless area where all sorts of criminal operations can operate freely. Another meeting will be held in a month to start working out the details and the rules that all will follow.

April 3, 2018: In southern Sudan the government extended its unilateral ceasefire in what the government calls “the Two Areas” (South Kordofan and Blue Nile states). A government ceasefire in western Sudan (Darfur) will also continue. The ceasefires will last through the end of June.

April 2, 2018: In northeast South Sudan (Upper Nile state) rebels claim they defeated government attacks in the Ketbek and Padanyang. The first attack was launched on March 31 and then another major attack came on April 1. In the south (Central Equatoria state) rebels reported pro-government forces also attacked a pro-rebel village.

 

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