Sudan Briefing: 2011-06-27
June 29 2011: Following South Sudan's referendum on independence, Insight on Conflict will be producing a weekly round-up of the news. To subscribe to receive the updates via email, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Following South Sudan’s referendum on independence, Insight on Conflict will be producing a weekly round-up of the news. To subscribe to receive the updates via email, please contact email@example.com or complete the form below.
- North and South Sudan have reached a landmark agreement on the status of the disputed Abyei border region, under which the Sudanese Army will pull back from the area and UN-mandated Ethiopean peacekeepers will move in.
- However, there are a number of outstanding challenges for North-South relations, including unresolved issues over oil sharing and the deteriorating humanitarian situation in South Kordofan, with an estimated 70,000 people fleeing armed violence. An unconfirmed report from the Bishop of Kadugli (capital of South Kordofan) alleges fighting at the UN compound at Shair.
- President Al-Bashir has sparked further tension with the SPLM following the Sudanese Army’s action against rebel fighters in the Nuba Mountains of central Sudan.
- Meanwhile, Al-Bashir faces continuing internal opposition, with the two main factions of the rebel opposition in North Sudan joining their operations. Outside of Sudan, Al-Bashir has found little respite, with his visit to China being delayed, though reports on reasons for this are inconclusive.
- Al-Bashir has also overseen developments on the Darfur situation, though the nature of these is open to interpretation: whilst he has said that the Darfur peace agreement is not negotiable, he has also agreed to delay a referendum on Darfur’s administrative status.
News in detail
VOA: Sudanese Parties Sign Abyei Border Deal
North and South Sudan have reached a landmark agreement outlining the status of the disputed Abyei border region. The Abyei deal paves the way for progress on several other issues that need to be settled before the South’s July 9 independence.
Reuters: Rights investigations needed in Sudan border areas – U.N.
Huts were still burning and looters roamed the main town of Sudan’s disputed Abyei region this week, a senior U.N. official said, more than a month after Khartoum shut down a joint North-South administration.
BBC: Sudan’s Abyei: US proposes UN peacekeeper force
The United States has tabled a draft resolution at the UN calling for more than 4,000 peacekeepers to be sent to the disputed Sudanese region of Abyei.
BBC: Sudan’s South Kordofan: ‘Bombings, blood and terror’
More than 70,000 people are said to have fled violence in Sudan’s South Kordofan state, where the government says it is disarming rebels.
BBC: Sudan to block oil pipeline if South will not pay
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has threatened to shut pipelines carrying South Sudan’s oil if a deal on oil is not reached before it secedes in July.
BBC: South Sudan returnee train attacked in South Kordofan
A train carrying South Sudanese back home from the North has been attacked by a Northern Arab group, leaving one person dead, the UN says.
Guardian: Fuel shortages grip South Sudan
Just weeks before independence, South Sudan is blaming the North for fuel and food shortages.
Wall Street Journal: Oil Looms Over Sudan Border Clashes
As July 9 split nears, sides are ‘far apart’ in talks over land and how to share revenues. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304231204576403631242209832.html
Guardian: Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir delays visit to China
A planned visit by Sudan’s president to China, which was criticised by human rights groups because he is wanted on international war crimes charges, has been delayed.
Bloomberg: Sudan President Al-Bashir’s Plane Forced to Reroute While on Way to China
Sudanese President Umar al-Bashir was forced to postpone meetings with Chinese officials yesterday after his plane was rerouted by Turkmenistan’s civil aviation authorities, a foreign ministry spokesman said. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-27/sudan-president-al-bashir-s-plane-forced-to-reroute-while-on-way-to-china.html
BBC: China defends visit by Sudan President Omar al-Bashir
Chinese officials have defended a decision to invite Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to China next week, after criticism from rights groups.
Sudan Tribune: UN chief call to establish South Sudan mission headed by ex- Norwegian minister
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on the Security Council to establish a United Nations mission in South Sudan to be headed by the Norwegian Hilde Johnson.
Sudan Tribune: South Sudan opposition sides with SPLM against amendment of constitution
The leadership of one South Sudan’s opposition political parties on Thursday announced it was siding with the SPLM against voices calling for scrutiny and amendment in the Draft Transitional Constitution of South Sudan.
Al Jazeera: Fight for the heart of the South
South Sudan faces the challenge of creating an inclusive administration among tribes with a history of bitter enmity.
Reuters: South Sudan should halve army after independence – UN
The United Nations on Tuesday called for Southern Sudan to halve the size of its army after independence in July, saying its mix of conflicting loyalties and former rebels could lead to insecurity.
New York Times: As Secession Nears, Sudan Steps Up Drive to Stop Rebels
The Sudanese Army and its allied militias aim to crush rebel fighters in the Nuba Mountains of central Sudan, pitching another region of the country into crisis, according to United Nations officials and villagers who have escaped.
Sudan Tribune: SLM’s Al-Nur and Minniawi establish joint alliance body
The two main factions of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) – the rebel opposition in North Sudan – have announced the establishment of a joint political and military mechanism chaired by Abdel Wahid Al-Nur and Minni Minnawi.
AFP: Sudan seeks to tap ‘blue gold’ with new dam projects
Sudan is seeking to tap its abundant Nile waters with new dam projects, as the oil-rich South’s independence looms, but experts warn of the social and environmental costs, and the implications for the Nile water-sharing dispute.
Sudan Tribune: Sudan’s president says Darfur peace document is not negotiable
Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir said that the Doha Peace Document is final and not negotiable and warned that his government will fight the non-signatories of the draft text.
Sudan Tribune: Sudan and LJM rebels agree on the date of Darfur referendum
The Sudanese government and the Liberation and Justice Movement agreed to delay the referendum on Darfur administrative status for one year after the signing of a peace agreement, as others issues remain unresolved.